New York State seeks entries for National Missing Children’s Day poster contest
Contest open to fifth graders statewide, state winner will compete for national award
Parents of fifth-graders who are looking for a winter break activity for their children can encourage them to enter the New York State competition being held in conjunction with the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Coordinated by the New York State Missing Persons Clearinghouse, the contest will determine which fifth-grader’s design competes against those created by their peers across the country in the national competition, which is designed to raise awareness about missing children cases across the country. The national contest winner’s poster will be used to promote National Missing Children’s Day 2016.
The Clearinghouse, which is part of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, assists law enforcement agencies by providing training, case management guidance and investigative support, such as publicizing missing children cases. It also administers the state’s Missing Child Alerts, which can be activated if a case involving a missing child under the age of 21 doesn’t meet AMBER Alert criteria (for example, children with Down syndrome, autism or other medical conditions can be at an extreme safety risk if they go missing).
“Every year, police departments across the state handle thousands of missing children cases,” said Michael C. Green, executive deputy commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services. “While abductions by strangers do occur – and those cases are harrowing for parents and some of the most difficult law enforcement professionals must handle – many more children who are reported missing are runaways, have been abducted by someone they know or by their parents who don’t have custody. This contest offers an opportunity for parents to talk with their children about personal safety while raising awareness of the plight of missing children nationwide.”
May 25 has been marked annually as National Missing Children’s Day since 1983. This year’s contest theme is “Bring Our Missing Children Home,” and that phrase should appear somewhere in each entered design. The theme must be depicted visually and can be created using media such as acrylics, watercolor, pencils, charcoal, magic markers, spray paint, crayons, and pastels.
Entries must be received by the Clearinghouse or postmarked no later than March 2, 2015. Fifth-graders may submit their posters directly. If school districts opt to participate in the contest, each district must select a winner from all of its entries for submission.
Posters will be judged and the state’s first-, second- and third-place winners are scheduled to be announced during the week of March 9. The first-place poster will be submitted in the national competition and each New York State winner will receive a gift card from Michael’s Arts and Craft Store: $50 for first place, $25 for second and $10 for third.
The national judging will be held in April, and the winner of that contest, accompanied by his or her parents and/or teacher, will travel to Washington, D.C. to receive an award.
Digitally-produced images, collages, cut-outs, and stamping will not be eligible for consideration. The finished poster must measure 8½ x 14 inches, and must be submitted with a completed application, including a description of the poster and a brief biography of the artist, either written legibly or typed. For more information about the contest, review the Frequently Asked Questions or contact the Clearinghouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-346-3543.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the state’s DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry.