Wednesday, August 11, 2021

And The Winner Is…

Hello 5th graders! Very recently, I met with my Cabinet to pick the 13 finalists for my state-wide poster contest with The Department of Children and Families! (DCF) Let me tell you how it went! 

On July 17th, I logged on to my computer to join my Zoom cabinet meeting. This time, I was not able to go up to the Old State House because I was away on vacation. So, this time I was joining from my computer!

When the Cabinet members joined the meeting we got started. We started by doing an ice breaker, where I came up with two questions for everybody to answer about themselves. My two ice breaker questions were “What is your favorite ice cream flavor?” and “What is your favorite book, and why?” I loved hearing everybody’s answers!

We continued on with the meeting by sharing our platform updates! I shared about the poster contest and my Outdoors-A-Thon, Houda shared about her Bitmoji classroom, Nathan shared about a poster he was working on, and Cora shared about her “Green Teams” and “22 for the Earth and You” projects. 

We had so much fun looking at the posters together!

Afterwards, a special guest from DCF joined our meeting to talk to us about what she does. Her name was Ms. Jacqueline Ford, and she is the one who is in charge of collaborating with the Kid Governor program on the poster contests that Kid Governors have done in the past and continue to do today. Ms. Ford talked to us a little bit about her job at DCF and about the poster contest.  The theme of this year’s contest was “What is your family’s silver lining during the Covid-19 Pandemic?” Ms. Ford told my Cabinet and me that it was our job to choose our favorite 13 posters, and that DCF would choose the winner from our top 13. She also said that the posters would be on display at the Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester so people could see them. They will also be on display during CT Family Day, which is a yearly event that tons of people go to to celebrate families! 

Ms. Ford left the meeting so we could start picking the top 13 posters. We each wrote down our 5 favorites, and went over all of the posters we liked. It was an incredibly difficult task to narrow it down to 13.  All of them were so amazing and special in their own ways, and my Cabinet and I were wowed by how amazing they all looked! It was so hard choosing the top 13 because they were all so good, that our meeting ran long! It was an amazing experience, seeing everybody's silver lining of a bad situation, and it made my day to see how many positive ideas other kids in CT had! We will announce the winner and finalists soon!

The meeting ended after that, but one very important thing I learned was that Connecticut’s Old State House is open for visitors again! For this summer only, all Connecticut children (and an adult chaperone) can get into museums around the state for free! So, if you would like to come see my office, make sure you come down to the Old State House (for free!) and tour my office!

Now, are you ready for the fun fact of the week? Here it is!

  • Since I am on Block Island, I will tell you what I am doing! Every year, a glass blowing company makes 550 “Glass Floats” or glass balls about the size of an orange, numbers them all from 0 to 550, puts the year on them, and hides them around the island! The object of the game is that anybody who visits the island can have fun by participating in a treasure hunt for the balls! And if you find one you get to keep it. The point of this is to get everybody outside and active and since it went along with my platform I thought I’d share it with you! And if you're wondering, I DID find one!

Stay Positive! :)

 


Saturday, August 7, 2021

Performing Arts for the Elderly

 Hello 5th graders! You may remember that the first point of my platform is to “Brighten the lives of nursing home residents through positive messages.” During the last week of school, I did a virtual talent show for nursing home residents in my town! Let me tell you all about it!

In the last week of school I did a Virtual Talent Show for The Summit Nursing Home! It was so much fun to watch! One of my favorite parts was getting to participate! I did it with my friends who go to another school in Southington. Together we teamed up and sang a song. 

Some of my favorite acts were these:

  • There was this little girl in either Kindergarten or 1st grade. She was dancing and it was so cute! One of my favorite parts was at the end when she did a split.
  • There was also this girl in 3rd or 4th grade that was tap dancing. She was so good and it was really cool to watch her!
  • My friend Lila in my class plays piano along with her brother. They both played a song and it was awesome! I really don’t know how they did it because they went SO FAST!

A video my friend and I made was last. We sang a song called “Shallow,” but edited the lyrics to fit our time span. We filmed it in my backyard in front of my big hibiscus tree and it looked awesome! I did my act with my best friend Ava and we did awesome together! 

There are other ways to brighten the lives of nursing home residents, like through cards or sending care packages! You can read my ideas for supporting this point of my platform HERE!

