For The Children Weekly Column

Kid Governor® Inaugurated, Lawmakers Return to State Capitol

February 6, 2023

“For the Children” Weekly Column by Joe Dorman, OICA CEO


Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117


OKLAHOMA CITY – On Monday, February 6, the Oklahoma Legislature convened for regular recurring business, which will run over the next four months.

We heard from Gov. Kevin Stitt with his proposed agenda for the upcoming year, and we saw the lawmakers conduct the “first reading” of the more than 3,000 bills submitted for consideration in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the State Senate. I will go into more detail next week with what was brought forth.

Over the past week and into Monday, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) also held our annual conference to educate Oklahomans about the legislative process, called the Legislative Learning Lab. The attendees have provided glowing remarks about the content and the ease of understanding the topics.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we will be able to share each topic as a separate video for people to watch at no cost. These will be posted at within the next two weeks. We also hope that teachers will be able to use these segments to augment their lesson plans in schools for students to better understand specific nuances of the process.

If you would like for one of the OICA team to present on a topic regarding the legislative process or provide advocacy tips to a civic organization in your area, please contact our office at or call us at (405) 236-5437.

In the first week of March, OICA will visit Enid to speak to their Rotary club. We will be joined by our newly-inaugurated Kid Governor® of Oklahoma, Mila O’Brien. Mila is a student at Enid schools’ Prairie View Elementary and we are looking forward to her first speech as the 2023 Kid Governor®, where she will share her own “State of the Children” of Oklahoman and present her ideas for what will help improve the lives of youth.

The OICA Kid Governor® program, in our seventh year but the first year as part of a national collaboration of states under the Connecticut Democracy Project, has been a resounding success. In joining with the affiliation, the parent organization has provided lesson plans at no cost to 5th-grade teachers around Oklahoma to help them better present civics instruction to their students.

OICA has supplemented this with copies of a comic book we have produced, Mighty Mia and Dyna-Bit Save Democracy, which helps young people understand the terminology of governmental words, along with showing through a fun story how young people can help solve problems facing our state.

Teachers can also go one step further and receive lesson plans explaining campaigns in terms the youth will understand and have a student from their class compete to be the next Kid Governor® of Oklahoma. The program will commence again in August 2023 with the beginning of the new school year.

I also want to thank outgoing two-term Kid Governor® Charlotte Anderson of Edmond for being a stellar leader over the past two years through the difficult times of the pandemic. Charlotte has inspired people to get outdoors and to look for ways for young people to engage in the political process, even including voting. I expect great things in the future from this young lady!

If you know of a 5th-grade class that would benefit from this program, please reach out to your local school to have them inquire with OICA about how to get involved.