The Montana Department of Justice and the Office of Public Instruction today announced Claire Swanson, a fifth grader in Ms. Kim Gilligan’s class at Townsend Elementary School, is the 2021 winner of the Montana Bring Our Missing Children Home poster contest. Swanson’s poster reflects a community concerned about missing children. Each home has a dark window representing the empty rooms of the missing children; the other windows portray grieving family members.
Poster artwork was judged on originality, creativity, use of color and materials, and reflection of the contest’s theme. Written poster applications were judged on the level of understanding of the subject, clarity, and grammar. For her winning entry, Swanson received a $100 cash prize, and her poster will be submitted to the national contest. Swanson and her class traveled to Helena today for an award presentation with Attorney General Austin Knudsen and OPI Deputy Superintendent Sharyl Allen.
“Keeping kids safe from crime and predators is a top priority of mine as Attorney General,” Knudsen, who is a father of three, said. “This contest serves as a reminder to children to be mindful in online and in-person situations. When a child goes missing it has a devastating impact on their family and the entire community. Claire did a great job portraying that in her winning artwork.”
“All of Montana’s children are precious, and every missing child represents a family and a community that is distraught over their disappearance,” Superintendent Elsie Arntzen said. “Claire Swanson’s poster is a stark representation of the lens through which children view this crisis. She is a talented artist, and her work can help bring awareness to this terrible reality.”
There are currently 61 school-aged children from Montana who are missing.
This is the thirteenth time Montana has participated in the annual national Bring Our Missing Children Home poster contest. Claire’s poster can also be seen on Montana Department of Justice Missing Persons website at www.dojmt.gov/missing-persons. This website provides information on Montana’s AMBER Alert and Missing Persons programs, which are operated by the Division of Criminal Investigation at the Montana Department of Justice.
PRESS RELEASE PROVIDED BY MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE