Toffolon Student Recognized For Participation In Connecticut “Kid Governor” Race
Posted on 05/26/2023
Louis Toffolon Elementary School fifth grader Isabella “Bella” Peters was recognized on May 24th, for her participation as Toffolon’s primary candidate for the Connecticut Kid Governor election this past fall, according to Toffolon faculty member, Susan Fabrizio.

The Kid Governor program for fifth graders was created by the Connecticut Democracy Center at Connecticut’s Old State House. The program, which coincides with the November Election Day each year, provides the opportunity for schools in Connecticut to enter one fifth grade candidate into a statewide election that fellow  fifth graders across Connecticut vote in, and ultimately elect the next year’s “Kid Governor” who for the 2023 year is Elisavet Mendez of Monroe, Connecticut.

Toffolon’s Bella Peters, with the assistance and  support of her  fifth grade classmates and teacher Susan Fabrizio, began the process to participate in the Kid Governor race as a candidate last fall and all of the collaborative work  was done as a classroom project.  Isabella’s campaign platform focused on “student homelessness”  with goals to organize a donation month for students to fill goody bags including hygiene products for students experiencing homelessness, create a basket of school supplies that can be donated / gifted to students in need, and create a buddy system to welcome new or returning students to make them feel welcome. The Toffolon Student Council members assisted in making posters and organizing the donation initiative.
“I want to support students who are experiencing homelessness in our state. I think not having a home or not having enough food can make a student feel distraught and sad. Another reason this is important is that these students need to feel like they have a voice in their school community. Educating other fifth graders about this issue will help us all understand how to help our friends and classmates experiencing homelessness,” explained Bella in her “issue statement” as part of her candidate  documentation, which was an extensive collection of  information that she was required to put together with her nomination.  Bella and her team of student helpers also spent a great deal of time planning and organizing the community service initiatives noted in her campaign.
Although ultimately, Bella was not selected as this year’s Kid Governor, her nominee “poster” is included in the traveling “Meet the Candidates” exhibit, which travels to schools and libraries across Connecticut. The exhibit was on display at Toffolon School during the week of May 22nd, and on May 25th, a ceremony was held at Toffolon in front of the exhibit,  to recognize Bella’s efforts as Toffolon’s candidate, and she received her official candidate certificate for participating in the program. 

“We are so proud of Bella’s work for CT Kid Governor and her classmates who supported her through the nomination and campaign process.  Having this program provided our students a unique classroom learning experience. The lessons included access to voting history lessons, the state branches of government, as well recognizing important community issues where they can make a real difference. It has been a wonderful experience for our fifth graders who have learned the value of collaboration and citizenship as key components for their future success,” said Fabrizio.
“We are so lucky to have Mrs. Fabrizio leading our participation in CT Kid Governor; without her, students like Bella would not have the chance to shine so brightly and share their ideas with our community and state. We are incredibly impressed with Bella's plan to help those who are experiencing homelessness and in her dedication to continue on with her project even though she did not win the nomination - a sign of true leadership and kindness! We look forward to seeing how Bella continues to positively impact the world and to many more years of participating in the CT Kid Governor program,” commented Toffolon Principal, Alicia Atterrato.

“CT Kid Governor is a terrific program that allows our students to be mindful of a societal area of concern, and to identify needs related to that concern. They must then be innovative in generating possible solutions, collaborative as a member of a project team, communicative with others to share ideas toward a solution, and resilient enough to determine a solution and then implement new ideas. These qualities align perfectly with our Plainville Portrait of a Graduate, allowing authentic and meaningful ways for students to demonstrate learning, while working to support a great cause. I appreciate Mrs. Fabrizio’s dedicated leadership of this beneficial program, and commend Bella and all of the students who participated in this great program,” noted Superintendent of Schools, Steven LePage.