Saturday, August 10, 2019

From the CTKG Cabinet: Reilly's Collections

Hi again everyone! It's me, Reilly, one of the 2019 CTKG cabinet members. So much has happened since I last wrote. Recently, some of the cabinet members, including myself, met with CTKG Ella to select the winner of the Pride-Hope-Love poster contest. It was a close race! Congratulations to winner and all of the students who shared their artwork!

After we selected our top choices, we participated in a meet and greet at the Old State House. During this meet and greet, I collected items for my Fostering Friendships club. People were so generous that I was able to provide the Winifred House with many more goodies, such as pillows, sheets, and toiletries.

Me, Eva, and CTKG Ella speaking with a visitor and taking donations for the collection drive. 
In addition to dropping off donations at the Winifred House, I delivered thirteen full drawstring bags to the Klingberg Family Center in New Britain. Each bag was filled with a blanket, book, activity or stuffed animal. Nicolin Carr, Therapeutic Foster Care and Adoption Programs Recruitment Specialist, along with several of her colleagues gave me a warm reception. These women were so amazing! In addition to Nicolin and her colleagues, Steven A. Girelli, Ph. D., President/CEO of Klinberg Family Centers was there to receive the donations. The drawstring bags will be given to children placed into foster care. It made my day to hear how happy I will make some of the children!

After meeting with these wonderful people, I can't wait to continue my work! I'd love to hear what you're up to in your community that makes a difference with foster care and adoption. Please email me at You can also visit to read about the other cabinet members.

Plantsville Elementary School
Southington, CT 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Cabinet Meetings and Commercials

Hey everyone!

I have had a great couple of weeks! First of all, I got to have another Cabinet meeting! Melody, Hayden, Eva, and Reilly were able to join me. It was so amazing to catch up with everyone and hear how their platforms are going. You can read more about them in their own blog posts (Reilly's, Hayden's, Eva's)!

Me with Cabinet members Melody, Hayden, Eva, and Reilly. 

At the Cabinet meeting, we did something very special. We chose the top thirteen finalists for my statewide poster contest! The poster contest was held in cooperation with the State Department of Children and Families as part of their 2019 CT Family Day. The final winner will be selected from those top thirteen and then will be used to promote CT Family Day and helping to find forever homes for children who need them. We had about 80 entries and I'll tel you a little secret: they were all amazing! All of them were so colorful, happy, and cheerful! It took us such a long time to choose just the top 40! I am really proud of all of the people who participated in the contest. You can see the top designs on Facebook HERE.

We also had an Open House at Connecticut's Old State House. The Old State House was open to the public and people could come in, walk around, and learn all about Connecticut's government. The Kid Governor's Cabinet and I were there to greet visitors. It was a lot of fun getting to meet all of you and to hear your stories. I also want to thank all of the people who donated to our collection drive to benefit East Hartford and Hartford food pantries, Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation, and the Winifred House. Oh, and those who signed Hayden's Screen Time Pledge

Along with all of that, I shot a special commercial for the CT Sun Pride Night game. I got to meet professional basketball players and I had a really nice time. On July 12th, I will be attending Pride Night for the CT Sun women's basket ball game at Mohegan Sun. I hope a lot of people will come to the game! If you do go, feel welcome to stop me and say "hi!". I would love to meet every single one of you. 

How can you show love today? Think before you speak. Make sure the words you are saying are positive and kind. 

Love you all!

Your Kid Governor, 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Recording My Training Webinar for Teachers

Hey everyone!

It has been a busy few weeks. I finally crossed off my teacher training platform point by presenting a webinar on May 20th. A webinar is kind of like a free podcast that anyone, anywhere can listen to on their phones, iPads, and computers. My webinar was about helping parents, teachers, or anyone who works with children to know how to properly support a child in the LGBTQ community. It was hosted by the State Department of Education. We had a professional trainer named Sarah Free who works at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. She is so kind and she specializes in helping people learn to work with LGBTQ students. We also had a student named Luis Cruz from East Hartford High School come and share his personal stories of coming out as gay and being openly part of the LGBTQ community.

Me with Luis and Sarah Free after the webinar. 
I want to thank both of these people so very much from the bottom of my heart for helping me make this happen. I am so grateful, and I couldn't have done it without them. I would also like to thank everyone that has listened to the webinar or will listen to it. I am so thankful that this came out as well as I wanted it to!

I also received a card from some supporters from Nova Scotia, Canada! So here is a special shout out to Evelyn and Joanne for such a kind letter to me. It really brightened up my day!

