Winnemucca resident Hannah Haas, age nine, is a finalist for the 2020 Strong Start Governor of Nevada program.
Winnemucca resident Hannah Haas, age nine, is a finalist for the 2020 Strong Start Governor of Nevada program.
Winnemucca resident Hannah Haas, age nine, is a finalist for the 2020 Strong Start Governor of Nevada program in which there will be a statewide Strong Start Governor election and online event with activities on Saturday, Oct. 17. 

Kids from the community are invited to participate, which entails an online event on Saturday and after registering their kids for the event online, parents can pick up the swag/activity supply bags from the library on Friday from 9-5. 

Parents can register for their kids to participate, listen to the speeches and vote online at During the event there will be a raffle for a Chrome Book and other prizes. 

For the first time this year, the 13th annual state event was open to families from all over the state in an online format due to COVID-19, making the event accessible to communities throughout Nevada. 

The program was open to fourth and fifth grade students throughout the state and submissions were open earlier this year. 

To apply to be a candidate, students filled out a questionnaire in which they talked about the issues that are important to them and how they want to help other kids in their community, as well as share why they love their community. 

The students work with a Strong Start representative to develop a campaign, make signs and write a speech in which they give on the day of the virtual event. The campaign also teaches kids about the voting process.

Lesley Haas, Hannah’s mom, said that it has been a great experience for Hannah and that the Sonoma Heights Elementary School and the Humboldt County Library have gotten involved in the process and supported the program. 

Lesley said that Hannah has also been incorporated into helping with the school’s anti-bullying program for October since that is the platform and topic in which Hannah hopes to make a positive difference in. 

The school made “Vote for Hannah” posters around the school in the hallways and the Humboldt County Library in Winnemucca will be a pickup location for the program activity bags which can be picked up Friday for students around the community who are participating. 

If chosen to be a Strong Start Governor, Hannah will be able to work with a Strong Start Representative for the next year to develop programming and solutions to aid in anti-bullying in the community. 

Lesley said that Hannah chose the anti-bullying platform because last year there was a boy in her class who was getting bullied and she wanted to be able to help and work with the schools and community to prevent bullying with a buddy program facilitated by teachers and counselors at school.

Lesley said that Hannah has learned first-hand the importance of being prepared and practicing her speech for her campaign throughout the program process. 

Being a Strong Start Governor allows students the chance to learn about basic policy and campaigning skills in a fun and engaging way while allowing them to interact with their community. 

The current election/voting for the program has been modified to meet the state’s COVID-19 standards. 

The annual Step Up For Kids events around the country bring together thousands of people to show widespread support for investments in children and families focusing on issues such as access to early care and learning programs, access to afterschool programs, poverty, childhood abuse and neglect and healthcare.