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Salem, OR—Today, in conjunction with the first day of school, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson announced the start of a new civics program that focuses on Oregon's 5th graders.

Kid Governor is a statewide, in-school civics program designed by the Connecticut Public Affairs Network. The Network has been working with the office of Oregon's Secretary of State to adapt the program for Oregon elementary schools. This program is slated to become a nation-wide program in the coming years. Oregon will be the second state to undertake the initiative.

"It gives me great pleasure to announce the Kid Governor program," said Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. "This initiative will help promote in our elementary school children an interest in how our government functions and will help develop our future leaders. Every public, private, charter, tribal, and online school is eligible to participate. Homeschoolers are also eligible."

Each nominated student will work with his or her school to make a short, online video speech announcing their candidacy. In the videos, each student will address an important issue he or she would like to work on throughout the next calendar year. A group of experts will choose 7 finalists whose videos will be placed on the Secretary of State website. From November 6-14, Oregon 5th graders can vote for which of the 7 candidates they want to elect as Oregon's Kid Governor. The winner will be announced before Thanksgiving, and an official inauguration ceremony will be held January 9, 2018 at the State Capitol in Salem.

"During the Kid Governor's term in office, he or she will meet with Oregon's governor and our legislators and will work with my office on their special issue of interest," said Richardson. "We will mentor and help our Kid Governor learn about and prepare to hold a press conference. The Kid Governor will also give an online civics speech to other Oregon 5th graders. I hope everyone is as excited about the program as we are here in Salem."

The details about how the Kid Governor program works can be found online: http://or.kidgovernor.org/

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Children & Family
Education
Elections & Voting
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