Friday, February 26, 2021

Car Parades & Kindness

Hi 5th graders!

I had an amazing week and I'm so excited to tell you all about it!


First of all, I'd like to acknowledge Random Acts of Kindness Day earlier this month (February 17th). It is so important to be kind because kindness makes the world a better place. I tried to plan something for Random Acts of Kindness Day but it had to be pushed back to Saturday because my school had to get it approved. 

However, what I did do on National Kindness Day was give smiles, compliments, and, at recess, I played Legos with my friend who I don't usually play with. All of these little random acts of kindness are what makes the world a better place. A tiny hint of happiness can make someone's day, you know!

The special something I'm talking about was a Drive- by Car Parade for my local nursing home, The Summit. Now, I did talk about delivering cards to The Summit last week but I came back with half of my grade, a few teachers, my principal, and other who heart about the parade. We all lined up in the school parking lot and filled the entire space with our cars!

At 11am, we all drove to The Summit and it made me so happy to see all of the smiles and waving hands in every window. I'd say there were 22 cars at the parade and it made me so happy to see that it was such a great turn out! We all decorated our cars too. There were streamers, balloons, signs, paper hearts. My friend even strapped a giant Scooby-Doo to the top of their car! I decorated my car with a bunch of heart balloons, streamers, and paper hearts in the windows. I even hung out of the sun roof with a huge poster board I made that said "We love and miss you!". You can see the car parade by just clicking HERE, I'm in the second car. 

The point of my story is that all kindness matters. No matter if you hand somebody a pencil or join in a car parade for your local nursing home, you are ultimately always making someone happy!

Now, the time has come for my weekly fun fact about me! I have two puppies and a cat. Their names are Walter, Stanly, and Lucy!

Speaking of pets, did you know that pets actually make you more positive? It's true! Just playing with a pet can make you more positive! Showing your pet some kindness will benefit you too! Here's a picture of my pets!


I hope you all have a great week! Email me how you are showing kindness to others at Reese@CT.KidGovernor.org.

Stay Positive! :)



--------------------------

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

The first ever Kid Governor, 2016 Connecticut's Kid Governor Elena Tipton spent her term focusing on her Campaign for Kindness. You can find some ideas on how to show kindness in your community by checking out her blog HERE

You can also find ideas on how to show kindness to animals on 2020 Connecticut's Kid Governor Myra Stanfield's blog HERE. CTKG Myra spent her term working on her Standing Up for Animals in Need campaign.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello 5th graders of CT! Happy Valentine's Day! A lot has happened in the last week and I can't wait to tell you all about it! But first, I'm going to tell you about the history of Cupid and Valentine's Day. 


Do you know the story of Cupid? I recently learned it and I'm going to share it with you! Cupid is the son of the winged Messenger of the Gods, Mercury, and the Goddess of Love, Venus. He was born with wings and carries a bow and quiver of arrows that allows its target to fall in love with the first person they see. His mother, Venus, being the Goddess of Love, expected all of the people to love and worship her. Princess Psyche, a princess of outstanding beauty, joined the home of the Gods, Mount Olympus. Unfortunately, all of the people of Mount Olympus liked Psyche so much that they forgot to worship Venus. This made Venus so mad that she forced Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the most terrible being on Earth. 

As Cupid snuck into Psyche's room at night, he scratched himself with one of his own arrows, causing him to fall in love with Psyche. Eventually, she found out what had happened and married Cupid under his condition that she could never see his face. When Psyche's curiosity got the best of her, she glanced at Cupid. Cupid was embarrassed and got so mad that he fled from his home and ran away to the world. Psyche  searched far and wide and eventually found Cupid. Finally, the God Jupiter granted Psyche the gift of immortality and she became the goddess of the soul with Cupid at her side. 

There is so much more to the story of Cupid but I needed to keep it short and sweet for blog purposes. Feel free to learn more about the story online!

Now, I'm going to tell you all of the amazing things that happened to me this week!

