DENVER (KDVR) – Between now and Feb. 10, every one of the state’s fifth graders is eligible to participate in a poster designing contest that aims to acknowledge all children who have been reported missing, as well as those who push to get them returned home.

The 39th Annual National Missing Children’s Day poster contest is underway, the theme of which this year is “Bringing Our Missing Children Home.”

This yearly-held contest culminates in a presentation ceremony at the White House on May 25, also known as National Missing Children’s Day, during which the chosen winner will be recognized for their poster design.

Governor Jared Polis recently designated January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in the state of Colorado in an effort to bring attention to the struggle led by an estimated 12.3 million victims worldwide.

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This contest, which is run by the United States Department of Justice with local support from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, narrows that focus to highlight the 4,528 children who are currently missing across the country, according to data from the National Center for Missing Exploited Children.

Of those 4,528, there are currently 62 missing children from across the state of Colorado.

If you have a fifth grader who is interested in having their poster design displayed in the DOJ, as well as some other federal offices, publications, exhibits and websites, here is some information you might find helpful.

Poster contest: Rules, judging criteria and how to enter

This is an elementary-level contest but there are still a few rules your child will need to follow while creating their poster design. They are as follows:

  • Applicants must be in the fifth grade
  • The poster must be 8.5 inches by 14 inches in measurement
  • Artwork should reflect the theme: “Bringing Our Missing Children Home”
  • The theme may be depicted in the student’s artwork through one, or a combination of, illustrations (e.g., signs and symbols, people, abstract, industry, wildlife) and can be created using media such as acrylics, watercolor, pencils, charcoal, magic markers, spray paint, crayons, and pastels
  • Digitally produced images, collages, cutouts, and stamping will not be eligible for consideration
  • The poster entry must be submitted with a completed application, which includes
    • A brief biography of the artist
    • A description of the poster

As long as you follow all of these rules, your fifth grader’s entry will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Artwork will be judged on:
    • Creativity
    • Reflection of the contest theme
    • Originality of design
  • Applications, including bio and poster description, will be judged on:
    • Theme comprehension
    • Clarity
    • Grammar and syntax appropriate for the fifth-grade level

The deadline to submit a poster entry is Feb. 10. If you or your child is interested in participating in this illuminating competition, please send entries to the following address with this exact wording:

  • CBI Attn: Poster Contest 
    690 Kipling Street, Suite 4000 
    Denver, CO  80215

The deadline is nearing fast so if you would like to get your child informed regarding this challenging-to-discuss topic, help guide them through this competition process while spreading awareness for the 4,528 children who are unable to compete in this year’s competition.