The National Child Identification Program was launched at the West Virginia/Miami football game on September 27th, 1997. On that day, the University of Miami distributed nearly 12,000 ID Kits. That year, more than 1 million ID Kits were distributed at NCAA Division I-A college stadiums. In 1998, the AFCA expanded the program to the NFL and all NCAA divisions – Division IA, IAA, II, and III. Since its inception, the National Child ID Program has distributed more than 4.2 million ID kits at college football stadiums.
On April 26, 1999, in support of the need for thorough child identification, the Texas Senate passed Senate Resolution No. 685 and the Texas House of Representatives passed H.R. Resolution No. 735. Both resolutions determined that every one of more than four million children attending public schools in the state of Texas would be offered an inkless ID Kit.
Child Identification in Nebraska and Tennessee
In the spring of 1999, the National Child Identification Program distributed 100,000 ID Kits to Nebraska school children from kindergarten to fourth grade. The distribution was made possible thanks to the assistance of former Nebraska coach and US Congressman Tom Osborne and the Nebraska Credit Union League.
On October 6, 1999, Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns and Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist proclaimed March 2000 as “Child Identification Month” in their respective states to raise awareness about the importance of the child identification program and encourage the distribution of inkless fingerprint ID Kits to school children and their parents. As a result, more than 100,000 ID Kits were distributed in Nebraska and 200,000 ID Kits were distributed and Tennessee.
Safety for Texas School Children
Then-governor George W. Bush and former President of the United States, declared March 2000 as “Child Identification Month” in the state of Texas to focus public attention on ways to protect young people from harm. In the fall of 2000, with the help of Clear Channel Worldwide, Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Nolan Ryan and Coach Grant Teaff, free inkless ID Kits were distributed to nearly four million schoolchildren in kindergarten through 12th grade in the state of Texas, making Texas the first state to provide all of its school age children with an ID Kit.
In 2006-2007, encouraged by University of Texas Coach Mack Brown, Former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum and TCU Coach Gary Patterson, Governor Rick Perry stepped up to provide funding to provide 2.2 million Texas school children grades K-6th with ID kits. Governor Perry began a maintenance program and was able to provide Texas Kindergarten kids every year with a child ID kit while he was in office. The Texas Sheriff’s Association as well as the Texas Association of School administrators (TASA), also partnered to make the project a success.
Florida’s Child ID Efforts
The Florida Sheriff’s Association and the Florida Association of District School Superintendent’s teamed up to create a state-wide ID Kit distribution. With the support of Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden and the National Championship Florida Gator’s Coach Urban Meyer, 500,000 school children, grades K-4, received ID Kits in Florida during 2006-2007.
Additional State Projects
In 2004-2005, Coach Steve Spurrier led the efforts to raise funds through the credit unions for the state of South Carolina’s 633,000 children. In 2006, the sheriff’s of Utah teamed up with their credit unions and provided 122,000 kits to Utah children. In 2005-2006, the Alabama Sheriff’s Association along with former Alabama Coach Gene Stallings and Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville distributed over 420,000 kits to children throughout the state.
Recognized by the United States Congress
The National Child Identification Program and the AFCA were recognized by Congress in 2001 with the unanimous passage of House Congressional Resolution 100, which commended the AFCA for its dedication and efforts in protecting children by providing a vital means for locating the nation’s missing, abducted and runaway children.