The Face on the Milk Carton

Story by Rayne Roberts and Bianca Williams. Photo by Rayne Roberts. Picture of book cover from 

JUNE 17, 2015: What would you do if you saw a friend’s face on the milk carton? In Ms. Adams sixth grade ELA class we read a book about a missing person called The Face on the Milk Carton. This story is about a missing girl named Janie who discovers a frightening truth. Janie found out during lunch time that she was kidnapped. As she (Janie) sits staring at the picture on the carton, she discovers it is a picture of her when she was three years old. She remembers wearing the dress in the picture, a polka-dot dress. She even remembers the scratchiness of the collar and the way it caught the wind when she wore it. Read the book to find out what happens. We would recommend this book as a good book for students to read because it has a good message and gets people to reflect on students who might be in the same position as Janie. This could happen to anyone not hip to “stranger danger”.  Stranger Danger is when an adult or other stranger tries to talk to you, meet you online or in person, give you candy or money or offers you a ride. It is someone that you do not know who may pose danger to you. In 2014, there were 466,949 entries for missing children under the age of 18 at the FBI's National Crime Information Center, also called NCIC. 

Every May 25, which is the anniversary of Etan Patz’s disappearance, the nation observes Missing Children’s Day. For more than three decades the search for Etan has continued.  Etan was the first ever missing child to be pictured on the side of a milk carton.  Its been over thirty five years since Etan disappeared on his way to the bus stop. He was walking two blocks to catch the bus but never made it. When he did not come home, his mom called the police. We should never forget a child no matter how long he/she has been missing. National Missing Children's Day honors this commitment to help locate and recover missing children like Etan by reminding parents, guardians, families and communities that every child deserves a safe childhood. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 205,550 missing children since it was founded in 1984. This is one thing we learned when researching facts on missing kids for this story.  This is serious because kids are taken every day but no one ever knows when it will happen.  

Summer is around the corner and more kids will be out of school and traveling. Summer is a good time to practice best ways to recognize and avoid “stranger danger”. Do you tell a friend or family member where you are going?  We believe that kids should start telling their parents and/or guardian where they are going. If anything were to ever happen, someone would be there to help you that much faster. Some organizations like Center for Missing and Exploited Children are here to help. To read more go to the Center for Missing Kids website at .

In our Smart Lab class we learned about digital citizenship and internet safety for kids at the and They have information for kids in K-12. Here are some tips to help you act if you can't find a family member or friend. The first three hours are the most critical when trying to locate a missing child. 

1.  Immediately contact a local law enforcement agency.After you have reported your child missing to law enforcement call The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678). 

2.  If a child is missing from home, search through:

•  Closets

•  Piles of laundry

•  In and under beds

•  Inside large appliances

•  Vehicles – including trunks.

•  Anywhere else that a child may crawl or hide.

4.  Notify the store manager or security office. 

5.  Immediately call your local law enforcement agency. Many stores have a  code/plan of action in place. Successful programs like Amber Alert and 1-800 The Lost are here to help. 

The AMBER Alert program was created in 1996 and is operated by the U.S. Department of Justice. As of April 2015, 767 children have been successfully recovered as a result of the program. As of January 2015, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s toll free, 24-hour call center has received more than 4,096,795 calls since it was created in 1984. Information about missing or exploited children can be reported to the call center by calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678). 

We believe that kids should start telling their family, friends, parents and/or guardian where they are going. Safety should be the first thing a parent should talk about with their kids. You can help by telling friends and family to stay close and tell adults when planning to visit friends or travel.  

Please add your thoughts in our comment box below.  

Rayne Roberts and Bianca Williams are sixth grade students at Friendship Chamberlain Academy.