Kids Speak and Kids Court History

In 1993, then UConn Law School students, Cheryl Sharp and Rae Thiesfield-Vann, developed and launched the first Kids Court Competition in the Greater Hartford area to educate students about diversity and civil and human rights issues. 

After receiving approval from the Governor’s Office in 1996, Attorneys Sharp and Thiesfield-Vann co-chaired the first statewide Kids Court Competition and Kids Speak event. The competition, sponsored by the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, successfully ran for five straight years, allowing thousands of students to participate. 

In 2000, Kids Speak and Kids Court was selected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as one of the best practice award winners, and received the “Simply the Best” award. Kids Court has been featured on Fox 61 News and in local papers throughout the state. Kids Court returned to Connecticut in April 2011 and Governor Dannel Malloy provided a brief address to students who participated. The 2019 Kids Court promises to be exciting, with several new schools participating in the event.