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Trooper Jeffrey Gregory
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 4, Elizabethtown
(270) 766-5078
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KSP Honors H.W. Wilkey Elementary School Student

Date of News Release: 03/26/2013

from l. to r. top row, Mtpr. Chaffins and Principle Gwen Lucas. From l. to r. bottom row, Cooper Terry and Paige Shiarella, click to enlarge in a new winow

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

Fifth-grade student Cooper Terry of H.W. Wilkey Elementary School won the state competition and his poster was selected as the Kentucky entry in the national competition. Terry'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.

Terry's poster depicted a bald eagle with American flag wings watching over the Earth and all the missing children on it.

Cooper Terry's Poster, click here to enlarge

"I put an eagle with a waving American flag as its wings because the motto of the project was 'Bring our Missing Children Home,' and America is what is home to me," says Terry. "I also put people holding hands around the Earth to show how we need to work together to bring these children home."

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

MTPR Norman Chaffins from KSP Elizabethtown post presented Terry with his award.

"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 Chaffins.

"Students from across the state submitted entries and our staff had a difficult time choosing the winning entry they were all very 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," Chaffins added.

The theme for the contest was 'Bring Our Missing Children Home' and Chaffins 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 Chaffins.

Ms. Paige Shiarella, who is Terry's fifth grade teacher at H.W. Wilkey Elementary School, was excited that one of her students won the poster competition.

"Cooper Terry is a very good student and a perfectionist with each and every assignment," says Shiarella.

"With his artistic ability, he can imagine things and get them on paper in a way that looks like a published piece of artwork. I enjoy having him in my class and think he is top-notch," adds Shiarella.

Last year in Kentucky 4,664 minor children were reported missing. Nationally, 800,000 children are reported missing every year.

Chaffins 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 in April 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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