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Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780

KSP Honors Ft. Thomas Elementary School Student

Date of News Release: 04/27/2012

from l. to r. Principal Sharon Bresler, Olivia Ossege, Jennifer and Ted Ossege and Lt. Tom Lilley

(Frankfort, KY.) Today the Kentucky State Police selected the winning student artist for the National 'Missing Children's Day' poster contest, co-sponsored by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C. The contest is an annual event that encourages fifth grade students from across the country to design posters depicting the importance of bringing missing children home.

Eleven year old Olivia Ossege of St. Thomas School won the state competition and her poster was selected as the Kentucky entry in the national competition. Ms. Ossege's poster has been forwarded to the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. to compete against the other state selected entries. The winner of that contest will earn a free trip to Washington, D.C to participate in the national 'Missing Children's Day' ceremony and receive a U.S. Savings Bond.

Ms. Ossege's poster depicted a family being reunited with their child who was missing.

"I drew this illustration to show it is a very emotional time for a family when a child is missing," says Ossege. "Night time would be a particularly scary time for parents and the child to be away from each other."

Ossege received a Certificate of Excellence from KSP and her poster will be prominently displayed at the Kentucky State Fair this summer in KSP's Safety Town Exhibit.

Mr. Dustin Goostree from H.W. Wilkey Elementary School in Leitchfield, Ky. received Honorable Mention in the contest.

Capt. David Jude is the Commander for the KSP Public Affairs Branch, presented the students with their awards.

"This is a great opportunity for our agency to participate in a national effort to bring missing children home safely, while highlighting the importance of proactive educational programs," says Jude.

"Students from across the state submitted entries and our Branch had a difficult time choosing the winning entry they were all so good!"

"The effectiveness of the program is based on the concept that a message conveyed by a fellow student carries more weight with other students and is therefore more memorable," Jude adds.

The theme for the contest was 'Bring Our Missing Children Home' and Jude advised that many schools incorporate this campaign as part of a lesson plan in the classroom.

"The poster contest provides teachers the tools to educate children about safety and initiate conversations regarding prevention, while compelling students to explore the significance of the theme "Bring our Missing Children Home," says Jude.

Ms. Sharon Bresler, who is the principal of St. Thomas Elementary School was excited that one of her students won the poster competition.

"The St. Thomas School community is proud of Olivia's decision to enter the contest and the effort she showed in designing her poster," says Bresler. "Bringing the cause of missing children and the need to return them to their families to the public conscience is very important, and we are very pleased that Olivia's design was chosen to represent the State of Kentucky."

Last year in Kentucky 1,574 minor children were reported missing. Nationally, 800,000 children are reported missing every year.

Jude hopes that this contest will remind parents to talk with their children about safety awareness and remind youth of simple basic rules:

  • Never go out alone.
  • Always tell an adult where you're going.
  • Say NO if you feel threatened physically or sexually and tell a trusted adult.
  • Don't let peer pressure lure you into drugs or alcohol. Have the confidence to say NO to substances that could harm your body and cloud your judgment.

The winning poster for the nationwide contest will be announced next week by the Department of Justice.

More safety information is available online from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at http://www.missingkids.com or by contacting KSP at 502-782-1800.

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