For The Children Weekly Column

“Kid Governor®” Program to Boost 5th Grade Civics

GOVERNORS, PAST AND FUTURE – Five Oklahoma governors and their significant others came together to support Oklahoma’s entry into the national Kid Governor® program. Hosted by Gov. David Walters and his First Lady Rhonda (second row left), the fundraising event was held May 10. Joining the Walters were Gov. George & Donna Nigh (first row, seated), Gov. Frank & Cathy Keating (second row, center), Gov. Brad & Kim Henry (second row, right), and Gov. Mary Fallin and Wade Christensen (first row, standing). Current Oklahoma Kid Governor Charlotte Anderson (far left) and former Kid Governor Luke Peterson (far right) also attended the event. – Photo by Fran Kozakowski

May 16, 2022

“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 – Last week, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy had the honor of attending an event hosted by former Gov. David and Rhonda Walters, with special guests that included former Govs. George and Donna Nigh, Frank and Cathy Keating, Brad and Kim Henry, and Mary Fallin and Wade Christensen.

This event kicked off the Kid Governor® program to help improve fifth grade students’ understanding of civics, voting, the role of elected officials, and how they can have a voice.

The Kid Governor® civics program, a project of the Connecticut Democracy Project, will provide teachers with grade-level lesson plans; OICA is working to prepare a positive video to encourage these youth to understand that they can make a difference by voting when they are old enough, and with how the process works.

The students will also select a nominee from their schools to become candidates for Kid Governor® of Oklahoma. One-minute campaign videos made locally will be used by a committee to narrow the candidates to seven finalists. The videos will be sent back to the schools with ballots for each fifth grader to vote for Kid Governor®.

The winner will be spokesperson for OICA on youth issues, and the finalists serve as the “Kid Cabinet,” engaging with different promotional work on issues. We will work with the Oklahoma Municipal League to see the nominees from each school can work with the mayors of their communities to be “Youth Mayor for a Day.”  We hope these steps will encourage young people to pay attention to what is happening in their community, our state, and the entire nation, encouraging them to participate in other youth programs as they grow older.

OICA also is working with Literati Press, an Oklahoma City-based company, to produce a comic book about how the State Capitol operates through the eyes of pages, the youth selected by lawmakers to work for a week in the building during legislative sessions.

The characters from this will be the two cartoon superheroes on the logo for our annual Heroes Ball. “Dyna-Bit” and “Mighty Mia,” the two superheroes, assist “Paige the Page” to ensure all the work is done. The comic will promote the Kid Governor® program including eight pages of fun activities. Our goal is to raise enough funds to print a comic book for every fifth grader who participates in the program.

OICA is underwriting the cost of the program to ensure that there is no cost to local schools, and we are extremely thankful for the involvement of the former governors who helped with the event. While we raised more than $30,000 with donations and pledges, it is only about half the annual cost for the program. We will continue to seek funds through donations and grants to ensure this program is a success.

If you are a fifth-grade teacher and want to have your class participate, please reach out to me at or at OICA’s office number (405) 892-9205. If you are interested in being a donor or sponsor, you can also contact me about ways to get involved with the initiative. More information about the Kid Governor® civics program can be found on our website at or on our social media pages.