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DC fifth grader wins state’s Missing Children’s poster contest

April 14, 2008

Jennifer Bistodeau’s poster will now enter national competition

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Dassel-Cokato fifth grader Jennifer Bistodeau was overwhelmed with the attention she received Thursday as she was recognized for a winning poster she created.

Bistodeau, daughter of James and Bonnie Bistodeau of Cokato, was one of several DC fifth graders who made Missing Children posters for a state and national contest recently.

Each year, the United States Department of Justice, in conjunction with state Bureaus of Criminal Apprehension, sponsors an annual National Missing Children’s Day poster contest.

This year, Minnesota participated for the first time, as did DC’s fifth graders.

Eight posters were chosen to be entered in the state competition, including Bistodeau’s, who was selected as the state winner.

To recognize her as the winner, the state Bureaus of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) planned an event in which state dignitaries awarded Bistodeau and the seven others personally April 10.

Bistodeau was informed of her contest winnings and presented an award Thursday, April 10 at 1:30 p.m. at the event, which took place in the Performing Arts Center. Awards were given by representatives from the state, the Minnesota Twins, Target, Qwest, and the Highway Credit Union.

Now, her poster will compete on a national level.

During this event, seven other students whose posters competed at the state level, were recognized as well. Students included Shannon Demke, Grace Zobel, Katrina Raisanen, Brandon Mytty, Whitney Grangroth, Lexie Grangroth, and Alexis Burkhardt

“I’m very pleased that our fifth grade teachers provided the opportunity for our students to participate in an activity that combines both creative expression and an awareness of a social concern,” said Gary Johnson, middle school principal.

“We have a very good art program in the middle school and our students have obviously learned some sound art principles that were demonstrated in these posters,” he said.

Should Bistodeau’s poster win the national contest, she and her family, along with the sponsoring teacher, will be flown to Washington, DC for an award presentation made by the Attorney General of the United States.

The contest is in conjunction with National Missing Children’s Day, May 25.

Posters are made so students have the opportunity to create a visual representation of the impact missing children have on families and communities, according to Christine Krueger, director of communications for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

National Missing Children’s Day is an annual reminder to the nation to renew efforts to reunite missing children with their families, remember those who are still missing, and make child protection a national priority, according to Krueger.

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