DOJ Announces National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest
The Montana Department of Justice and the Office of Public Instruction are working together to give Montana students the opportunity to participate in state and national poster contests which focus on the theme: “Bring Our Missing Children Home.”
“It’s only fitting that we’re calling attention to missing children today, which is nationally recognized as AMBER Alert Awareness Day,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “Since 2003, the Montana Department of Justice has issued 27 AMBER alerts. All 41 children involved were located; tragically, three of them were deceased. By involving students in this contest, we hope to make Montana children and their families more aware of the need for communication about the importance of personal safety.”
Jennifer Viets, Montana’s Missing Persons Clearinghouse Manager, said, “Every year, we’re delighted to see the creativity and compassion that participating Montana fifth-graders show through the posters they submit. It’s always difficult to choose the winning entry to represent our state at the national contest level.” The national poster contest winner, along with his/her parents and teacher, will be awarded a trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Missing Children’s Day ceremony in May 2016.
Posters must be original, handcrafted artwork; 8 ½ x 14 inches in size, with the words “Bring Our Missing Children Home” appearing on the poster. Posters with digitally produced images, collages, cut-outs and stamping will not be accepted. Poster artwork will be judged on originality, creativity, use of color and materials, and reflection of contest theme.
A written poster contest student application form must be submitted along with each poster and the application will be judged on the level of understanding of the subject, clarity, and grammar appropriate for the fifth grade. The poster contest student application form is available on the Montana Department of Justice Missing Persons website at http://doj.mt.gov/missing-persons.
The student winning the state contest will attend an award ceremony this spring with Attorney General Tim Fox in Helena and receive a $100 cash prize. The winning Montana poster will then be submitted to the national contest.
Montana has been participating in the annual national “Bring Our Missing Children Home” poster contest since 2009. The 2015 state contest winner was Aila Austin from Jefferson Elementary School in Helena. To view her winning poster, go to the Montana Department of Justice Missing Persons website at http://doj.mt.gov/missing-persons This website also allows the public to view a list of the persons currently missing in Montana and to get more information on Montana’s AMBER Alert and Missing Persons programs. The Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse and the Montana AMBER Alert Program are programs operated by the Division of Criminal Investigation at the Montana Department of Justice.
To compete in the state contest, the poster and student application form must be received by March 16, 2016. Posters are to be sent to:
Montana Department of Justice
Missing Persons Clearinghouse
2225 11th Avenue
PO Box 201406
Helena, MT 59620
A copy of the application form can be found at: https://dojmt.gov/missing-persons/
The United States Department of Justice has designated January 13 of each year as AMBER Alert Awareness Day. The AMBER Alert program is a child abduction recovery plan that began in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in 1996 after nine-year-old Amber Haggerman was abducted and murdered. In July 2002, a special session of Montana’s Legislature directed the Department of Justice to implement a similar program here. Through a voluntary partnership between the Montana Broadcasters Association, the Montana Department of Justice, the Montana Department of Transportation, the Montana Lottery, the Montana National Weather Service, and local law enforcement, Montana’s statewide AMBER Alert program was developed and stands ready to activate.