P.O. BOX 2120



       December 23, 2008





Linda M. Wallinger

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction


National Missing Children's Poster Contest

This year Virginia and its fifth-grade student population will have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of endangered children by raising public awareness and concern for their safety. Each year the U.S. Department of Justice sponsors the National Missing Children's Poster Contest as part of the National Missing Children's Day events. A special ceremony will be held on May 25, 2009, to recognize organizations and individuals responsible for bringing our missing youth home, as well as to focus our attention on children who have been recovered and those still missing.

The Virginia Department of State Police and Department of Education invite school divisions and fifth-grade students to join in the efforts to educate youth nationwide about personal safety by participating in the National Missing Children's Poster Contest.  Each school division will select a winner who will compete to become the statewide winner and represent Virginia in the national contest.  A second and third place winner will also be selected at the state level.

The national judging will take place in April 2009, when one national poster contest winner will be selected.  The national winner will travel to Washington, DC, accompanied by his or her teacher and parents, to receive an award. The national winning poster will be used the following year as the pictorial theme for the 2010 National Missing Children's Day.

The theme is Bringing Our Missing Children Home.  On January 13, 2009, Virginia will recognize national A.M.B.E.R. Alert Awareness Day, which would be an opportune time to launch your school's poster contest.  We also encourage schools to use the poster contest as an opportunity to engage children in learning about and discussing personal safety and the dangers of running away from home. 

The following contest materials to help plan and execute your school's poster contest are available at the following website link: 

All poster entries must be postmarked no later than March 6, 2009.  Judging for statewide winners will take place the week of March 16, 2009, with a winner announced in April.  The statewide poster contest is being managed and coordinated through the Virginia State Police Missing Children Clearinghouse.

In addition to the National Missing Children's Poster Contest, elementary school teachers have the opportunity to help their students learn how to be safe by participating in the Got 2B Safe! Contest. Teachers are invited to submit brief lesson plans emphasizing Got 2B Safe rules for personal safety. Information about this year's competition, along with previous lesson plans created by teachers themselves, can be found on the following website:

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Ms. Ashley Presnell, Virginia State Police, at (804) 674-2265 or by e-mail at; or Jo Ann Burkholder, Virginia Department of Education, at 804-371-7586 or by e-mail at