Kids hang their wishes from tree

By Christina Killion Valdez

A safer Internet for kids, no one being judged by the color of their skin or nationality and stricter seat belt regulations are some of the wishes Rochester students have for the country.

Each child’s wish was written on a card and hung from a "Wish Tree" in the City Hall rotunda Wednesday during a kick-off ceremony for Kids Voting Rochester.

Kids Voting Rochester is an offshoot of a nationwide initiative called Kids Voting U.S.A. designed to help students and their parents become more active, informed and engaged citizens.


"We call it trickle-up democracy," said Judy Swenson, director of Kids Voting Rochester.

The program, in which all Rochester K-12 students are involved, gets students

discussing current issues and the candidates’ views on those issues.

In turn, the students discuss those issues with their parents and head to the polls together, Swenson said.

The program culminates Nov. 7 when the students vote on special Kids Voting ballots at their family’s designated precinct. In Rochester, 44 voting precincts and six townships will be staffed with Kids Voting volunteers, Swenson said.

To help kick off the

program, Mayor Ardell Brede proclaimed Wednesday as Kids Voting Day in Rochester and Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer spoke about the importance of voting. or

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