NCMEC and Honeywell Partner to Bring Abduction Prevention Education to America’s Elementary Schools
On the heels of AMBER Alert Awareness Day, which focused on recovering abducted children, KidSmartz aims to prevent abductions with the “Safety Dance” video contest and other tools
News Release from NCMEC
Alexandria, Va., Jan. 22, 2015 –According to the FBI, in 2013 more than 400,000 children were reported missing in the United States. National AMBER Alert Awareness Day, recognized annually in January, is a reminder of the dangers that face our children. Building on the significance of that day, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and Honeywell (NYSE:HON), with spokesperson Tia Mowry, today announced the KidSmartz™ “Safety Dance” Video Contest, a nationwide competition aimed at equipping elementary school students with the skills and confidence they need to be safer from abduction.
“Alerting the public when abductions happen is critical, but abduction prevention is equally important. If you want to make a difference for the children in your family or community, initiatives such as KidSmartz can help save children’s lives,” said John Walsh, co-founder of NCMEC.
NCMEC analysis indicates that approximately 83 percent of children who safely fled from their would-be abductors kicked, yelled and pulled away to escape. KidSmartz was developed to educate parents about the dangers of abduction and empower kids in grades K-5 to practice safer behaviors in ways that are easy to implement.
Actress Tia Mowry, star of Nickelodeon sitcom Instant Mom and real-life mother, has teamed up with NCMEC and Honeywell to promote KidSmartz and encourage schools to participate in the “Safety Dance” contest which provides kids a fun way of learning the four rules of personal safety:
- Check First
- Take a Friend
- Tell People “No”
- Tell a Trusted Adult
“As a mom, I know that a missing child is every parent’s worst nightmare,” said Mowry. “The KidSmartz ‘Safety Dance’ Video Contest teaches kids how to recognize dangerous situations and helps parents incorporate conversations about personal safety into their family’s routines.”
“Every parent and educator feels passionate about child safety,” said Colleen Nick, whose 6-year old daughter, Morgan went missing in 1995. “Having the KidSmartz program and the “Safety Dance” in every classroom and every household can put us all in a much stronger position to prevent abduction.”
To participate in the contest, schools must create and submit a video of their students dancing the KidSmartz “Safety Dance.” Parents may recognize the KidSmartz “Safety Dance” song as an adaptation of the 1983 hit song, “The Safety Dance” The KidSmartz version features new lyrics and fun dance moves that teach students simple safety rules. Schools can use the KidSmartz “Safety Dance” choreography or create their own dance. The video contest provides an opportunity for schools to show off their most creative dance moves while learning how to be safe.
The contest runs from January 22 through March 16, during which time the public can view all entries on the contest website and cast votes for their favorite submission. Four winning schools will be selected from across the United States and awarded a $10,000 cash prize from Honeywell. Interested schools can find complete contest eligibility information and rules, as well as instructional videos for the KidSmartz “Safety Dance” choreography at www.kidsmartz.org/contest.
“Over the past decade we’ve partnered with NCMEC to create resources that educate families on how to help prevent child abduction,” said Tom Buckmaster, president of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s corporate citizenship initiative. “Honeywell and its employees have taken a leading role in preventing abductions by empowering children to learn the skills they need to make themselves safer, and we are excited to reach even more teachers and students with the ‘Safety Dance’ contest.”
About Child Abduction
According to the FBI, in 2013, more than 400,000 children were reported missing in the United States. Since 2005, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has analyzed more than 9,000 abduction attempts and found that: 73 percent involved a suspect driving a vehicle; 34 percent occurred between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; 32 percent occurred when the child was traveling to or away from school or a school related activity; 68 percent involved girls; and 39 percent involved children between the ages of 10 and 14. The more you know about abduction prevention, the better protected your child will be.
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