Montana DOJ, OPI Announce National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

Montana DOJ, OPI Announce National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

The Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) are working together to give Montana students the opportunity to participate in state and national poster contests which focus on the theme of “Bringing Our Missing Children Home.”

“This contest serves as a good reminder for all of us to talk to our children and grandchildren about their personal safety in a variety of situations, whether they’re out in their communities or online,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “Once again, we’re delighted to partner with Superintendent Arntzen to get the word out to Montana’s fifth grade classrooms about this opportunity, and we look forward to seeing some very creative entries from the students,” Fox added.

“Montana’s treasures are our students and it is the responsibility of parents, schools, and communities to ensure that our children are safe,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen. “The Missing Children Poster Contest is an opportunity to get students involved in raising awareness. As a former fifth grade teacher for 23 years, I encourage all Montana fifth grade classrooms to join the Department of Justice and the Office of Public Instruction in participating in this year’s poster contest.”

The student winning the state contest will attend an award ceremony with Attorney General Tim Fox and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen in Helena and receive a $100 cash prize. The winning Montana poster will then be submitted to the national contest. 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 on May 20, 2020.

Posters must be original, handcrafted artwork; 8 ½ x 14 inches in size, with the words “Bringing 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. The application will be judged on the level of understanding of the subject, clarity, and grammar appropriate for the fifth grade. The application form is available here.

Montana has participated in the annual national “Bringing Our Missing Children Home” poster contest since 2009. The 2019 state contest winner was Quinn Berkram from Edgerton Elementary in Kalispell. To view her poster, visit https://dojmt.gov/missing-persons/. This website also allows the public to see 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 operated by DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

Since 2003, the Montana Department of Justice has issued 39 AMBER Alerts. All 54 children involved were located; tragically, four of them were deceased. In 2016, Montana began using CodeRED to issue AMBER Alerts.

Posters and student application forms must be received by February 21, 2020. Send them to:

Montana Department of Justice
Missing Persons Clearinghouse
2225 11th Avenue
PO Box 201406
Helena, MT 59620

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