2021 New Hampshire’s Kid Governor sworn in during inauguration ceremony

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Justice Hicks administers the oath of office to Charlie Olsen, his hand on the family Bible. Courtesy Photo

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education and the NH Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College are pleased to announce the inauguration of Charlie Olsen, winner of the state-wide 5th-grade election for NH’s Kid Governor 2021. Charlie of Auburn Village School was selected among 14 candidates by over 1,000 of his peers throughout the state.

Now in its third year, NH’s Kid Governor  curriculum, ​transformed by NH’s Kid Governor State Coordinator, Luane Genest, to accommodate the remote learning environment due to the pandemic, reached over 1,000 5th graders in all 10 New Hampshire counties. ​Since its inception, over 2,400 NH 5th graders have benefitted from this civic learning opportunity.

Charlie ran on a platform to address the problem of childhood depression and has attracted state and national attention, including an interview request from NBC’s Kate Snow host of The Nightly News, scheduled to air on​ January 31 at 6 p.m.

Charlie’s campaign video can be viewed below.

Charlie was inaugurated at the NH Supreme Court on January 29, 2021. Representatives from each branch of New Hampshire’s state government were present, including Governor Chris Sununu. Charlie will serve a one-year term, succeeding NH’s Kid Governor 2020, Suzy Brand of Concord, who promoted the benefits of additional time outdoors during the school day. NH’s Kid Governor 2019, Lola Gianelli of Nashua, the first NH’s Kid Governor, advocated for the humane treatment of animals and an end to puppy mills.

“NH’s Kid Governor educates 5th graders about NH state government, the NH Constitution, leadership, community issues, research skills, public speaking, campaigns, elections, and the history of voting rights — all of that, while being fun, meaningful, and engaging. Teachers appreciate the accessibility of the 6-week curriculum and report their students are excited and motivated as they exercise their democratic muscles. We are proud to make this happen so powerfully this year, in a time of crisis,” said NH Institute for Civics Education’s Executive Director, Martha Madsen.

“Tell your teacher friends about this amazing civics education program…I am on the edge of my seat to watch this program flourish,” shared First Lady of NH, Valerie Sununu.

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Governor Chris Sununu poses outside the NH Supreme Court with Charlie and his family, following the inauguration ceremony. Courtesy Photo

About New Hampshire’s Kid Governor

New Hampshire’s Kid Governor® (NHKG®) is led by the NH Institute for Civics Education and the NH Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College and is a state affiliate of Kid Governor®, an award-winning civics program created by the Connecticut Democracy Center (CTDC). The free, in-class program teaches fifth-graders about state government, elections, and the importance of civic engagement through a real-life election that’s timed to coincide with Election Day in November. NHKG inspires students to be active participants in our government, and registered voters when they turn 18. For more information on New Hampshire’s Kid Governor, visit nh.kidgovernor.org. 

The NH Institute for Civics Education (NH Civics) sponsors other programs for students (the Mikva Challenge, Civics 603), provides free professional development for teachers, and offers public lectures. In addition, nhcivics.org contains a civics curriculum library with material created by NH teachers.

Founded in 2001, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College provides a nonpartisan forum for discussion and debate. It seeks to develop programming, and to foster scholarship and dialogue, encompassing a diverse range of political topics, opinions and issues. The Institute serves as a resource for students, scholars, politicians, and the general public.

The video below showcases the inauguration event, including the swearing-in of Charlie and his Kid Executive Council, speeches and congratulations from each branch of New Hampshire’s state government, and a poem reading by the First Lady of NH, Valerie Sununu. 

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