Oregon’s Kid Governor® (ORKG) is a statewide civics program for 5th graders managed by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office. It is an affiliate of Kid Governor®, an award-winning civics program created by the Connecticut Democracy Center (CTDC).
Timed to coincide with Election Day in November, ORKG offers each elementary school in Oregon the opportunity to enter one student candidate into a statewide election that other 5th graders vote in. Classes can nominate a classmate to run for office, vote in the election or both. Toolkits of in-class lessons, guide teachers and students through the program.
ORKG candidates work with their classmates to create a campaign video outlining:
- Why they want to be ORKG
- Their leadership qualities and skills
- A community issue that they want to address and why it’s important
- A 3-point plan that will help 5th graders across Oregon make a difference on that issue
From the pool of nominees, a selection committee will choose the final 7 candidates and the Secretary of State’s Office will post the videos online. During Election Week, registered classes watch and analyze the campaign videos and vote for the platform and candidate they want to support. The candidate with the most votes statewide is then named Oregon Kid Governor.
The winning candidate serves a one-year term with all the benefits and responsibilities of being Kid Governor. These duties include: sharing their issue statewide with constituents, writing posts for an official blog, and meeting and speaking with students and adults across the state, participating in programs and events with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, and having a special office in Salem.
For more about how your 5th grade class can participate in ORKG, please visit the “How to Participate” page.