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Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

The Department of Justice is having its 40th annual Missing Children’s Day Poster contest.

The nationwide contest is open to any 5th grader, and the winner will win a trip to Washington D.C. for themselves, their parents/guardian, and their teacher.

We know Washington has thousands of talented 5th graders, so let’s win this contest!

What is the contest?

Every year the Department of Justice hosts the contest to create an opportunity for schools, law enforcement, and child advocates to discuss the issue of missing and exploited children with youth and their families and to promote child safety.

What are the rules?

  • Applicants must be in 5th grade.
  • The poster must be submitted with a completed application, which includes a description of the poster and a brief biography of the artist, either typed or written legibly.  Parents/guardians must fill out the consent and release form, which can be downloaded here.
  • Artwork should reflect the theme “Bringing Our Missing Children Home”. This phrase must appear somewhere on the poster.
  • 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, cut-outs, and stamping will not be eligible for consideration.
  • The finished poster must measure 8½ x 14 inches.

How do I submit a poster?

  • Posters cannot be submitted digitally/electronically and must be on 8½ x 14 inch paper.
  • Posters, completed applications, and signed consent and release forms can be mailed to:


PO BOX 42634

Olympia, WA 98504

  • The poster must be mailed and postmarked by February 15, 2023.

What happens after I submit my poster?

Once we receive your poster, the Washington State Patrol Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit will pick the top poster and submit it to the Department of Justice on behalf of the 5th grader.  The Department of Justice will pick and notify the winner in April 2023.

The winner’s poster will be presented as the national symbol for the 41st Annual Missing Children’s Day Ceremony and associated activities.

What can I win?

If selected by the Department of Justice, travel arrangements will be made for the winner, their parents/guardians, and their teacher to Washington D.C. for the 40th Annual National Missing Children’s Day ceremony on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023.

In addition, the Washington State Patrol Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit will pick three winners who will win prizes.

Judging Criteria

Complete contest rules must be followed at all levels of the competition. Incomplete packages and incorrectly sized posters will not be eligible for judging.

Artwork will be judged on:

  • Creativity
  • Reflection of the contest theme
  • Originality in design

Written applications will be judged on:

  • Comprehension of the theme
  • Clarity
  • Grammar and syntax appropriate to the fifth-grade level

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact Gabrielle Anderson at [email protected] or 360-704-2966.

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