Connect with Other Projects and Groups
As you read in “How to Work with Your Classmates and Friends,” it takes a team of people to make a difference on an issue; no one can do it alone. As you work on an action plan, research other groups that are also working to make a difference on your issue. Contact those groups or projects to see if you can team up to increase the number of voices working to make a difference.
- Kid Governor Spotlight: 2019 Connecticut’s Kid Governor Cabinet Member Jason Hayes ran on a platform of supporting children’s literacy. One goal of his was to install Little Free Libraries. After he built a library at this school, he connected with a local project to install multiple libraries and is now helping to promote literacy citywide.
Design a Hands-On Project
Is there an activity or project that kids can do to support your community issue? Can students do a community clean up for your platform of too much litter in parks? Can they distribute messages of kindness to students to tackle the problem of too much bullying? Think about simple projects that people of all ages can do to support your issue, no matter where they live!
- Kid Governor Spotlight: 2019 New Hampshire’s Kid Governor Lola Giannelli ran on the platform Helping Animals. She encouraged communities to make dog toys from old t-shirts to support her platform to end animal cruelty. She made a tutorial video to teach people how to make the toys.
- Kid Governor Spotlight: 2016 Connecticut’s Kid Governor Elena Tipton ran on the platform Campaign for Kindness. She asked students to designate, decorate, or build “Buddy Benches” on their local playgrounds. She created a guide to help students do this project.
Design Posters to Raise Awareness
Posters can be good tools for educating your school or community about an issue. Some awareness posters have pictures, some have information and words, and some have both! As part your action plan, you might decide to create a poster about your issue to distribute, or you might invite others to design their own posters. Remember: whether you are hanging posters in your school or in the community, you must ask permission before hanging!
- Kid Governor Spotlight: 2018 Connecticut’s Kid Governor Megan Kasperowski
ran on the platform Stronger Than Cancer: Lifting Spirits & Changing Lives. She coordinated a statewide poster contest inviting students to submit artwork that raised awareness of cancer. The winning designs were distributed to schools statewide for their “Hat Day” awareness events.
- Kid Governor Spotlight: 2019 Connecticut’s Kid Governor Ella Briggs ran on theplatform Pride-Hope-Love. To raise awareness of the need for adoptions of LGBTQ+ youth, she coordinated a statewide poster contest with the Department of Children and Families. Students were invited to submit artwork that answered the question: “What does Pride-Hope-Love mean to your family?” The winning designs were used to promote the adoption of LGBTQ+ kids in foster care.
Plan a Collection Drive
One way to make a difference around an issue may be to hold a collection drive. A collection drive invites your classmates, teachers, and/or the community to donate items that will help others. They are a good way to increase awareness for your issue and generate support from others.
Kid Governor Spotlight: 2019 Connecticut’s Kid Governor Cabinet Member Reilly Bard ran on a platform of supporting kids in the foster care system. To support their platform, she collected toiletry and personal care items from classmates, family members, and friends to donate to local family centers.
- Kid Governor Spotlight: 2017 Connecticut’s Kid Governor Jessica Brocksom ran on the platform Helping Animals: Those Without a Voice. She encouraged students to hold supply drives in their schools to support their local pound or shelter and created a planning worksheet to help.
Working with Elected Officials
Every year, registered voters cast ballots to select people to represent us in our government. Those who are elected are called “elected officials.” Depending on the year, voters may be voting for local officials (selectmen, councilors, mayors, board of education members, etc.), state officials (state representatives, state senators, the governor, etc.), or federal officials (congresspeople, the president, etc.). Elected officials are responsible for acting on behalf of the people they represent and making decisions based on what those people want to see changed. We can tell our elected officials what issues we care about and ask them to support our causes. Visit the “Writing to Elected Officials” page to learn more about contacting your elected officials!
- Kid Governor Spotlight: 2019 New Hampshire’s Kid Governor Lola Giannelli ran
on the platform Helping Animals. She is supporting a statewide bill about purchasing animals in pet stores, which was proposed by a New Hampshire State Representative. Lola attended a hearing to share her support of the bill.
- Kid Governor Spotlight: 2017 Connecticut’s Kid Governor Jessica Brocksom ran on the platform Helping Animals: Those Without a Voice. She worked with her State Representative to start a Heat Kills awareness campaign in her town. She documented her process so other students could start Heat Kills campaigns in their towns.