Generously sponsored by Major
League Baseball. For more
information on Breaking Barriers,
visit: MLB.com/BREAKINGBARRIERS
Supports
Common Core State Standards
HOME GRADES 4-8 CONTEST GRADE 9 CONTEST LESSONS PRINTABLES BOOK LIST
Photo: © AP Images

Grades 4–8: 2015 Breaking Barriers Essay Contest

OFFICIAL RULES: GRADES 4–8

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. All students who are legal residents of, and currently reside in, the 50 United States (and the District of Columbia) and Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are currently enrolled in grades 4–8 are eligible to enter, except that students in the following categories are NOT eligible to participate or enter: students who are immediate family members (i.e., daughter, son, sister, or brother, regardless of where they live) or who reside in the same household (whether related or not) of any persons who, after November 15, 2014, are employees or agents of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. (“MLBP”), Major League Baseball Enterprises, Inc., MLB Advanced Media, L.P., MLB Advanced Media, Inc., MLB Media Holdings, Inc., MLB Media Holdings, L.P., MLB Online Services, Inc., the MLB Network, LLC, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball (“BOC”), the Major League Baseball Clubs, Major League Baseball Players Association, Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (“C&D”), and/or each of their respective shareholders, employees, parents, directors, officers, affiliates, representatives, agents, successors and assigns (collectively, the “MLB Entities”), or Scholastic Inc. (“Sponsor”), its shareholders, employees, parents, directors, officers, affiliates, representatives, agents, successors and assigns (collectively, “Scholastic”) or any of their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, cooperatives, or franchisees or employees or agents of service agencies or independent contractors of any of the above organizations; individuals engaged in the development, production, or distribution of materials for this contest; or individuals involved in the judging process.

Limit one entry per student.  All mail entries must be postmarked by March 13, 2015, and received by March 20, 2015. Online entries for students in grades 4-8 must be submitted by teachers only subject to the following: (i) the student must be enrolled in the submitting teacher's class and (ii) only one (1) entry per student may be submitted. All online entries must be received by 11:59 PM EST on March 13, 2015.

How to Enter: Write an essay about a barrier that you have faced. Explain how you used one or more of Jackie Robinson's nine values—citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence, and teamwork—to face this barrier.

Each entry, whether entered by mail or submitted by your teacher online, must include the following information on the entry itself:

  • student's name
  • student's grade
  • teacher's name
  • school name
  • school city/state

Completed entries may be submitted in one of two ways: 1) mail completed essays to: Breaking Barriers Essay Contest, Scholastic Inc., P.O. Box 713, New York, NY 10013-0713; or 2) teachers can upload student entries online at www.scholastic.com/breakingbarriers.

All personal information collected from online entries will be retained in accordance with Scholastic's records retention policies for the Contest (for all entries: for one year following selection of the winner; for winners, up to three years). Any such personal information collected via online entry will also be subject to Scholastic's Privacy Policy. By submitting a student's entry in the Contest, each teacher represents that he/she has authority on behalf of the student's parent/legal guardian to consent to the collection, maintenance, processing and transfer of the student's information in and to the United States and in other countries and territories. Submitting teachers acknowledge and agree that such information may be available to United States authorities or otherwise accessed in accordance with United States federal or applicable state law.

Scholastic and the MLB Entities are not responsible for late, lost, damaged, stolen, incomplete, illegible, postage due, or misdirected entries or mail; for interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections; for lack of availability or accessibility, or miscommunications due to failed computer, satellite, telephone, or cable transmissions or lines; for technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions; for computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures, or difficulties; or for any other computer, network, technical, typographical, human or other error, problem, or malfunction related to or in connection with the Contest.

Each essay must be between 200 and 700 words.

Essays will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • How well does the essay express the student's barrier?
  • How well does the essay express how one or more of the values—citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence, and teamwork—is used to face and/or overcome the barrier?
  • How well is the essay organized to express what the writer wants to say?
  • How effective is the essay in expressing the writer's point of view?
  • How well does the essay incorporate an example of Jackie Robinson?
  • Correct grammar and spelling will also be considered.

All essays must be factual and based on the student's real-life experience. Fictional stories will be disqualified.

All entries must be written in English in order to be eligible. For contest entry information provided in Spanish, visit scholastic.com/breakingbarriers/spanish.

Selection of Winners: Entries submitted will be judged by Scholastic, C&D, and the BOC. Prospective winners and their parent/guardian will be notified on or about April 6, 2015. Entries, and all rights in winning entries, become the property of BOC and will not be returned. Each prospective winner and his/her parent/guardian (where applicable) agree to be bound by the Official Rules, and the decisions of the judges are final in all matters relating to this Contest. Each prospective winner and his/her parent/legal guardian (where applicable) will be required to sign, notarize, and return, within ten (10) days of date of notification: (1) an affidavit of eligibility/compliance with the rules and statement of originality and verification of address; (2) a publicity release permitting Scholastic, the MLB Entities and each of their respective designees to (i) use the winner’s name, address, likeness, biographical information and/or winner’s essay; (ii) reprint the winner’s submission, in whole or in part, in any future publication(s); and/or (iii) use the winner’s services, including all live and taped performances of winner’s media interviews, photo/video and/or autograph sessions in connection with this Contest in any and all media now known or hereafter developed, worldwide without limitation, including for any advertising, publicity, and promotional purposes, without additional notice or compensation, notification or permission, except where prohibited by law; and (3) a release of liability signed by the parent/legal guardian of the winner (where applicable), and the traveling companion of winner (as applicable); if the above are not executed and received by Scholastic within ten (10) days of date of receipt, prizes may be awarded to an alternate winner from among all remaining eligible entries. In addition, each winner and/or parent/legal guardian of the winner (where applicable) must execute all other documents requested by Scholastic and/or the MLB Entities.

Each entrant and his/her parent/guardian (where applicable) hereby release and hold harmless Scholastic and each of the MLB Entities from any and all claims, demands, losses, promises, causes of action, and liabilities arising out of the preparation for or participation in this Contest, or any use/misuse of any prize (or any portion thereof) awarded hereunder, including any travel or activity related thereto.

Scholastic and the MLB Entities assume no responsibility or liability for the selection of any winner. The acceptance of any prizes constitutes a release of Scholastic and the MLB Entities from such responsibilities and liabilities.

Prizes: Grand Prize: One (1) Grand Prize will be awarded from all eligible entries. Grand Prize student winner will receive a 3-day/2-night trip for 2 (for Grand Prize student winner and his/her parent or legal guardian) to the 2015 All-Star Game scheduled for July 14, 2015, in Cincinnati, OH. The Grand Prize package includes the following: 2 round-trip airfare tickets to an airport near the All-Star Game location (estimated retail value: $800.00) or ground transport based on home location of Grand Prize student winner; 2 game tickets to the 2015 All-Star Game (estimated retail value: $800.00); 2 nights of hotel accommodations (estimated retail value: $600.00); ground transport to and from airport, if needed (estimated retail value: $300.00); and ground transport to and from the game (estimated retail value: $300.00). In addition, Grand Prize student winner will receive a laptop computer (minimum estimated retail value: $1,200.00). One (1) Grand Prize teacher and classroom winners (i.e., the teacher and classmates of the Grand Prize–winning student) will receive a class visit from Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson (estimated retail value: $1,500.00); one class set (30 copies) of Promises to Keep books by Sharon Robinson (estimated retail value: $539.70); and one class set (30 T-shirts) of Breaking Barriers T-shirts (estimated retail value: $450.00). In addition, the teacher of the Grand Prize–winning student will receive a tablet (minimum estimated retail value: $400.00). Date of class visit from Sharon Robinson will be determined by Scholastic and BOC in coordination with the school and subject to Ms. Robinson’s schedule.

