“This program encourages and inspires the next generation of leaders to step up, speak out and get involved.”State Leader
Oklahoma’s Kid Governor® empowers 5th graders to change the world. This ground-breaking approach to civics education immerses students in a real election for their state’s Kid Governor, a fellow 5th grader who will represent them during a one-year term of active leadership. More than a contest and not just about the position of governor, the program teaches important lessons about state government, voting, elections, and civic participation. All 5th grade classes and home school programs are welcome to participate.
Timed to coincide with Election Day in November, this annual program provides 5th graders the experience of nominating one student candidate from their school and voting in an authentic statewide election. Classes can vote in the election, nominate a student to run for office, or both! Free, innovative, and state-specific lesson plans and digital resources guide teachers through the program and help students explore state government and active participation in civic life.
Participants identify issues impacting their community and state, research solutions, create platforms to address those issues, and make campaign videos. Schools run primaries to select a nominee and each school’s winner advances to the state level.
In November, thousands of Oklahoma 5th graders watch and evaluate the campaign videos of seven final statewide candidates. They then participate in a statewide election, casting their votes for the student and platform they support. The student receiving the most votes is elected Kid Governor and serves a one-year term of leadership and advocacy. They work with Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy and their Cabinet to fulfill their campaign platform and encourage students to make a difference on the winning campaign issue in their own communities.
Kid Governor® is a national award-winning civics program led by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy and created by the The Connecticut Democracy Center with major partnership and funding support from CT Humanities. Launched in Connecticut in 2015, it now a national movement with programs in other states. Visit kidgovernor.org to learn about the national program.