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(Frankfort, KY.) - Kentucky State Police is looking for fifth grade artists to compete in the National Missing Children’s Day poster contest sponsored by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, DC. KSP will select a nominee from Kentucky and forward it to DOJ, where one poster from all state nominated entries will be selected as a winner. The artist of the national winning poster will win a free trip to Washington, D.C and participate in the National Missing Children’s Day Ceremony where they will receive an award and a U.S. Savings Bond.
The Kentucky nominee will receive an Award of Excellence from KSP and their poster will be prominently displayed at the Kentucky State Fair in KSP’s Safety Town Exhibit.
Lt. David Jude is the Commander for the KSP Public Affairs Branch, where posters from across the Commonwealth will be judged.
“This is a great opportunity for Kentucky fifth grade students to participate in a national effort that promotes a child safety educational program,” Jude said.
“The poster contest and the educational activities that accompany it are designed to bring awareness to the number of children who go missing each year and serve as a reminder to both parents and students the need to be aware of potential danger.”
“The effectiveness of the program is based on the concept that a message conveyed by a fellow student carries more weight with other students and is therefore more memorable,” Jude said.
The theme for the contest is ‘Bring Our Missing Children Home’ and Jude advised that the contest is open to fifth graders across the country. Many schools incorporate this campaign as part of a lesson plan in the classroom.
Last year, 11-year-old Lauren Plowman of Waco Elementary School in Madison County was the Kentucky finalist for the 2011 poster contest.
“The poster contest provides teachers the tools to educate children about safety and initiate conversations regarding prevention, while compelling students to explore the significance of the theme ‘Bring our Missing Children Home,’” Jude said.
In 2011, Kentucky had 4,520 minor children reported missing and 179 of those are still active. Nationally, 800,000 children are reported missing every year.
Jude hopes that this contest will remind parents to talk with their children about safety awareness and remind them of simple basic rules:
•Never go out alone.
•Always tell an adult where you’re going.
• Say NO if you feel threatened physically or sexually and tell a trusted adult.
• Don’t let peer pressure lure you into drugs or alcohol. Have the confidence to say NO to substances that could harm your body and cloud your judgment.
More safety information is available online from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at http://www.missingkids.com.
KSP has contest guidelines and information on their website at http://mecptraining.org/poster-contest/poster-contest-resources/
Poster entries should be mailed to Kentucky State Police on or before March 2, 2012, to the KSP Public Affairs Branch, 919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. For more information please contact the Branch at (502) 782-1780.