BLACKSBURG, VA (WVNS) — Attorney General Jason Miyares and legendary Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer announced a recent partnership with the National Child ID Program, which will provide child ID kits to students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades across the Commonwealth.

The announcement took place before the West Virginia University vs. Virginia Tech football game on Thursday, September 22.

“As Attorney General, my biggest priority is keeping our children safe. That’s why I’m thrilled to join Virginia Tech legend Frank Beamer and launch the Virginia Child ID Program. The National Child ID Program is a free, easy, and effective tool to help Virginia parents prepare for the unimaginable. When a child goes missing, the first twenty four hours are crucial to law enforcement. These ID kits, kept safe by parents, are designed to assist law enforcement at the onset of the investigation so that more time can be used locating the missing child,” said Attorney General Miyares.

“I am humbled by General Miyares’ dedication to protect the children of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is taking steps to ensure safety in his state and protect children from the grave threat of human trafficking. I am honored to partner with him on the launch of the National Child ID Program in Virginia,” said National Child ID Program Executive Director Kenny Hansmire.

“As a father and grandfather, I cannot imagine anything more important than protecting children. Attorney General Miyares and the National Child ID Program have taken significant steps to make Virginia’s children safer with this program,” said Hall of Fame Coach Frank Beamer, who supports the partnership fully.

This year, the National Child ID Program celebrates their 25th anniversary. In 1997, football coaches created this program, which was followed by the abduction and death of Amber Hagerman, the namesake for the Amber Alert. Since then, there have been over 75 million child ID kits that have been distributed nationally via public-private partnerships that still go on today.

Every year, over half a million children go missing. In Virginia alone there have been a total of 2,500 children reported missing and 400 are still actively missing.