This post is sponsored by Major League Baseball.
January 31st marks the birthday of Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947.
Have you ever imagined yourself standing on the pitcher’s mound at MLB’s Home Run Derby with thousands of baseball fans cheering you on? Or winning a laptop computer? If your answer is YES, then I’ve got a contest for you!
Sign me up, you say? Wait! You have to be in grades 4–8 and enter an essay in Major League Baseball’s Breaking Barriers Essay Contest for a chance to be one of nine national winners—or the Grand Prize winner!
Ready to get started? Okay, a bit of background first. The Breaking Barriers program started in 1997 as a spinoff of MLB’s 50th anniversary tribute to Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947. Oh, by the way, he’s my dad. After throwing out a number of first pitches at the anniversary tribute, I found a way to connect kids with Jackie Robinson, values, and baseball. Fifteen years later, the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest has reached over 19 million kids across America, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
The whole point of the Breaking Barriers program is to get kids thinking about values and the importance of having a strong character to face their barriers, just like my father did on the field and as a parent. Believe it or not, writing a personal account of an obstacle you’ve faced is a good way to begin your essay for the contest. Over the years, we’ve heard many incredible stories from kids including: overcoming cancer; getting injured playing a sport; losing a parent; abuse; being the new kid; being the only girl on a baseball team; dyslexia; problems with a sister or brother; being different; and war. I could go on. If you want a chance to win, you have to open up, tell your story, and send your essay, either by mail-in or online, to Scholastic by February 21, 2012. Good luck!
For details and how to enter the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest, click here.