Michigan's youngest make their voices heard, writing governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer about issues that matter to them.
Although they can’t vote yet, K-12 students across the state are making their voices heard. Saginaw Valley State University’s “Write Your Future Michigan Governor” campaign resulted in over 1,500 letters. These messages expressed Michigan kids’ hopes, dreams, and fears for the state to governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer.
Helen Raica-Klotz is the director of SVSU’s Writing Center. She said kids are more engaged than many realize.
“Teachers in our region are really working very hard to keep children active in contemporary events,” she said, “Based on these postcards, they’re very aware of what’s going on in the world around them. I think it also is important because it’s teaching children that can’t vote that they have a voice and their ideas are worth listening to.”
Raica-Klotz said students covered a diverse range of topics in their letters.
"They talked a great deal about school bullying, the Flint water crisis, protecting the environment, particularly the Great Lakes, homelessness, and school shootings.”
Raica-Klotz said more children participated in the campaign than expected. She said the letter writing campaign wasn't originally intended to be just for children, but teachers across the state ran with the idea in their classrooms. Raica-Klotz said the letters, coming from 18 school districts, will be sent to Gretchen Whitmer following her inauguration in January.