News – Social Studies

Connecticut’s Kid Governor 2015 Program Announced
Connecticut’s Kid Governor 2015 is a program that will engage 5th graders in real-life lessons about our government, how it works and the importance of civic engagement…all from the comfort of the classroom! The program comes with easy-to-use, Frameworks-based teaching modules that can be used to guide students through the election of Connecticut’s first kid governor OR to run a candidate from their class or school.
Timed to coincide with the 2015 local elections, invited schools from around the state will be eligible to enter one 5th-grade candidate into a race that other 5th graders will vote in.
Kid Governor candidates will submit campaign videos to Connecticut’s Old State House that outline why they want to be governor, their leadership qualities, community issues that they would like to solve, and a three-point plan that other 5th graders can follow to make a difference around a specific issue. Classes will watch the videos created by the top candidates, determine whose platform they want to support, and vote for the candidate they think can help them make a difference. The winning student will serve as Connecticut’s Kid Governor for a year, taking part in programs at Connecticut’s Old State House, encourage students across the state to take action on their selected issue through video messages, and more!
Brief 30-minute videos on the three branches of government, on how elections and voting work, and on how to create a campaign platform will be available at www.kidgovernor.com →; these videos are designed to prepare students for the campaign and election. These lessons can be easily incorporated into curriculum and are aligned with the new Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks. The team at Connecticut’s Old State House will be available to answer any questions teachers have throughout the program. A meeting will take place explaining how the program works on Wednesday, September 23 at 4:30: details to follow. The Old State House is very excited to launch this program, and is inviting teachers and students to participate, either in just the voting process or by putting forth a candidate and voting.
Connecticut’s Kid Governor 2015 program is free to all Connecticut 5th grade classes and home school groups. For additional information, contact Brian Cofrancesco, Head of Education at Connecticut’s Old State House, at (860) 522-6755, extension 28 or at
Gilder Lehrman Teacher of American History Award
Each year the Gilder Lehrman Institute sponsors a Teacher of the Year Award for teachers of American history. This year, the award will be given to a teacher in grades K-5. If you know of an excellent elementary school teacher who teaches American history, please considering nominating him/her for this award. A cash prize is awarded to the state winner; all state winners also go on to the national competition.

For more information about the award, go to: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/programs-exhibitions/national-history-teacher-year-nomination-form →

In Freedom Production Available to Connecticut Schools Next Year
In Freedom is an original musical that follows a couple’s escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Through song and dance, this interactive show helps students explore issues that resonate today: slavery, freedom, courage, compassion, and the dynamic relationship between men and women. In Freedom tells the story of a couple setting out into the unknown, following secret signs, fighting their fears, and struggling to trust those who have also risked much to help them. The show’s musical roots go from gospel to African rhythms to traditional, always expressing hope and the joy of freedom. A booking of In Freedom can provide learning materials for before and after performances, and can help students and teachers to understand the universality of the show’s themes, delving as deeply into these issues as the developmental level of students allows.
Each booking includes a 50 minute musical performance, a “talk back” with cast members, and learning materials for students. The ideal grade range for the show is upper elementary through early high school.
For additional information, contact Alan Kramer at Remarkable Productions LLC (Phone: 860-304-8762; Email: ).