On Friday, my class and I made cards for my local nursing home, The Summit. I made three cards and my class made quite a few, too. We had all different colors of paper, hearts, glitter, and gems. We had so much fun making them and I encourage all of you to make one, too. Even a small positive guesture can make a person smile. A few of the cards I made were hearts with positive messages on them. I also made a paper heart with the word "love" written on it and, my favorite, a card that had glittery hearts on green pipe cleaners to look like a bouquet of roses! I couldn't wait to deliver them!

When I got out of school, WTNH New Channel 8 made a special request to speak with me about making cards for nursing homes in our state. I met with reporter Stephanie Simoni and she asked me all about making cards for local nursing homes. You can watch the interview HERE. I told her how my school made a whole basket full of cards and that there were more coming this week. There were about 100 cards in the basket and I'd say that there would be 250 cards in total. The best part about this part of my platform is that people have been participating from all over the state and country! Mrs. Long's class in Meriden, Mrs. Heaton's class in West Hartford, and Mr. Vincent's class in Cornwall even sent in photos of their cards! Family friends in Michigan are making cards for their local nursing homes. Oregon's Kid Governor Taneesh is participating in my campaign by delivering handmade cards to his local nursing home (Thank you, Taneesh!). I also really want to thank EVERYONE who is willing to participate in making a more positive community in Connecticut!

On Saturday, I delivered all of the cards my school made to my local nursing home, The Summit. I made a basket that I put all of the cards in. My favorite part about making the basket was adding positive messages on all four sides of the box. I also added braided rope handles because it was definitely HEAVY. I never knew positivity could weigh so much! The classes who didn't give their cards to my teacher left them at school and my teacher met us at The Summit with them. I worked with a representative from the nursing home, Barbara, who sent someone to meet us at the nursing home to take the cards. Later, Barbara let us know that over 1,000 cards from the entire town of Southington made it to The Summit for the elderly! How amazing is that? It makes me so happy to know that people just like my great grandma are feeling loved this Valentine's Day by a whole community! I couldn't be happier with the turn out. 

Later that afternoon, I took a ride down to Groton to visit my great grandma and spent the day with my great aunt. When we visited my great grandma, she was so happy to see us and it made my heart burst to see her again. We had a great conversation with her through the window (don't worry, the window was closed). She was talking about how she missed us all and that she couldn't wait until we could come inside again. I really want her to know that I am doing the best I can to spread positive messages and that, together, we can overcome this pandemic.It was so nice to see my great grandma. My family and I decided that we are going to build a bird feeder to keep outside her window. She is going to be so happy, I can't wait!

Thank you for reading this week's blog post! As I said, I will tell you fun fact about me in each blog post. Here's this week's fact: my favorite present that I ever received on Valentine's Day is a three foot tall stuffed gorilla that I love and still have. My dad gave me this gift and I love it so much!

Stay Positive! :)



Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Brightening the Lives of Nursing Home Residents this Valentine's Day



Hello 5th graders! I'm so excited to start my blog, Be Positive: Pandemic Perseverance! Thank you for supporting me and my platform. 

This week, I kicked off the first step of my platform: making cards and care packages for nursing homes around Connecticut. I started this program in February so students can send nursing home residents gifts in honor of Valentine's Day. Of course, you can send cards and care packages to nursing homes all year round! 

Today, I'm here to talk to you about making these cards in your classroom this week so that residents can receive them for Valentine's Day. It doesn't take a lot of time to make a card! You can even make one during indoor recess with a piece of paper and a pencil or markers if you want. As long as your card has an upbeat message, it is ideal to give the elderly a boost of love! Talk to your teacher about making cards for your local nursing home.


Your cards can look like whatever you want them to. You can cut out a heart shape to make a card or color it with red and pink. Your teacher can learn more HERE. This link will bring you to a collection of messages that you can consider writing in your cards and even how to email me a picture of your cards!

Once your class finishes making cards, you can find nursing homes near your school or town HERE. This will truly make the residents smile and make sure that they have a happy Valentine's Day, even if they can't see their families! 