How can you show love today? Maybe you can help clean up at school or at home without being asked to. It will really make someone feel happy!

Love you all!

Your Kid Governor,

A message from your friends a the Connecticut Democracy Center...

You can watch CTKG Ella's Pride-Hope-Love webinar HERE or below.

This webinar was a part of Kid Governor Ella's three-point Pride-Hope-Love platform for LGBTQ+ youth safety and was sponsored by the Connecticut Democracy Center.

Click HERE to access resources from the webinar.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

From the CTKG Cabinet: Eva Greenspan

Hi! My name is Eva Greenspan and I was one of the seven finalists in the 2018 Connecticut's Kid Governor Statewide Election. I'm currently working on the Kid Governor's Cabinet with 2019 CTKG Ella!

My platform is about the issue of child poverty. I decided to help prevent child poverty because, in my lifetime, it has always made me feel bad seeing homeless people on the streets, especially when there is a child with them. I have always wanted to help them. When my teacher told us about the Kid Governor program, I thought this would be the perfect time to help! I am so excited to be a part of the Cabinet and I think that Ella is doing an amazing job with her platform!

Me and Ella on Inauguration Day!

Throughout this whole year, I have held collection drives in my school, Norfeldt Elementary in West Hartford, to help support my platform. We have had a spare change drive, a winter gear drive, and we are now in the middle of a toiletry drive. For the spare change drive, we raised $500 to donate to Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation in Hartford. During our winter gear drive, we filled over 10 huge trash bags with hats, coats, gloves, mittens, scarves, snow pants, and boots to donate to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Our toiletry drive will end in about a week and we have already gotten a lot of donations! I am so excited to present the toiletry and spare change donations to the Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation!

Me standing next to the toiletry donations.
I hope this program has inspired you to make a difference! If this has inspired you, I would love to hear what you are doing to make a difference. Share what you've been doing to make a difference by emailing! You can also send me your questions there too. 

Eric G. Norfeldt Elementary School
West Hartford, CT

A message from your friends at the Connecticut Democracy Center...

On Saturday, June 8th, CTKG Ella and Cabinet members Eva, Hayden, Melody, and Reilly attended Open House Day at Connecticut's Old State House. While at the event, the Cabinet held a collection drive for nonperishable food items and toiletries. Hayden also was collecting signatures for his Screen Time Pledge to encourage students to cut back their screen time. 

The Connecticut Democracy Center and the Kid Governor Team would like to thank all of the visitors to the museum who donated to the collection drive and helped to support the platforms of the Kid Governor's Cabinet. To learn more about the Cabinet, click HERE

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

From the CTKG Cabinet: Hayden Xhokaxhiu

Hello, my name is Hayden Xhokaxhiu, one of the six finalists in the 2018 Connecticut's Kid
Governor Statewide Election. I'm now working on the Kid Governor's Cabinet with 2019 CTKG Ella!

I ran for Kid Governor because I realized a big problem that even I had. People, including kids like us, spend way too much time using electronics. Humans these days don't seem to understand the beauty in this world. Instead, they are on their phones, computers, TV, etc. So when I realized this had been going on, it truly motivated me to do something about it.

What Overuse of Electronics Can Do To You
When I say "what overuse of electronics can do to you," I mean what they can do to you over time if you use them too much. I don't want you to read this and then break your computer! Technology is one of the biggest resources in the world for information, knowledge, and education. Use your electronics to your advantage, not your disadvantage. Using electronics in a negative way is when they gain "control" over you. Another word for this is called an addiction. When you use too much screen time, it causes some side effects. For example, eye damage, a glaring effect, in which the bright light from the electronic screen can cause your eyes to have blurry vision and can cause headaches. These consequences can lower your ability to learn in school which can cause you to struggle later in life.

How You Can Lower Screen Time
You can lower your screen time by first making a commitment to yourself. What I did was read more. Then I started to step it up and do some different activities, like join a basketball team in town in addition to playing soccer. I chose to play outside more with my buddies in the neighborhood. When you do this, it gives you things to do other than just sitting, head bent, looking down at your phone. You can also attack this problem differently than I did. You could play with your friends, take an art class, take part in a club, or go swimming in a pool or at the beach on beautiful summer days.

You can also track your screen time and as weeks go by, you can try to lower it even more until you reach your goal. A good goal is about one hour a day of electronics time. That means only spending seven hours a week instead of twenty hours playing addicting games-- yes, this means Fortnite!

