Fifth Grader Suzy Brand to Serve as 2020 NH's Kid Governor

November 26, 2019

By Alexis Soucy

The New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) and New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education (NHICE) are excited announce the winner of the second annual Statewide Election of New Hampshire's Kid Governor® is fifth grader Suzy Brand of Sant Bani School in Sanbornton, N.H. Brand says she will use her yearlong term as the 2020 New Hampshire’s Kid Governor (NHKG) to raise money and gather donations for outdoor gear, share outdoor challenges on her blog, and work on a bill to get students more time outdoors during the school day.

Kid Governor® came to New Hampshire in 2018, when the NHIOP partnered with the NHICE to bring the national award-winning civics program for fifth graders to the Granite State.

The program immerses students in state government, campaigning, and civic participation through a real-life election timed to coincide with Election Day in November. Each school can nominate one candidate through a short three-minute video centered on a community issue and a three-point action plan.

In Brand’s campaign video, she shared her passion for children’s health and time outdoors. 

“I want to thank everybody who helped me come this far,” Brand said after learning she won the election.

Over 1000 New Hampshire fifth graders voted in the 2019 Statewide Election, more than tripling last year’s participation. Fourteen schools nominated students for NHKG, up from three last year, 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 Ameya (college and career aspirations), Calvin (pollinator loss), J.T. (saving sea turtles from pollution), Kasey (bullying), Taina (Catie’s Closet), and Patrick (underage tobacco use). These students will serve as New Hampshire’s Kid Executive Council in 2020.

Brand will succeed 2019 NHKG Lola Giannelli after an official inauguration ceremony in January. As New Hampshire’s first Kid Governor, Giannelli has worked to end animal cruelty in the state by raising money for the humane society, working with legislators to pass a bill banning the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores, and attending events related to her platform.

Kid Governor was created by the Connecticut Democracy Center (CTDC) in 2015. The program expanded to Oregon in 2017, and New Hampshire is now the third state affiliate. Free toolkits, resources, and lesson plans are tailored to each state’s government and Constitution and are available to all fifth grade classrooms.