Connecticut’s Kid Governor Makhi Etienne-Modeste joined Connecticut State Senator Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, and officials from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) staff and the Department of Agriculture (DOAG) at a joint press conference in May to bring attention to the correlation between animal cruelty, child maltreatment and other forms of interpersonal violence.
As part of Kid Governor Makhi’s 2022 platform, he sponsored a statewide “Protecting Our Pets” poster contest, and announced the winner at the press conference.
5th grade student Danielle Chrostowski was awarded first place in the statewide “Protecting Our Pets” poster contest co-sponsored by Connecticut’s Kid Governor, The Connecticut Democracy Center, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Children and Families. The contest, created by Connecticut’s Kid Governor Makhi Ettienne-Modeste, invited 5th graders to submit artwork that answered the question: How can kids show kindness towards pets and companion animals at home or in shelters?
Danielle is a resident of Stamford and a 5th grade student at Greenwich Catholic School in Greenwich. Her winning poster design features a depiction of the earth with a dog on top. At a recent press conference announcing the contest winner, Kid Governor Makhi highlighted the important message embodied in Danielle’s design, saying, “I think Danielle’s poster is important as we talk about preventing cruelty to animals and children. The poster shows the whole Earth and says “kindness” which to me means we should show kindness to everyone, both people and animals. I hope the poster inspires kids and all people in Connecticut to spread kindness and speak up for animals and children who need help.”
Hello everyone! My name is Makhi Ettienne-Modeste and I am the 2022 Connecticut’s Kid Governor.
It is an honor to be here today with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Children and Families, the Connecticut Humane Society, Attorney General Tong, and Senator Blumenthal to recognize April as Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
My Kid Governor platform is Protecting Our Pets. It is about stopping animal abuse and showing kindness towards companion animals. I chose this platform because I love animals, especially my dogs Blue and Paco. I know that animal abuse happens everyday and it is frustrating that it doesn’t stop. I never want to see a pet or companion animal hurt. So when my teacher asked me if I wanted to run for Kid Governor and make a difference on an issue, I immediately said “yes.”
There are 3 points to my platform. They are:
- One: Educate 5th graders about the signs of animal abuse and the importance of showing kindness to companion animals.
- Two: Create a statewide poster contest so 5th graders can draw attention to the importance of showing kindness to pets!
- Three: Donate to shelters and humane societies that help animals that have been abused.
I want to thank the Department of Agriculture and the Connecticut Humane Society for partnering with me on a virtual educational program that fulfilled the first point of my platform, and the Department of Agriculture and DCF for working with me on my statewide poster contest to fulfill the second point of my platform. Because all of these organizations are here today, it seems like the perfect time to announce the winner of my poster contest!
I held my Protecting Our Pets Poster Contest in March and 5th graders from all over the state submitted artwork that answered the question: “How can kids show kindness towards pets and companion animals at home or in shelters?” The submissions were amazing! I want to thank all of the students who submitted their creative artwork.
My Cabinet and I selected the contest finalists a few weeks ago and then representatives from the Department of Agriculture and DCF joined me to choose the winner. It was very hard to choose the finalists and winners of the contest because I all liked their posters. But I knew that I wanted to show people how to display kindness towards pets so we chose…[PAUSE]…the poster submitted by Danielle Chrostowski (chros-tows-ki) from Stamford as the winner!
Danielle is a 5th grader at Greenwich Catholic School in Greenwich. She described her artwork as, quote, “an earth with a dog on it. On top, it also says “kindness.” This resembles how everyone on Earth is kind to animals.” End quote.
I love that her poster is very colorful and that the paw prints show the kindness we can show towards animals. It’s really cute and the poster stood out from the others. I want to thank Danielle for submitting her artwork. She did a really good job and I think that she should do something connected to art when she grows up.
I think Danielle’s poster is important today as we talk about preventing cruelty to animals and children. The poster shows the whole Earth and says “kindness” which to me means we should show kindness to everyone, both people and animals. I hope the poster inspires kids and all people in Connecticut to spread kindness and speak up for animals and children who need help.
Thank you again for inviting me to speak today. I hope that everyone watching will visit CT dot Kid Governor dot org to learn more about my platform and term as Kid Governor. Remember to treat everyone with kindness and to P.O.P. – Protect Our Pets!