What I'm Doing to Help Others on this Issue
I'm encouraging 5th graders at my school to do other things instead of using electronics like playing
outside, doing crossword puzzles, and playing games with your family. Next, I have created a pledge that I am including in this post (click HERE!) where kids can sign it and use the screen time tracker that comes with it. It is one week long and helps to track how much you have decreased your screen time. Keep using it every week until you have reached your goal! Half of my class has signed the pledge and taken on the challenge. Finally, I am brainstorming ideas for a "shout-out program" that highlights the kids who have greatly decreased their screen time over summer break.

I'd love to hear how much screen time you've cut out during the week! Email me at to tell me about it. You can also visit to read about the other cabinet members.

Thanks for reading!

Pleasant Valley Elementary School
South Windsor, CT 

Friday, May 31, 2019

CTKG Ella's Poster Contest & Meet the Cabinet on June 8th!

A message from your friends at the Connecticut Democracy Center...

Earlier this week, Connecticut's Kid Governor Ella announced her partnership with the Department of Children and Families for their CT Family Day Poster Contest. Fifth graders across the state of Connecticut are invited to create a piece of original artwork that shows what Pride-Hope-Love means to their families. The winning piece of artwork will be incorporated into a poster or a calendar used to promote CT Family Day 2019.

For Contest Rules and Information, visit

All submissions for the contest should be emailed to by Friday, June 7, 2019.

Along with the poster contest, the Connecticut's Kid Governor team announced that CTKG Ella and members of her Cabinet will be at Connecticut's Old State House on Saturday, June 8th for Open House Day. Ella, Melody, Reilly, and Hayden will be meeting with constituents and visitors from 12pm to 1pm during the event. Visitors are encouraged to support the Cabinet members by:
  • Bringing a canned good or non-perishable food item to support Melody's Food for All platform
  • Bringing a toiletry item such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, etc. to support Reilly's Fostering Friendships platform and Eva's platform to end childhood poverty. 
  • Signing Hayden's Screen Time Pledge to reduce the amount of time on mobile devices or computers to support his platform to Limit Time Spent on Electronics
To learn more about the event, download the flyer HERE.

Learn more about the Cabinet by clicking HERE

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

From the CTKG Cabinet: Reilly Bard

Hello everyone!

I am Reilly Bard, one of the seven finalists in the 2018 Connecticut's Kid Governor Statewide Election. Now I am working on the Kid Governor's Cabinet with 2019 CTKG Ella!

Me and CTKG Ella in her office during Inauguration Day 2019!

I ran a platform of foster care and adoption. Someone near and dear to my heart was in foster care and was then adopted. He was brought into a loving home where his adoptive parents made his transition between home and school as smooth as possible. Not all foster care or adopted children have that same experience. I wanted to help! My three-point platform plan included:
  1. Create a Fostering Friendships Club-- a club designed to bring students living in foster homes, students who have been adopted, and students willing to make connections with these children together in hopes of developing true friendships. 
  2. Hold fundraisers to support this cause.
  3. Create a blog to inform and celebrate what cool activities these students are participating in. 
Since the Statewide Election, I have been super busy. With the help of my amazing social studies teacher, Mrs. Chavez and awesome school social worker, Miss Reney, I have visited the Winifred House, a Bridge Family Center Short-term Assessment and Respite Home (STAR) for young women, in Southington. I met Michael Rulnick, Director of Residential Services, Doreen Tarascio, Director of Communications, and other essential staff members that make the Winifred House a great place for young women to live in. While on this visit, I learned that I, along with my classmates, could make their stay more special.

I created a fundraiser where students could not only give to a great cause but could also have fun while doing it! During an assembly, I rolled out the fundraiser to my peers. This fundraiser began with a pajama day! Each day students brought in items such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and body wash. After one week, I collected over 380 items to give to the Winifred House.

Me with some of the items that students in my school donated for the Winifred House.

My next fundraiser will benefit students in foster care and adoption though the Klingberg Family Center. Stay tuned for what comes of that. It's very exciting!

If you would like to support my platform, you can donate to my Fostering Friendships Club, become a foster parent, or reach out to the Klingberg Family Center to ask how you can help.

I'd love to hear how you are making a difference regarding foster care and adoption in your community. Email me at to tell me about it! You can also visit to read about the other members of the Kid Governor's Cabinet.

Thanks for reading!

Plantsville Elementary School
Southington, CT

From the CTKG Cabinet: Reilly's Collections

Hi again everyone! It's me, Reilly, one of the 2019 CTKG cabinet members. So much has happened since I last wrote. Recently, some of the...