Wednesday, June 29, 2022

My Visit to Poquonnock School and Launching the Third Point of My Platform!

Hello everyone, I am Makhi Ettienne-Modeste, your 2022 Connecticut's Kid Governor. Welcome back to my blog for my fifth blog post!

I have been keeping very busy since my last blog post! I have been hard at work launching the third point of my platform, which is encouraging donations to animal organizations! Donating to animal organizations is very important. Companion animals need food and shelter to survive, and toys to keep their minds and bodies active and healthy. The staff and volunteers at shelters work hard to provide everything that the animals in their care need, but people like you and me can help by donating food and toys. Knowing how to donate to your local animal organizations can help them! Try reaching out to your local shelter and seeing what donated items they need!  And check out CT.KidGovernor.org for more tips on how to support the third point of my platform.

I've also been hard at work in my community! Earlier this month I visited Poquonock School as a special guest speaker and gave a speech for their 2nd grade promotion! I talked about how you don’t have to be older or an adult to make a difference in your community or world, and gave the following advice to the students:

First, any person can make a difference, you just have to find something you care about. For me, it was helping pets. What is something that you care about?

Second, anyone of any age can be a leader. Think about the great qualities you have that make you a leader. Are you kind? Are you empathetic? Are you positive? We are all leaders in our own different ways, and our differences can make the world a better place.

Third, I’ve learned from my Kid Governor term that to make a difference, you have to try. Even if you think you can’t do something or if people say you can’t do something, you should always try!

Fourth, knowing how to respect others will let people know they can respect you. 

And fifth, doing something big or small to make a difference or help someone is important. Even doing something at home or in your own school that seems small is an amazing thing to do. It could potentially change the world. I KNOW that’s possible!

I also talked about the third point of my platform, donating to animal organizations! I had a great time meeting all of the students, and I was honored to be invited to speak to them.

Always remember to treat animals with kindness and (P.O.P) Protect Our Pets!




Makhi Ettienne-Modeste
2022 Kid Governor 
John F. Kennedy School
Windsor

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

From the CTKG Cabinet: Samantha Encourages Planting Trees

My name is Samantha and I am a member of the 2022 Connecticut Kid Governor's Cabinet with the platform of a Cleaner Connecticut.

My important environmental work for a cleaner Connecticut continued this month when my class invited our  Pre-K3 buddies to plant Colorado Blue Spruce seedlings from the Arbor Day Foundation.  All of the 5th graders (including me) who have been writing poetry and studying ecosystems, shared a poem with their buddies about how beautiful it has been to watch the Pre-K buddies grow throughout the school year.  Now, all of the buddies will have a chance to plant a tree and watch it grow.  Not only will the new tree remind each student of his or her buddy, the tree will help to create a cleaner Connecticut. 

According to the Arbor Day Foundation Website, "Trees play a critical role in creating healthier, safer, and more connected communities. They clean our air, filter our water, and even slow storm surge and flooding in our cities. Trees also provide shade and cool our cities by up to 10 degrees, which can help prevent heat-related deaths in urban areas." If you or someone you love would like to help me create a cleaner Connecticut, please reach out to the Arbor Day Foundation today and tell them that Connecticut's Kid Governor Cabinet Member Samantha sent you!

Most of the people in the world talk about taking care of the planet but the truth is that many do not know how to do it.  That is why today I want to talk about one of the easiest and most fun ways to do it: the planting of trees in our state. Trees help relax our minds and reduce stress. Trees are also noise absorbers, retain dust from the air, and release water vapor. The roots hold the mountains, preventing landslides, which is why you can't continue building in every place you want. In addition, the most natural shadows are that of the trees. They protect the plants that are underneath, they give shelter to animals, and they help prevent us from having to continue building remedies against the sun. A natural shade in summer is key to avoiding intense heat, heat hazards and even to protecting a home.  

Now that we know a little about the benefits of tree planting, I want to invite you to invite your family, friends and acquaintances this summer to have a tree planting day for the well-being of our state.

Thank you for contributing to the care of our planet. If you plant any trees in your community, or do anything to help make a cleaner Connecticut, you can email me at Cabinet@CT.KidGovernor.org

Samantha Botero
2022 Kid Governor Cabinet
Stamford 
Greenwich Catholic School

Saturday, June 18, 2022

From the CTKG Cabinet: Olivia Speaks at the Juneteenth Bill Signing

Hello 5th graders of Connecticut! My name is Olivia and I am a member of the 2022 Connecticut Kid Governor's Cabinet with the platform of Child Food Insecurity.