Now… are you ready for the Fun Fact of the week? Here it is…

  • My best friend goes to DePaolo Middle School in Southington!

 Stay Positive! :)


Friday, July 30, 2021

Summer Fun In The Sun

Hello 5th graders! Lately I have been doing a lot of fun activities outside to promote my Outdoors-A-Thon, the third point of my platform! Let me give you a few ideas about what you can do if you want to have fun outside!

I have been doing a lot of fun activities outside to increase my endorphins! Here are some of the activities I’ve done that you can do too!

  • Sidewalk chalk! I love to play outside with chalk in the summer. I take my bucket out into my driveway and draw something awesome on the pavement. Anybody can do this if they have a few sticks of chalk laying around the house!
  • Riding my bike! In the summer I love to ride my bike. It is definitely one of my favorite summer activities! Sometimes in the summer I take chalk and draw out roads and stop signs on my driveway or the sidewalk and ride my bike through it!
  • Swimming! I don't have a pool, but my friend does! All the time, she invites me over to go swimming in her pool! I love to spend hours jumping into the pool and diving into the deep end. If you don’t have a pool you can go to a community pool in your town, or go swimming at a beach or park!
  • Gardening! I love to plant flowers and vegetables! My family has this HUGE garden box that we made, and we have a bunch of vegetables that we are growing! I also love getting little flower seed packets and planting a bunch of flowers!
  • Walk my dogs! In the summer I like to take my dogs for a walk around my neighborhood. Even if you don’t have a dog or pet to walk with, you can just take a walk yourself! Anything that involves getting outside will make a difference, trust me!

I hope you like some of the ideas I have for my Outdoors-A-Thon! To me, it is important to spend time outside because it increases our endorphins and makes us more positive! Click HERE to learn more about my Outdoors-A-Thon and for information about how to enter it. Remember to submit your activities by August 31! I hope you have a lot of fun this summer!

Now it is time for the fun fact of the week! Are you ready? Here it is!

  • Next school year in the fall, I will be attending Kennedy Middle School in Southington!

Stay Positive! :)


Thursday, July 22, 2021

From the CTKG Cabinet: 22 For The Earth and You

Hi! I’m Cora Aitkenhead, bringing you another monthly blog on how you can help your community and the Earth itself. In my last blog post I talked about starting Green Teams in schools and how you can take the steps to start a Green Team in your school and community.  But once you have a Green Team, what’s your team supposed to do?  In this blog I’ll help you answer that question by talking about the second part of my three point platform: “22 For The Earth and You.” 

22 For The Earth and You:
As many people probably know, April 22nd is Earth Day--the one day a year that we all come together to celebrate the Earth. But is just one day a year enough? No way!!  Caring for the environment is something we need to do throughout the year, and that is what inspired me to come up with the idea of “22 For the Earth and You!”  Instead of just celebrating our Earth one day a year, what if we all celebrated the environment EVERY month on the 22nd?  Not only that, but think of the difference we could make if we all focused on a common goal each month.  So that’s my goal: to share ideas with you for monthly initiatives that I’ll be bringing you each month on the 22nd on this blog.  Then YOU can take these ideas and turn them into real action in your schools.  
Me and my Green Team

What Can You Do?:
Every 22nd I will be posting monthly blog posts teaching new ways that you can help the environment. By tuning in to my monthly posts you will be able to learn about things such as energy efficiency, composting, recycling, environmentally friendly meals, reducing and reusing, and so much more! I have introduced 22 for the Earth and you to my elementary school this past year and we did some great initiatives every month.   I’m sure you and your school can do the same so tune in next month for a deeper look into the first monthly initiative: “Leave a Room, Leave it Off.”

Thanks for taking time out of your day to read my blog post and learn how you can help save the Earth and the environment. If you have any questions or ideas feel free to shoot me a message, and make sure to tune in for all my upcoming posts throughout my term as a member of the Connecticut Kid Governor’s Cabinet. Thanks and see you next time!

- Cora Aitkenhead
Kid Governor’s Cabinet 
Meadowside Elementary School
Milford, CT





Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Capitol

Hello 5th graders! Last month, I had by far the best experience of my term so far!! Let me tell you about it!

I was invited up to the State Capitol to be recognized by the Connecticut General Assembly! The General Assembly is another term for Connecticut’s Legislative Branch and includes every single Senator and Representative in our state government! 

When I first arrived at the Capitol, I started off in a building called the Legislative Office Building. This is where most of the legislative branch works. My mom, dad, teacher Mrs. Chavez, and Mr. C from the Kid Governor program got to come, too. I met Ms. Anne Marie Gallagher who guided us through the Legislative Office Building and Capitol. She took us to meet one of my Southington State Representatives, Representative John Fusco. He was really nice and he was making everyone laugh. Representative Fusco then started talking to me about my platform. He said that he and the General Assembly members were so proud of me and wanted to present a citation to me. A citation (also called a proclamation) is a document that elected officials give out to people when they have done something honorable. I was super excited! He also gave me a set of official State of Connecticut pins, ones you see state officials wear on TV. It was awesome!

Photo credit: Brian O’Connor, House Democrats

After I met Representative Fusco, he and Ms. Gallagher took me into an underground passageway that led into the State Capitol! (I literally am not making this stuff up). When we got into the Capitol, I learned that Representative Fusco and the other representatives from Southington were going to recognize me in the  House of Representatives, the giant room where all the representatives from across the state meet to discuss and pass laws. They all have labeled chairs and a person (the Speaker of the House) stands on a huge podium called a dais  to call on them to speak.

Before I was called to the “floor” of the House of Representatives, I got to meet the Lieutenant Governor, Susan Bysiewicz! It was so cool to meet her in person and I even got to go into her office! One of the coolest things about getting to do this was that she gave me a special pin. It is green and on the front it said “Ella”. This was super cool because Lieutenant Governor Bysiewicz told me that it was one of Ella Grasso’s campaign pins, and that Ella Grasso was the first female governor of Connecticut. Ella Grasso who served as governor in the 1970’s!  This was about the coolest thing that had happened to me all day, and quite possibly all week. However, the fun didn’t end there! 

I was so excited to meet Lieutenant Governor Bysiewicz!

After I met with  Lieutenant Governor Bysiewicz, Representative Fusco and Ms. Gallagher took me to the House of Representatives. It was packed with representatives ! To keep everyone safe during the pandemic, I was the only one of my family allowed to go into the room but my family was able to watch from a balcony above. 

Representative Fusco led me to his seat, and I sat next to him. The Speaker of the House introduced Representative Fusco, and he stood up to speak. I then learned that when a representative wants to speak, they have to ask for permission from the Speaker. If Mr. The Speaker approves, he will say “Proceed” and then the representative has to say “Thank you, Mr. Speaker”. So, it was kind of funny when Representative Fusco said “I’d like to introduce Connecticut’s Kid Governor Reese Naughton, Mr. Speaker?”

Once Representative Fusco introduced me, everyone started clapping! It was so cool to see all of the state officials who support my platform. Then I met Representative Liz Linehan who also represents Southington. She presented me with a pin of the State Capitol. Representative Linehan told me that she is working to  address problems around mental health. You can watch my introduction on the House Floor here!

Photo credit: Brian O’Connor, House Democrats

For the rest of my time at the Capitol, I was able to meet other state officials including Senator Sampson, Representative Gale Mastrofrancesco​, and Representative Donna Veach who all represent parts of Southington. I also spoke with Representative Jason Rojas​, Representative Vincent Candelora​, and Representative Tony Scott about my platform and term as Kid Governor. 

It was super awesome to get to visit the State Capitol. It is definitely an experience I will never forget!

Now! It is time for the fun fact of the week! Here it is…

  • If someone were to ask me what my superpower is as a human being, I would say that my superpower is helping others when they need it most! What is your superpower? 

Stay Positive! :)


Thursday, June 17, 2021

Get Outside this Summer!

Hello 5th graders! Are you excited for summer vacation? 

Last week I rolled out my Outdoors-A-Thon summer activity challenge! In case you didn’t know, my Outdoors-A-Thon is part of the third point of my Be Positive: Pandemic Perseverance platform. This point focuses on going outside to do fun activities to stay positive, and increase our endorphins! This is how you can participate:

  1. Click here to go to the Outdoors-A-Thon webpage at CT.KidGovernor.org and read more about this step of my platform!
  2. Scroll down to “How to Participate!” and click on the official Outdoors-A-Thon Activity Tracker (spreadsheet).
  3. Once you have opened the tracker, click “File” in the upper left corner, and choose one of the following:
  4. Select “Make a Copy” to save a copy to your Google Drive.
  5. Select “Download” > Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) to save a copy to your computer.

