As an educator or parent, you witness the enthusiasm kids have to better the world around them. This program will harness that enthusiasm to encourage action through civic participation. By using technology– a familiar communication tool and powerful platform for action– the innovative and practical Connecticut’s Kid Governor® program illustrates how elections work and how Connecticut residents of all ages can choose to participate in our democratic society. The lessons inspire students to be lifelong agents of change, active participants in our government, and registered voters when they turn 18!
The new Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks include “taking informed action” as a way to help students learn civics. This pilot program shows students how they can use their understanding of community and government to take action locally. As the Frameworks state:
Civic engagement is one of the most essential tasks of social studies education. It is critically important that students… learn more about government at the national, state, and local levels. It is also important that students learn about their responsibilities as global citizens. It is equally important that students have the opportunity to “take informed action.” Students should not just learn about government; they should be encouraged to participate in the democratic process. Taking part in student government, model congresses, service projects, and classroom simulations are all ways that allow students to participate in civil society and not just learn about how civil society works. It is possible, even at the elementary school level, for students to “make a difference” in society.
Connecticut’s Kid Governor– both the program and the student winner, are vehicles for teaching students civic skills and community mindedness statewide. As such, the goals of the program align with the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools‘ goals for 21st-century civic learning and citizenship.