Division of Criminal Justice Services

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For Immediate Release: 4/14/2023

Mary Boyles, Press Office
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
mary.boyles@dcjs.ny.gov |(518) 801-2800 – cell

Fifth-Grade Pupil from Brooklyn Wins New York State’s Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

First-place poster will represent New York State in the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

New York’s first-, second- and third-place posters and all qualifyingcontest entries will be displayed at the Empire State Plaza in May

Three pupils from New York Institute for Special Education in the Bronx receive first-ever Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner’s Outstanding Creativity Award

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Commissioner Rossana Rosado today announced that a fifth-grade pupil from Brooklyn has been chosen as the winner of the state’s annual Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest. Ayoub Alsaidi’s drawing will represent New York State in the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest, an annual competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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The winning poster drawn by Ayoub Alsaidi, a fifth-grade pupil from Brooklyn

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First-place winner Ayoub Alsaidi and his teacher Ms. Charmaine Dunn

“Ayoub’s poster is striking and perfectly captures the hope we all must maintain when working to bring our missing children home,” Commissioner Rosado said. “I am proud of every contestant that submitted their work to bring awareness to this mission and thank them and their schools for their participation.”

New York and other states coordinate their own contests, and the state winners compete against each other in the national contest, the winner of which will be announced next month. The poster that wins the national contest will be used to promote National Missing Children’s Day, which is May 25. New York’s first-, second- and third-place posters and all qualifying contest entries will be displayed at the Empire State Plaza from May 15 through May 30.

Ayoub, who is 10 and attends P.S. 251 in Brooklyn, chose hope as the theme for his work. The poster shows rescue workers and families alike walking toward hope in search of children who have gone missing. Ayoub also depicted those missing children, who continue to have hope about reuniting with their families. The state and national poster competitions are designed to raise awareness and educate the public about unresolved missing children’s cases. At the end of 2022, there were 1,378 active missing children’s cases in New York State.

The New York State Missing Persons Clearinghouse, located at the Division of Criminal Justice Services, sponsors the state’s contest. Clearinghouse staff received 540 submissions, 459 of which met the criteria for the contest and removed the artists’ names and schools they attend before sending the entries to judges for evaluation.

DCJS Deputy Commissioners Michael Bonse and Adam Dean; Johanna Sullivan, Director of the DCJS Office of Public Safety; Saratoga County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Lang; and Suzanne Reek, Executive Director of the Autism Society Nassau | Suffolk Chapter, served as this year’s judges. Images of all winning posters are available upon request.

Travis Slattery, who attends Christian Brothers Academy in Albany, won second place and Bailey Trust, who attends P.S. 56-Harry Eichler in Richmond Hill, Queens, received the third place award. Travis and Bailey are both 10 years old.

This year, the DCJS Commissioner’s Outstanding Creativity Award was established to honor a poster that doesn’t meet the specific criteria for the national competition but demonstrates exceptional creativity and artistry worthy of recognition. Three pupils from the New York Institute for Special Education in the Bronx received the award. Karl Rogers and Emely Rodriguez, who are 10, and Kenneth Woodbury, who is 11, attend the school for the blind and visually impaired and worked together to create a 3-D poster that included Braille to creatively convey the message of bringing missing children home.

May 25 was designated National Missing Children’s Day in 1983 to mark the four-year anniversary of the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who vanished on his way to school in New York City. His disappearance gained national publicity and created a groundswell of attention to the plight of missing children. The case went unsolved for decades until a New Jersey man confessed, was convicted, and received a life sentence of imprisonment for kidnapping and murder.

The Missing Persons Clearinghouse assists law enforcement agencies by providing training, case management guidance and investigative support, such as publicizing missing children cases. It also administers three alert systems: Missing Child Alerts, which are activated when a case involving a missing child under the age of 21 doesn’t meet AMBER Alert criteria; Missing College Student Alerts; and Vulnerable Adult Alerts. New Yorkers can register with New York Alert to receive notifications whenever these alerts, and AMBER alerts, are activated. Anyone with an existing New York Alert account can update their profile to receive these alerts.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services 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. Follow the agency on Facebook and Twitter.