A Very Special Project – When children are missing, who comes to look for you?
How to reach children? How to teach children in the most effective way about the perils and the positives of the world? In the past there have been a variety of programs such as “stranger danger,” “Just Say No” the DARE Program, “McGruff, Take a Bite Out of Crime Dog” and others.
However, when it comes to missing persons, children need to know that the boys in blue or those with the bright red fire truck don’t do it all.
Monica Caison, Founder of the Cue Center for the Missing based in Wilmington, NC, conceptualized an educational, illustrative activity book. Safe and Found not only identifies what those who search and rescue do, but also teaches children about trust.
The easy to read book features word games and a quiz to test a child’s knowledge and topic suggestions for further discussion. The 23 page book, Safe and Found is a treasure in that it has the potential to engage children from kindergarten through 5th grade and beyond in a variety of ways. It accomplishes this through reading, active listening, coloring, doing word games and stimulating discussion.
The content is presented in terms familiar to children, discussing getting lost, the feelings surrounding it, sights and sounds a child may hear in the process of rescue. Safe and Found explains search and rescue equipment, the vehicles used, search animals, and advice about getting lost in a crowd. Most importantly, there are comforting reassurances for children on every page, up to the point where they are reunited with parents.
The section Tips on Trust helps children define a true stranger, the circumstances of trust, and using judgement and responsibility. A final section of Safe and Found contains information about “packing blue” as the magic colors for searchers, as well as safe berries and plants which are edible.
The language is conversational and familiar for young audiences, skillfully written by Anita Sullivan whose brother, Michael Austin Davis has been missing for several years. The illustrations are crisp, clear, animated and truly assist making the story of search and rescue come alive thanks to the artistry of illustrator John Santillo.
Safe and Found has the flexibility to be used in schools, church and civic groups, boys and girls clubs, family gatherings and more. It also serves as an introduction to the Cue Center for Missing Persons, founded in 1994 and serving more than 9,000 missing persons to date.
To schedule a presentation of Safe and Found for your group with a Cue Center State Outreach Coordinator in your area, contact CUE Center for Missing Persons, P.O. Box 12714, Wilmington, North Carolina 28404. Address requests as: Attention: Permission Presentations.
All presentations are done by those who volunteer their time and services to the organization. Donations or honorariums are gratefully accepted which assist the organization to continue to search for those who are lost. Donations can be made securely online, at the CUE Center website, or mailed directly to the address above.