HARTFORD, CT—The Connecticut Democracy Center (CTDC) announced Cristiano Almeida, a resident of Southington and fifth-grade student at Oshana Elementary School, has been elected by his peers to serve as the 2024 Connecticut’s Kid Governor. The announcement was made during a schoolwide assembly in Southington with the Kid Governor-Elect’s classmates and teachers in attendance. Almeida, who ran on a platform of increasing physical activity for kids will be the state’s ninth Kid Governor.
More than 9,900 Connecticut fifth graders from 340 classes and 160 schools were registered to vote in November’s Statewide Election and students cast their votes for one of seven final candidates. The six other finalists –Alexa Adgers, Clare Perreault, Dahna Lara, Ella Hawkins, Max Parisi, and Paula Sanchez-Barreto – will serve as Cristiano’s Cabinet.
“The final candidates’ platforms were inspiring! We thank each of the students for having the courage to stand up for a community issue important to them and congratulate them on their new leadership roles as Kid Governor and Cabinet,” said Brian Cofrancesco, Director of Kid Governor® for CTDC. “Kid Governor-Elect Cristiano will join Kid Governors in three other states in empowering their constituents to make a difference in their communities next year. We look forward to working with him and his Cabinet to bring a voice to their generation and a meaningful impact to our state in 2024.”
Connecticut’s Kid Governor-Elect Almeida’s winning three-point platform includes:
- Developing a Fit-Coins program in schools to encourage physical activity.
- Creating a Fit for Fun Kidz YouTube Channel with videos about fitness, physical activities, interviews with professionals, and student-submitted videos.
- Coordinating a statewide poster contest focused on fitness tips.
“According to the World Health Organization, 3.2 million people die every year from not being fit enough,” stated Almeida in his campaign video that was shared with thousands of Connecticut fifth graders. “I feel really passionate about this because I play soccer and increasing my physical activity through this sport has helped me to be healthier. My issue is that both adults and children are suffering from not having enough physical activity.”
Kid Governor® is a national award-winning civics program created by The Connecticut Democracy Center in residence at Connecticut’s Old State House. The free program teaches fifth-grade students about state government, voting, and the importance of civic engagement through an authentic statewide election. Each school is eligible to nominate one student to run for Kid Governor. Nominees are required to submit a campaign video about a community issue important to them as well as a three-point plan designed to help other students take action on the issue.
Seven final candidates move on to the Statewide Election where peers watch their campaign videos, review their platforms and cast ballots to elect one student to represent them as Kid Governor. The winning student serves a one-year term as Kid Governor, while the other six candidates serve as the Cabinet following Inauguration Day at Connecticut’s Old State House in January. The Kid Governor and Cabinet promote their platforms via the program’s website and blog, meet and speak with their constituents, create resources and tools for students to make a difference, and participate in programs across the state.
The Statewide Election candidates and their community issues were:
Cristiano Almeida, Connecticut’s Kid Governor-Elect
Oshana Elementary School, Southington
Community Issue: Physical Activity
Alexa Adgers, 2024 Kid Governor’s Cabinet Member
Renzulli Academy, Hartford (resident of New Britain)
Community Issue: Mental and Physical Wellbeing
Clare Perreault, 2024 Kid Governor’s Cabinet Member
Gainfield Elementary School, Southbury
Community Issue: Hobbies that Bring Happiness
Dahna Lara, 2024 Kid Governor’s Cabinet Member
Grove J. Tuttle Elementary School, East Haven Community Issue: Littering
Ella Hawkins, 2024 Kid Governor’s Cabinet Member
CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts, Bloomfield (resident of New Britain)
Community Issue: Bullying
Max Parisi, 2024 Kid Governor’s Cabinet Member
East Haven Academy, East Haven
Community Issue: Internet Safety
Paula Sanchez-Barreto, 2024 Kid Governor’s Cabinet Member
Ivy Drive School, Bristol
Community Issue: Valuing the Elderly
The campaign videos of this year’s seven candidates can be viewed at CT.KidGovernor.org/candidates2023.
Connecticut’s Kid Governor® is presented with funding and partnership support from CT Humanities and in partnership with the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies. Kid Governor® is also a growing movement in civics education with affiliate programs in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Oregon where students elect their own state’s Kid Governor each fall.