In my recent blog post about my visit to the Capitol, I talked about meeting my state Representative Anthony Nolan, and how I got to sit in his chair in the House of Representatives Chamber. Shortly after that visit, Representative Nolan reached out to me and my family, asking if I would come to speak at a bill signing that Governor Lamont was planning to do in my hometown of New London.

The bill that the Governor was going to sign was about Juneteenth, which is a day that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. It was recognized as a federal holiday in June of last year, and the state legislature passed a bill recently that would make Juneteenth a state holiday too. The holiday is observed on June 19th. 

I was honored when Representative Nolan asked me to speak at the bill signing. I wrote my speech and went to the event, which was held at the Waterfront Park in New London. Everyone there was so nice to me and gave me tips on how to give my speech.


I spoke in front of the crowd about what Juneteenth is, some of the history around the holiday, and the need for students to learn about the importance of the holiday. I also got to go onto the Amistad ship (behind me in the video).

*****

Note from the staff of the Connecticut's Kid Governor program: The Amistad carried Africans who had been captured and sold into slavery in the 1830s. On one of the voyages of the Amistad, the imprisoned African men and children managed to take over the ship and sail it to Long Island Sound.  Eventually the Amistad and the people on board were brought to Connecticut, and the arguments over whether the Africans were legally enslaved were tried in Connecticut's courts. You can learn more about the Amistad story here, or you can visit Connecticut's Old State House (where the Kid Governor and Cabinet meet) to see the Courtroom where the trials began.

*****

Speaking at this bill signing was such an amazing experience, and I wouldn't change it for the world. You can learn more about the bill signing in these articles from the CT Mirror, The New London Day, and WSHU, or watch video coverage of the event by the Connecticut Network and WTNH




Olivia Campbell
2022 Kid Governor Cabinet 
Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School
New London

Monday, June 13, 2022

From the CTKG Cabinet: Satvik's Region 15 Poster Contest

Hello, 5th Graders of Connecticut! My name is Satvik and I am a member of the 2022 Connecticut Kid Governor's Cabinet with the platform of Climate Change.

I’d like to share a very exciting update with you all today! With the help of my school's (Long Meadow Elementary School) librarian, Mrs. O’Neill, and principal, Mr. Wermuth, I hosted a poster contest across the four elementary schools in Region 15 to spread awareness about climate change. I invited all of these elementary students to submit artwork that shows how kids can help our planet and all who live on it deal with climate change. 

I was really excited to hear that several students submitted beautifully designed artwork with a strong message to prevent global warming and climate change. In total, we received 138 posters. Wow, that’s a lot! Thank you so much to everyone who participated!

There were so many beautiful posters, so it was really hard to select only 4 winners, but thankfully I had the help of Mrs. O’Neill and Mr. Wermuth, and eventually we were able to narrow it down enough to the winners.

Without further ado, here are the winners and their amazing artwork!!

Gainfield Elementary School, Jameson B. 


Middlebury Elementary School, Jamie Q.


Pomperaug Elementary School, Hailey R.


Long Meadow Elementary School, Anika K.

Congratulations to all of the winners! 

Of course, you can’t have winners without prizes! I toured the region with my mom for a day, stopping at each elementary school to honor their winner during their school assembly. There, I announced each school’s winner, and presented them with a certificate of excellence to acknowledge their amazing work along with a T-shirt designed by myself that featured my platform name, Act Now for a Greener Earth!

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post and will get inspired by the artwork of the students of Region 15. I’d like to thank the librarians of all four elementary schools (Mrs. Mastropietro of Pomperaug Elementary, Mrs. Robinson of Middlebury Elementary, Mrs. Schwenger of Gainfield Elementart, and Mrs. O’Neill of Long Meadow Elementary) for spreading the word about the contest and encouraging so many students to participate! A special shout out also goes to my principal, Mr. Wermuth, for his help in this process. Thank you everyone! Together, we can act now for a greener Earth!

Satvik Nog
2022 Kid Governor Cabinet 
Southbury
Long Meadow Elementary School

Saturday, June 11, 2022

From the CTKG Cabinet: Olivia at the State Capitol!

A note from the staff of the Connecticut's Kid Governor® program:

On April 26th, Connecticut's Kid Governor Makhi Ettienne-Modeste and his Cabinet were invited to visit the State Capitol building in Hartford, Connecticut. Makhi, Brian, Elizabeth, Madelyn, Olivia, and Satvik (and their families) had the opportunity to take a tour of the State Capitol with the League of Women Voters, met with Governor Ned Lamont in his office, did a television interview with Dennis House for his "This Week in Connecticut" program on WTNH, were introduced on the floor of the House of Representatives, met with their legislators for one-on-one meetings, visited with Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, and took a tour of the State Supreme Court and Museum of Connecticut History.  

