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In support of Major League Baseball and Scholastic's 23rd year of Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life -- an educational program designed to teach young students about obstacles faced by Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson as he broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 -- the Pirates encouraged local schools and youth groups to participate in this national essay contest. 

By writing about obstacles they've faced or are currently facing in their own lives and how it relates to Jackie Robinson, kids in grades four through nine earned a chance to win tickets to a Pirates home game, a trip to the World Series or the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and other great prizes. 

In conjunction with Sharon Robinson and Scholastic, the program has reached more than 34 million youths and 4.6 million educators in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico in its history. Sharon Robinson is an educational consultant for Major League Baseball who has written five books about her father, Jackie Robinson.

This year, approximately 40 Pittsburgh-area schools and 500 students participated in the Breaking Barriers essay contest. Congratulations to Albert Gallatin North Middle School for submitting the most entries in our area.

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