Every time you go outside to go play or do something fun this summer, time yourself and log it into the tracker! You’ll keep track of the date, the activity you did, and the number of minutes you did that activity for.

At the end of the summer, you can go back to the Outdoors-A-Thon webpage scroll down to “How to Participate!” and click on the Outdoors-A-Thon Entry Form.

Using the info you logged on your Activity Tracker, fill in how many activities you did outside over the summer, and the total number of minutes you spent doing all of these activities! Make sure you submit your form by the deadline on August 31st!

I hope you have so much fun with my summer Outdoors-A-Thon, and I hope you choose to participate!

Now, are you ready for the fun fact of the week? Here it is…

My favorite flavor of ice cream is...I don’t know! I love sorbets and sherberts, but I don’t really have a favorite. My go-to ice cream flavors right now are mango and raspberry.

Stay Positive! :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Kid Governors of America

Hello 5th graders! I had another amazing opportunity last month! Let me tell you about it!

This weekend, I spent some time at my office in Connecticut’s Old State House for another meeting! This meeting was extra awesome because I got to meet the Oregon and New Hampshire Kid Governors and their Cabinets! (New Hampshire calls their Cabinet the “Executive Council”).

 It was so fun meeting NHKG Charlie and ORKG Taneesh!

I arrived at the Old State House around 1:00pm, and met Mr. Orcutt on the way in. He let me explore a cool exhibit that has a bunch of displays about Connecticut’s history! It had everything from tools that Native Americans used a long time ago to figurines carved from the Charter Oak! I learned so much about Connecticut’s history, and it was so much fun to see!

Something I learned in the museum was that when the Charter Oak fell in a bad storm, people went to get some of the wood for themselves. After so many people were coming to take what they could get, woodworkers collected a bunch of it and carved figurines to sell to people! The Old State House even has some of these figurines in the museum! 

After I explored the museum, Mr. Orcutt and Mr. C brought me up to the green screen room to join my meeting. For the first 30 minutes I got to meet with the other two Kid Governors, and then our cabinets joined us for the rest of the meeting. 

New Hampshire’s Kid Governor is Charlie and his platform addresses Childhood Depression. Oregon’s Kid Governor is Taneesh and he ran on a platform of Stopping Racism. We spent the first part of our meeting asking each other questions, and getting to know each other and our platforms. 

Soon our individual meeting was over and all of the other Cabinet members and guests joined the meeting. There were so many kids there! However, we quickly got down to business, and the presentations began.

Our meeting included members of my cabinet, Oregon's cabinet, and New Hampshire's Executive Council, as well as guest speakers.

One person who presented to us was a man from the National Governors Association, or NGA! His name was Mr. Solt. I learned a lot from him! He said that at the National Governors Association, they help all the governors in the country and come up with solutions to problems governors face in different states.  

Another guest on the call was the Oregon Secretary of State! Her name was Ms. Fagan, and she was awesome! She talked about the story of her childhood and her words were very powerful. She was also really funny and I was seriously trying not to fall off of my chair! Ms. Fagan’s closing message was that we should always be confident in ourselves.

Secretary Fagan was so inspiring!

After her presentation we split into breakout rooms with Kid Governors and Cabinet members who had similar platforms to us, and had discussions together. Our group discussed how a simple act of kindness can brighten somebody's day, and even motivate them to do something positive for somebody else! It was awesome to speak to other students directly, and all of their platforms were very well thought out!

It was an amazing day, and the two other Kid Governors are AWESOME! I hope you will learn more about them! You can learn about New Hampshire’s Kid Governor Charlie at NH.KidGovernor.org and about Oregon’s Kid Governor Taneesh at OR.KidGovernor.org.

Now, fun fact of the week. Here it is!

  • Since I, and many of you out there, are graduating from our elementary schools, I thought I’d share something with you! My mom and I have a tradition that on the last day of school we go straight to get ice cream to celebrate!!!

Stay Positive! :)

 

And The Winner Is…

Hello 5th graders! Very recently, I met with my Cabinet to pick the 13 finalists for my state-wide poster contest with The Department of Chi...