I'm so happy that together we will brighten the lives of nursing home residents with positive messages! Email me at Reese@CT.KidGovernor.org to tell me if your class made cards this Valentine's Day!

As promised, here is a fun fact about me: one of my favorite things to do on Valentine's Day is to give! I am a huge gift giver and love to give little presents to my family. I love watching people open goodies on Valentine's Day. 

Stay positive! :)



My Inauguration!

Hello 5th graders!

I'm so happy to get started on my platform, Be Positive: Pandemic Perseverance. I'm excited to start working with schools to help make Connecticut more positive (and I mean emotionally)! To learn more about my platform, go to my page on the Connecticut's Kid Governor website, CT.KidGovernor.org/CTKGReese.

First, I'd like to talk to you about my Inauguration that happened a couple of weeks ago on January 22. It was so much fun to meet the 2020 Kid Governor, Myra. She was such a great Kid Governor and I know she will continue to help animals in need in Connecticut. 

My Inauguration was so much fun! Let me tell you about it. I went to the Old State House in Hartford. It was all set up with podiums and cameras and a huge TV where they showed us the livestream of the event. It was really sunny but also really cold. Luckily, I was able to go inside to warm up. I saw my office for the first time and it was awesome! My office has all of the past Kid Governors' portraits, including Myra's, hanging on the walls. They even hung up my picture behind my desk. They put nameplates for me and my Cabinet members all around our meeting table and had lots of my pictures in frames on a set of shelves. My two sisters, Madison and Mckenna, came and brought me hot chocolate. 

Mr. Orcutt from The Connecticut Democracy Center came in and told me it was time to go outside. The livestream started and I watched all of the videos from important state officials congratulating and cheering me and my Cabinet on! I want to thank all of the state officials who took to the time to send a video! I then watched as Secretary of the State Merrill swore in all of my wonderful Cabinet members: Claire, Cora, Houda, Myalee, Nathan, and Sameer. When it was my turn, I walked up to the podium and raised my right hand. I took the oath of office and my parents put the famous Kid Governor sash on me. I then gave my official Inaugural Address to all of you, my constituents!


The livestream ended and I took a lot of pictures with Myra, Secretary Merrill, and my family. Then I went inside for a live news conference with Fox 61 News reporter Ms. Rachel Lutzker and my Cabinet members. It was so much fun to hear my Cabinet member's' points of view on Inauguration Day and I'm so happy to start working with them.


When I was done with the conference, Mrs. Garcia from The Connecticut Democracy Center brought me up to a secret room in the Old State House. This room was pretty small and had a huge green screen that took up most of the space! This was where they host all of their livestreams for the museum. They brought me up here to practice for the question and answer ("Q&A") program I was hosting with members of the three branches of state government. 

After the test run of the computer, Ms. Gorski from The Connecticut Democracy Center came and brought me to all of the rooms in the Old State House. She showed me the old Courtroom and the big meeting rooms. She took a lot of pictures of me to use as my official portrait. 


What I found creepy and exciting was the famous "Museum of Curiosities" that was tucked in the corner of the building. It was kind of scary to see so many weird animals lining the walls. One of the most interesting animals in the collection was the two-headed cow that stood in the middle of the room. This was definitely the most interesting room in the building!

Finally, I wrapped up the day by hosting a Q&A called: Meet the Three Branches of State Government. I was able to ask state officials about their jobs in the government. The officials who joined me were Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, Attorney General Tong, Judge Eveleigh, and Senator Hwang. I want to thank these officials for taking time out of their incredibly busy schedules to join this program and answer questions from 5th graders!

I'd like to thank everyone who made my inauguration possible: The Connecticut Democracy Center, those who were tuning in, and my Cabinet. I am so proud of all of you for you hard work! I especially want to thank the 5th graders of Connecticut and their teachers who support the CTKG program!

To wrap up and to help you get to know me, my blog posts will have a fun fact about me! I hope you really get to know me by the time my term is over. So, here is today's fun fact: I was born on December 31st-- New Year's Eve!

