Introducing Friends of the Institute

As a tribute to Senator Kennedy's 47-year career, gifts of $47 and up recognize you as a Friend of the Institute.

Public Programs

Kid Convention 2018

Free with Advance Registration​
Young people in chamber with border

Saturday, October 20, 2018, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Kids: It’s your chance to choose.
• What issues in your community are most important to you?
• What qualities should candidates running for office possess?
• What can we do in our communities to create a better world?

It’s up to you to answer these questions at the Institute’s 2018 Kid Convention.

Ahead of November’s elections, families are invited to join the Institute for a day of special programs that educate youngsters ages 5 and older about the importance of leadership in government. Fun and engaging hands-on activities will help young people learn about the legislative process and the importance of making one’s voice heard.

The Polls are Open. While kids may not be able to vote in this year’s midterm elections, they can cast their ballots in the Institute’s polling station.

Be a candidate! Be an advocate! All Kid Convention participants can create a campaign button to announce their run for office or to support an issue they care about.

What Makes A Good Leader? In this interactive game held in the Institute’s Senate Chamber, kids work together to discuss the qualities of a good leader, identify important topics, and see their ideas come to life. Actors become the candidates that the kids envisioned and discuss the issues suggested for debate.

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” All visitors can take in the new “A Seat at the Table” exhibit and explore the career of U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and the importance of representation in our democracy. On the day of Kid Convention, all attendees can participate in the Institute’s ongoing collaborative art initiative The Seat at the Table Project, too.

Do I Have A Right? Kid Convention welcomes iCivics! iCivics offers free and fun online games used by more than 5 million students around the country to learn about how our political systems work. Because iCivics knows civic life exists beyond school, it has launched the Democracy At Play civic challenge for families. Play Do I Have A Right?, and take on the role of a lawyer who specializes in constitutional law.

Special programs will be offered in two-hour scheduled sessions at 10 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Additional activities will be ongoing until 4:00 p.m. Please register in advance.

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute is happy to offer this program at no cost to families.

Register Here


The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities.


Registration opens no earlier than 9:30 AM.


The Edward M. Kennedy Institute strives to meet the needs of and be accessible to all of our visitors. We offer several options for assistance to visitors as listed on this page. Please reply to as promptly as possible to request Communication Access services.


The Edward M. Kennedy Institute frequently engages in photographing and recording programs and events for its own documentation and promotional purposes. Please notify a staff member or volunteer if you do not wish to be photographed or recorded during your visit.


Directions are on the Institute’s website. Parking is available in the EMK Institute lot and at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum.