Fifth Grader Charlie Olsen of Auburn, NH to Serve as 2021 NH Kid Governor

December 17, 2020

By Ryan Heath '22

The New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) and New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education (NHICE) are pleased to announce the results of the third annual, state-wide 5th grade election for New Hampshire's Kid Governor®. Charlie Olsen of Auburn Village School, Auburn, N.H. was selected among 14 candidates by over 1,000 of his peers throughout the state. Charlie ran on a platform to address the problem of childhood depression and has attracted state, regional and national attention.

Olsen says he will use his yearlong term as the 2021 New Hampshire Kid Governor (NHKG) to raise money for children in need to get professional counseling and therapy, establish a mentoring system in order to support children, and create a social network to promote positivity in order to combat childhood depression.

In his campaign video, he shared his experiences with depression during the COVID-19 pandemic and offered ways to help fight the issue of childhood depression throughout the state. “I look forward to helping my class, and other kids’ classes too,” Olsen said after learning he won the election. “I also want to thank everyone that helped me with my video, and everyone that helped me come this far.” His campaign video can be viewed at: 2021 New Hampshire's Kid Governor Charlie.

Charlie will be inaugurated at the NH State House on January 22, 2021. He 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.

"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

For the second year in a row, over 1,000 fifth graders voted in the NHKG statewide election. Fourteen schools nominated students for NHKG, and the program’s advisory board used criteria to narrow the field down to seven candidates for fifth graders to vote on.

The other finalists and their platforms included Marek (climate change), Olivia (equity), Brie (reducing the costs of participating in youth sports), Matthew (hunger), Shayla (littering and the environment), and Grace (helping the homeless). These students will serve as New Hampshire’s Kid Executive Council in 2021.

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 lifelong agents of change, active participants in our government, and registered voters when they turn 18. Free toolkits, resources, and lesson plans are tailored to each state’s government and Constitution and are available to all fifth grade classrooms. For more information on New Hampshire’s Kid Governor, visit NH.KidGovernor.org.