Stay Positive! :)





Tuesday, February 2, 2021

CTKG Reese's Inaugural Address

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

On Friday, January 22, 2021, Reese Naughton of Southington was sworn in as the 2021 Connecticut's Kid Governor (CTKG). During a socially distanced hybrid ceremony, she received the Oath of Office from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill in front of. a livestream audience of students, teachers, parents, community members and others on the east lawn of Connecticut's Old State House in Hartford.

2021 CTKG Reese takes the Oath of Office from Secretary Merrill

You can relive the excitement of the Inauguration by watching the livestream of the Ceremony, News Conference, and Educational Program. You can watch CTKG Reese's inaugural address HERE or read the text of it below! Check out the album of photos from Inauguration Day on Facebook.


Good morning to all of the students, teachers, community members, and guests who are able to tune in today.

First, I’d like to thank all of the 5th grade students who participated in the Kid Governor program this past fall by running for office, voting, or both. I’d like to congratulate my Cabinet members; Claire, Cora, Houda, Myalee, Nathan, and Sameer. Your platforms are so important and I can’t wait until we can work together!

I’d really like to thank my family. My mom, for inspiring me. My dad for encouraging me. My sister Madison, for helping me with research, And my sister Mckenna, for supporting me. I’d also like to thank my Principal, Mrs. Rogala, and my teacher, Mrs. Chavez. Between filming my campaign video and helping me write speeches, you have done so much for me.

Our 2020 Kid Governor Myra has accomplished so much this past year. Spreading awareness for animals is an important issue, and she has done it so passionately, especially during this difficult pandemic. Myra has given me amazing advice, and I really appreciate her efforts.

I want to give a shout out to the CT Democracy Center, Mr. Cofrancesco, Ms. Whipple, Ms. Gorski, Mr. Orcutt, and everyone else. You really show kids that THEY can make a difference and that THEY are capable of changing the world.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Connecticut dignitaries that are here, in person AND online. This includes Lieutenant Governor Bysiewicz, Senator Blumenthal, Congressman Larson, Secretary Merrill, Attorney General Tong, Commissioner Cardona, and State Senator Sampson.

I was inspired to spread positivity when the coronavirus pandemic struck and our world changed. Like so many of you, I couldn’t see my friends, I had to stay home, and I had to get used to wearing a mask. This made me have so many feelings that I realized other kids must be having: sadness, loneliness, and isolation. When I had the opportunity to run for Kid Governor, I did it to help others NOT feel this way. Positivity is so important for our mental health, and I believe my platform, “Be Positive: Pandemic Perseverance” will help improve the mental health of Connecticut residents.

During my term, I will need your help, 5th graders, to achieve my platform.

First, we will brighten the lives of nursing home residents by making cards to send to local nursing homes or to share virtually. Classes will begin in February by making Valentine’s Day cards with positive messages to send.

Next, I will create a virtual community crate with positive and uplifting messages from me, my Cabinet, and Connecticut 5th graders for people across the state to read for inspiration. I will share a template of a face mask that students can use to write their own messages to submit to the crate. I will also work with the CT Democracy Center to coordinate a poster contest for artwork with positive messages. 5th graders, you can help by drawing a poster!

Finally, I will encourage students to take care of their mental health through safe, outdoor activities. Did you know that when you exercise outside, your body’s endorphins increase which boosts your mood and makes you more positive? That is something that we could all use, so I will organize a friendly competition to see which 5th grade class can spend the most time outside. This contest will focus on getting students outside, active, and positive. By walking your dog or playing outside you are helping the world be more positive!

Thank you all so much for tuning in for today’s virtual Inauguration. Just remember that if we persevere through this pandemic together, we can overcome it with positivity. Together, WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS. Thank you.

2020 CTKG Myra Stanfield with 2021 CTKG Reese Naughton

Car Parades & Kindness

Hi 5th graders! I had an amazing week and I'm so excited to tell you all about it! First of all, I'd like to acknowledge Random Acts...