MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The CUE Center for Missing Persons and the City of Myrtle Beach held an educational event Thursday afternoon to teach children what to do if they get lost.
The program was hosted at Chapin Memorial Library for kids in kindergarten through the fifth grade.
The CUE Center talked to kids about not trusting strangers, staying put until you’re found, and who will come look for you. They also had a search and rescue dog at the event who is trained to find missing people.
Donna R. Gore, a volunteer for the CUE Center for Missing Persons, said there is a fine line between educating to put fear into a child and educating to give knowledge.
The CUE Center is made up of volunteers across the nation who help search and advocate for missing people and their families.
Gore, a volunteer with the center, said most of the cases they receive are adults, but kids go missing all the time.
At the event, there was a story book, a movie, and a search and rescue dog named Kota to help kids grasp how important it is to know what to do if they get lost.
“As many different modalities as you can,” Gore said. “Introduce a concept and they’ll tend to stick with you.”
This is all a part of the CUE Center’s program called “Safe and Found.”
Gore said the event is important because kids need to learn these tools at a young age, even if it is a little scary. Kids practiced tools like writing their name, address, and a parent’s cell phone number.
Gore said kids have to find the balance of when and when not to speak to a stranger.
“Be polite to people but yet be standoffish because you don’t know who they are so it’s very hard,” Gore said. “Even for an adult.”
Sherrie Clark is a state coordinator with the CUE Center. Clark was at the event with her search and rescue dog to teach the kids how dogs use their sense of smell to find missing people.
Clark said about 600,000 people go missing a year.
“If we can make one kid help themselves or help one friend,” Clark said. “Or keep one friend safe or keep a brother or a sister safe, we’ve done our job.”
New York Life was also at the event making the children identification cards. Gore said they plan to hold more events like this, but desperately need more volunteers to help out.
If you are interested in volunteering for this event, click here.
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Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and X, formerly Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.