Kid Governor program delivers important civics lessons
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Kid Governor Taneesh Garg said visiting the Oregon Capitol in August was a big moment. “That was just like, ‘Wow, I’m actually doing this and actually going inside the Capitol of Oregon and getting to see all this supercool stuff.’” (Photo by Nikki Fisher, secretary of state’s office)
Taneesh Garg, 2021’s Oregon Kid Governor, ran on a platform of ending racism.
“I wanted to spread the word of kindness and inclusiveness because the world would be boring if we all looked and talked alike,” he said.
The secretary of state’s office is taking nominations for the 2022 Kid Governor. Garg heartily recommends it. He said the people helping him made it fun and interesting.
Garg, now a sixth grader at Springville K-8 in Portland, said meeting families from different cultures and learning about their customs has been a highlight of his 2021 tenure. He has chronicled his experiences on a blog.
Former Secretary of State Dennis Richardson started the program, with the first student elected for 2018. The Oregon program led by the secretary’s office is an affiliate of Kid Governor, an award-winning civics program created by the Connecticut Democracy Center. The free curriculum teaches fifth graders about state government and civics engagement.
Nominees create campaigns and name an issue they want to address. Past kid governors from Brooks, Eugene and Portland focused on bullying, animal adoption and helping the homeless.
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said she is pleased to continue the program because it offers desperately needed civics education.
“We see it as bigger than just knowing we have three branches of government,” Fagan said. “Ending racism is about civics education. Understanding different cultures and how we live together is civics education.”