First Prizes: Four (4) First Prizes will be awarded (two winners from grades 4–5 and two winners from grades 6–8). Each of the four (4) First Prize student winners will receive a laptop computer (minimum estimated retail value: $1,200.00). Four (4) First Prize teacher and classroom winners (i.e., the teacher and classmates of each of the four First Prize–winning students) will receive a class visit from Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson (estimated retail value: $1,500.00); one class set (30 copies) of Promises to Keep books by Sharon Robinson (estimated retail value: $539.70); and one class set (30 T-shirts) of Breaking Barriers T-shirts (estimated retail value: $450.00). In addition, the teacher of each First Prize–winning student will receive a tablet (minimum estimated retail value: $400.00). Date of class visits from Sharon Robinson will be determined by Scholastic and BOC in coordination with the schools and subject to Ms. Robinson’s schedule.

Second Prizes: Four (4) Second Prizes will be awarded (two winners from grades 4–5 and two winners from grades 6–8). Each of the four (4) Second Prize student winners will receive a laptop computer (minimum estimated retail value: $1,200.00). Four (4) Second Prize teacher and classroom winners (i.e., the teacher and classmates of each of the four Second Prize–winning students) will receive one class set (30 copies) of Promises to Keep books by Sharon Robinson (estimated retail value: $539.70); and one class set (30 T-shirts) of Breaking Barriers T-shirts (estimated retail value: $450.00). In addition, the teacher of each Second Prize–winning student will receive a tablet (minimum estimated retail value: $400.00).

If any of the potential Grand Prize or First Prize winners is a student enrolled in home schools, he/she must designate, subject to approval of Scholastic and the BOC, a public or private school or a government or nonprofit child-focused organization in his/her community (the "Designated Entity") to receive the visit from Ms. Robinson, class set of books, class set of T-shirts, and teacher tablet. If the chosen Designated Entity refuses Ms. Robinson's visit for any reason, Scholastic and the MLB Entities will determine, in their sole discretion, another Designated Entity in the potential winner's community.

If any of the potential Second Prize winners is a student enrolled in home schools, he/she must designate, subject to approval of Scholastic and the BOC, a Designated Entity to receive the class set of books and class set of T-shirts. If the chosen Designated Entity refuses the class set of books and class set of T-shirts, for any reason, Scholastic and the MLB Entities will determine, in their sole discretion, another Designated Entity in the potential winner's community.

No cash substitutions for prizes. In the event of prize unavailability, a prize of equal or greater value will be awarded as determined in BOC’s sole discretion. Major League Baseball game, exhibition and/or event dates and times determined in the sole discretion of BOC, and may be subject to change. The Grand Prize does not include tickets to any game, event or exhibition during the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Week other than as specifically set forth herein. The terms and conditions of the tickets awarded as prizes will govern in the event a legal game, exhibition or event, as defined by BOC, is not played due to weather, an act of God, an act of terrorism, civil disturbance or any other reason. Grand Prize winner agrees to comply with all applicable stadium regulations in connection with the Prize. Scholastic and the applicable MLB Entities reserve the right to remove or to deny entry to winner and/or guest who engages in a non-sportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person at the game, exhibition or event. Scholastic and the MLB Entities will not be responsible for acts of God, acts of terrorism, civil disturbances, work stoppage or any other natural disaster that may cause the cancellation of Major League Baseball games, exhibitions or events. Prizes are nontransferable. All federal, state, and local taxes (including any applicable taxes on Canadian residents), if any, are the sole responsibility of the winners. Void where restricted or prohibited.

Winners List: For the names of winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope after November 15, 2014, and before April 6, 2015 to Breaking Barriers Grades 4-8 Winners List, Scholastic Inc., P.O. Box 713, New York, NY 10013-0713.

Sponsor: Scholastic Inc., 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of BOC, MLBP, and MLB Advanced Media, L.P., as applicable. Contest is not sponsored by any of the MLB Entities.

This promotion and all matters arising in connection with this promotion shall only be construed and evaluated according to United States law.

Help | Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR NAME

* YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

* RECIPIENT'S EMAIL ADDRESS(ES)

(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.

INCLUDE A PERSONAL MESSAGE (Optional)


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.