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 fifth-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. Oregon will be the second state to undertake the initiative.

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 seven finalists whose videos will be placed on the Secretary of State website. From Nov. 6 to 14, Oregon fifth-graders can vote for which of the seven 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 on Jan. 9 at the State Capitol in Salem.

During the Kid Governor’s term in office, the student will meet with Oregon’s governor and legislators to work on a special issue of interest. The student will be mentored to learn about and prepare to hold a press conference.

The Kid Governor will also give an online civics speech to other Oregon fifth-graders.


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Education and Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Vera Westbrook is the education, nonprofits, and arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4216 or by email at

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