Milford student named to 2023 Kid Governor's Cabinet

MILFORD — Liliana Magazine, a fifth grader at Meadowside Elementary School, hopes to make a difference in the world by reducing stress and anxiety through increased literacy.

As part of the the Connecticut Democracy Center's 2023 Kid Governor's Cabinet, she will get a chance to do just that this year. Liliana joins four other fifth graders in the cabinet, led by the 2023 Kid Governor Elisavet "Ellie" Mendez of Monroe.

"It's usually the adults who make a difference in the world, so it's an opportunity for a kid to make a difference," she said.

According to Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut's Kid Governor program empowers fifth graders to change the world. It is a ground-breaking approach to civics education, she says, and immerses students in an actual election for their state's kid governor, a fellow fifth grader, who will represent them during a one-year term of active leadership.

Kristin Magazine, Liliana's mother, said her daughter was "amazing."

"She's always been a kind kid, a doer, always wants to help, speaks so well, and is so passionate about lots of things, so I knew it would be a good fit for her," she said.

The school surprised Liliana with the announcement that she had been named to the cabinet, but her parents had known about the honor for about a week prior. Andrew Magazine said his daughter came to school and heard the announcement of the seven finalists for the title of Kid Governor.

"They snuck in cameras and recorded her reaction," said Kristin Magazine.

Every fifth grader who participates has to have a platform to run on. Liliana's was to make sure every student has access to literacy.

In her campaign video, Liliana described how 45 million people can't read above a fifth-grade level, which is a problem she wants to work to solve. One of the ideas she has to help with the problem is to create a YouTube channel for children with disabilities to hear books being read by other children.

"I feel that many kids watch YouTube and don't pick up a real book," she said. "But the idea to start a Youtube channel started during the pandemic because I was reading a lot, and I would record videos of me reading short books, and my mom would post them on Instagram."

Kristin Magazine said her daughter would do different voices for the other characters of the books when she was reading.

Liliana is also involved in the arts with dancing and singing, which her mother said was helpful when she was recording books during the pandemic and while filming her campaign YouTube video.

Liliana said she'd learned a lot during the process of being selected to the Kid Governor's Cabinet.

"There are so many things kids can do to make a difference," she said. "I also learned about how the election process worked."

Even though the cabinet is focused on helping Mendez's goal of reducing stress and anxiety, Liliana Magazine said she feels like she can help reach that goal through literacy.

"The kid governor believes in areas of the classroom kids can go to and take a break if they need it," Kristin Magazine added. "What Ellie wants to do works well with what Lily wants to do."