STUDENTS COMMEMORATE National AMBER Alert Day, January 13

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2006

Everett, WA. –  AMBER Alerts have saved the lives of over 214 abducted children!

Each year, the Department of Justice, through their Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Child Protection Division (OJJDP), commemorates two special days: January 13th – National AMBER Alert Day and May 25th – National Missing Children’s Day. These days provide an opportunity to focus on child safety in our nation’s schools and on the importance of systems like AMBER Alerts to help bring our missing children home safely.

To commemorate these important dates, 5th grade students in schools across the nation are participating in the OJJDP National Poster Contest, which focuses on “Bringing Our Children Home” and highlights the efforts to reunite children with their families. With over 214 children home safely in the 10 years of AMBER Alerts, January 13th was chosen to launch the contest and to continue conversations with students about their safety.

Missing children’s centers throughout the US have invited 5th grade students from local schools in their state to enter the contest. Each center will select one winner and that poster will be submitted into the national OJJDP contest.

In Washington State, OPERATION LOOKOUT National Center for Missing Youth, the state’s oldest, private nonprofit missing child organization, is organizing the local contest. “These two days allow our children to learn about safety, as they work on their posters with the theme of “Bringing Our Children Home. It is our sincere hope that our children will be empowered as the schools step up their abduction-prevention training projects. We look forward to bringing awareness to the plight of missing children and keeping our children safe,” said president of Operation Lookout, Michael Gibson.

On March 15, 2006, Operation Lookout will select one local winner to represent Washington State in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s national competition. Again this year, the local winner will receive a $100 United States Saving Bond from Operation Lookout during a ceremony at the student’s school, and the winning artwork will be posted on the nonprofit’s Website and in local newspapers. Every local participant will receive a Certificate of Accommodation from Operation Lookout and OJJDP.

The national winner, his or her teacher, and his or her parents will participate in the National Missing Children’s Day ceremony at the US Department of Justice in Washington D.C. on or around May 25, 2006; transportation and lodging will be provided.

The national winning poster (original and copies) will be displayed at the Department of Justice, Congressional Offices, and other locations as determined by the Child Protection Division and the Department of Justice, and will represent child safety for the Department of Justice for the coming year.

Fifth grade teachers, wishing to enter their students, should contact info@operationlookout.org or call 425-771-7335 or visit Operation Lookout at www.operationlookout.org.

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