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October 10, 2019

Edward M. Kennedy Institute to Host Next Generation of Leaders at Kid Convention

Full day of free, hands-on experiences will allow children to learn about making a difference in their communities

BOSTON – On Saturday, October 19, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate will welcome young visitors and their families to enjoy a wide array of engaging opportunities at Kid Convention. With generous support from the Martin Richard Foundation, this full day of hands-on experiences will allow children age 5 and up to learn about the legislative process, government, and the importance of making a difference in their communities.

“Kid Convention is a very special day at the Institute,” said Sarah Yezzi, director of education, family and youth programming. “The day is designed for the youngest of the Institute’s visitors with customized programs that demonstrate how participating in democracy can truly be fun.”

Two Kid Convention sessions will be offered on October 19: one at 10 a.m. and another at 12 p.m. with a range of activities included in each. Highlights include What Makes A Good Leader?, an interactive game held in the Institute’s replica Senate Chamber in which kids work together to discuss the qualities of a good leader, identify important issues in a local election, and see their ideas come to life. Staff at the Kennedy Institute become the candidates that the kids envisioned and discuss the issues suggested for debate.

While kids may not be able to vote in the upcoming municipal elections, they can fill out special ballots during Kid Convention at the Institute’s polling station. There will be a Presidential Pet Primary where young people can gear up for the 2020 election by casting a vote for whichever presidential candidate’s pet they believe should get the nomination for PPOTUS (Presidential Pet of the United States).

All Kid Convention, participants are invited to consider whether to hit the campaign trail in a scavenger hunt that will introduce attendees to some of the Institute’s exhibits and to the process of running for office. All participants are invited to create a campaign button or poster, make a stump speech, and connect with their potential voters.

“The Institute takes pride in welcoming young people who are interested in making a difference in their communities and increasing their own civic engagement. When people of all ages get more involved in the democratic process, it becomes stronger,” said Yezzi.

By producing this collection of kid-friendly opportunities, the Institute continues its commitment to civic education. While visiting the Institute throughout the year, visitors of all ages have the opportunity to take on the role of senator for a day, view unique exhibits, and engage with immersive activities and programs.

Offered at no charge to families, October 19 marks the fourth Kid Convention at the Institute’s Columbia Point location on the University of Massachusetts Boston campus.

About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, civic education organization in Boston envisioned by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Through a range of exhibits, interactive educational offerings, and topical programs, the Institute engages students and visitors in a conversation about the essential role each person plays in our democracy and in our society. Learn more via


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