Essay contest asks kids to channel Jackie Robinson

MLB, Scholastic celebrate 20 years of Breaking Barriers program

Essay contest asks kids to channel Jackie Robinson

An essay contest that launched Tuesday gives students a chance to be honored at the All-Star Game and World Series. Major League Baseball and Scholastic are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life educational program, an outlet to teach students about the obstacles that Jackie Robinson faced and how they can overcome similar obstacles in their own lives.

Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier, perfectly embodied the spirit of the game. While he used his speed and quick bat to dominate on the field, he also changed the game away from the diamond with his perseverance, determination and, above all else, love of the sport.

Registration materials for the 2016 Breaking Barriers program can be found at and the deadline to submit essays is March 14. Prizes range from books and laptops to on-field recognition at the 2016 All-Star Game in San Diego and the 2016 World Series. Through Scholastic, students submit essays that illustrate how they follow Robinson's example through nine values: courage, teamwork, determination, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment and excellence. Since its inception in 1997, Breaking Barriers has reached more than 27 million children and 3.6 million educators in the continental United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Sharon Robinson, Jackie's daughter and an administrator of the program, is touched by its ability to impact the lives of millions of children. "I have truly enjoyed and appreciated how the Breaking Barriers program has served as an outstanding tool to not only teach today's children about Jackie Robinson and his legacy," she said, "but also provide an outlet for them to address personal obstacles they may be facing in their lives."

To learn more about the Breaking Barriers program and how to participate, visit