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Van Hollen Announces WI Schools to Participate in Amber Alert Poster Contest


MADISON – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that Wisconsin schools will be participating in a national poster contest being launched to commemorate National Amber Alert Awareness Day.


Each year the United States Department of Justice sponsors a national poster contest and announces the winner at the annual National Missing Children's Day Ceremony in Washington, D.C. Wisconsin 5th graders schools participating in the event will have the opportunity to submit their winning poster for judging. The Wisconsin Department of Justice administers a Missing Children Clearinghouse, which coordinates efforts on behalf of Wisconsin's missing persons. Wisconsin's Clearinghouse for Missing & Exploited Children & Adults has developed and coordinates the process for Wisconsin's statewide poster competition.


Completed posters should be sent to the Wisconsin Department of Justice as noted below:


Susan A. WhiteHorse, Manager


WI Clearinghouse for Missing & Exploited Children & Adults


Wisconsin Amber Alert Coordinator


17 West Main St.


PO Box 7857


Madison, WI 53707-7857


The deadline for receipt of posters at the Wisconsin Department of Justice is March 11, 2011. Additional information on the poster contest is available on the DOJ's web site at


Each state's Missing Children Clearinghouse will then submit the single winning state poster to the U.S. Department of Justice for final judging. The national judging will take place in April 2011, and one national poster contest winner will be selected.


The theme for this year's poster contest is “Bring Our Missing Children Home.” Thefollowing materials are available for download:

Wisconsin's important poster contest dates:


A fact sheet including poster contest rules and time frame:


An application form that must accompany each poster:


A sample flyer that can be distributed to contest participants and displayed in the halls of your school


A sample certificate template that can be completed by your local school and distributed to each student who participates in the contest (instructions for completing mail merges are also contained on the website):


Thinking skills lesson plan release:


Board Game:


Poster contest brochure:


Wisconsin's Amber Alert Plan, initiated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice in 2003, is a voluntary effort led by the Department of Justice in association with the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Dane County Public Safety Communication Center, state Department of Transportation, local law enforcement agencies, the Wisconsin Lottery and other participating agencies. Working together, these participants make it possible for information to be disseminated rapidly to the public during the first critical hours following the abduction of a child by activating an Amber Alert.


When an Amber Alert is activated, Wisconsin radio and television stations interrupt programming to broadcast information about an abducted child using the Emergency Alert System. Highway message board signs also transmit information about a confirmed child abduction. The additional eyes and ears provided by the public increase the chance that an abducted child will be recovered safely.


“Since 2003, Wisconsin has had 20 successful Amber Alert activations, resulting in the safe recovery of 28 children,” Van Hollen said. “The program's success is attributable to the hard work of DOJ's Division of Criminal Investigation personnel, our partners in law enforcement and government, as well as participating media and concerned citizens who respond to alerts and volunteer information.”


The Amber Alert System is named in memory of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, in 1996. Her body was located four days after she was reported missing. She had been brutally murdered. These events inspired Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters to team with local law enforcement, creating a warning system to aid in the search for abducted children.


Visit for more information on the Wisconsin Amber Alert System. If you have any questions or need additional information on the poster contest, please contact Darla Waldron of the Wisconsin Department of Justice at (608) 266-0335 or e-mail at


To sign up for wireless Amber Alert messages please visit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's web page at