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Missing Children poster contest deadline is Feb. 29

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is encouraging fifth graders statewide to draw attention to child safety issues by participating in the National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest.

This year's theme is "Bring Our Missing Children Home." The contest provides an opportunity for fifth-graders, along with their teachers and parents, to educate children about safety issues. The winning poster will serve as the pictorial theme for National Missing Children's Day commemorative events.

This is the first year Minnesota has participated in the national competition, which now includes 26 states.

"This poster contest is a safe and fun way to begin discussing child safety issues, both in the classroom and at home," said Tim O'Malley, superintendent of the BCA. "When children go missing, their families, friends, classmates and communities feel the impact. This contest allows children to express their feelings."

All poster entries are due to the BCA on Friday, Feb. 29. Judges will choose the Minnesota winner in March. That winning poster will be forwarded to the national competition, with the national winner being honored at the National Missing Children's Day Ceremony in Washington, D.C. in May.