All Montana fifth graders have been invited to compete in a national poster contest to bring awareness to the issue of missing children. Montana Department of Justice Spokeswoman Anastasia Burton says the theme for this year's contest is “Bring Our Missing Children Home.”

"The rules are pretty simple: the posters have to be original, handcrafted artwork, they have to be 8.5 by 14 inches in size and the words "Bring our Missing Children Home" have to appear on the poster," Burton said. "The posters are judged on originality, creativity, use of color and material and reflection on the contest theme."

Sadly, the issue of missing children has long been a problem in Montana and one that continues into 2018.

"Since 2003 our department has issued 34 Amber Alerts, all 49 children were located, but tragically four of them were deceased," Burton said."  As of today,[January 8] there were 144 missing people listed in our Missing persons clearinghouse, that includes both adults and children."

Last year's poster contest winner was Michael Faccenda from Lincoln Elementary School in Great Falls. In 2016 Montana started using the CodeRed Mobile Alert App to get information about Amber Alert victims and suspects out as quickly as possible. The app can be downloaded for free on both the Apple Store and Google Play.

Posters and student application forms must be received by February 9, 2018. Send them to:

Montana Department of Justice
Missing Persons Clearinghouse
2225 11th Avenue
PO Box 201406
Helena, MT 59620