Today's write-up from Olivia is the final post in the series recapping the Cabinet's visit to the Capitol. You can check out posts from Makhi and the rest of the Cabinet about their visit to the Capitol at the links below:

Brian

Makhi

Satvik

Maddy

Elizabeth

*****

Hello 5th graders of Connecticut! My name is Olivia and I am a member of the 2022 Connecticut Kid Governor's Cabinet with the platform of Child Food Insecurity.

A few weeks ago, I got to visit the State Capitol with Kid Governor Makhi and the rest of the Cabinet. It was an exciting and busy day. We began our day with a meeting at the offices of The Connecticut Democracy Center to go over the day's itinerary. We were told that we would be going to the Capitol building, the Legislative Office Building, and the Supreme Court.


After leaving The Connecticut Democracy Center, we went over to the State Capitol, which was right across the street, and took some pictures.

After that, we got to go inside the State Capitol and take a tour of the Legislative Office Building and Capitol with a tour guide from the League of Women Voters. Later that day we were even introduced on the floor of the House of Representatives Chamber. I got a picture in Representative Anthony Nolan's chair.  Representative Nolan is one of my legislators who represents me in the General Assembly, and he showed me how legislators could vote "yes" or "no" on bills in the legislature.
I also took some photos with Representative Nolan

I got to meet other people too. I met with Governor Ned Lamont, Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, and I sat down with my Senator, Paul Formica.

It was a really fun day! We got to see our government in action, and I wouldn't trade that day for anything.

Olivia Campbell
2022 Kid Governor Cabinet 
Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School
New London

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

From the CTKG Cabinet: Elizabeth at the State Capitol!

Hello 5th graders of Connecticut! My name is Elizabeth and I am a member of the 2022 Connecticut Kid Governor's Cabinet with the platform of Climate Change.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit the State Capitol with my fellow Cabinet members! I had a great time and learned so much about the Capitol, the history of Connecticut, and all the people who work at our Capitol and Legislative Office Building.  I am going to tell you all about our day! My favorite things that we did were:

  1. Meeting Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Bysiewicz! It was really cool to see their offices and hear their advice! 

  2. Touring the State Capitol! We had a fun time seeing the different parts of the Capitol. Did you know that there is a tunnel connecting the State Capitol to the Legislative Office Building? It was cool to walk through it! There is so much beautiful artwork and lots of history in the State Capitol.
  3. Meeting with our legislators! We had a great opportunity to meet the legislators who represent us and hear all the great advice they had! I met with Speaker of the House Matt Ritter and Representative Julio Concepcion. I had a great time meeting them and learning about their job. They even gave me a citation from the General Assembly!
Elizabeth with Speaker Ritter receiving a citation from the General Assembly 

We spent the entire day walking around the Capitol and learning about everything there. It was a lot of walking, but it was worth it to see everything and learn so much. We were recognized on the floor of the House of Representatives. It was awesome to see all the representatives and watch how things work in our legislative branch of government. 

We were also interviewed by WTNH 8 reporter Dennis House! It was not my first time being interviewed because I was also interviewed on Doors to Hope and Healing hosted by Jaqueline Ford, but it was still an amazing experience! At the end of the day we visited the Connecticut Supreme Court! We had a private tour, and at the museum we saw the actual Charter from the Charter Oak Tree! At the Connecticut Supreme Court there is a library, the court, and a museum

One of the most important parts of my visit was to give letters to Speaker Ritter, Representative Concepcion, and Governor Lamont. I wrote these letters in support of House Bill 5285. The proposed bill would make it mandatory to teach about climate change it schools next year. I found out recently that the bill was passed as part of another bill! I was so excited to hear that it passed! I think it is really important that this generation learns about climate change because we will be the ones in charge ten years from now and we need to understand what is happening to our planet. 

We had an amazing day and I’m glad I could share it with you! See you again soon!

Elizabeth Becker 
2022 Kid Governor Cabinet 
Noah Webster Microsociety Magnet School
Hartford

My Tips for Caring for Pets in the Heat

Hello everyone, I am Makhi Ettienne-Modeste, your  2022 Connecticut's Kid Governor . Welcome to my new blog post! Are you having a fun s...