LaGrange, Ga., March 28, 2017 – Students in Troup County School System (TCSS) received some encouraging news when asked to write essays about overcoming obstacles – their writings would be entered into a contest with Scholastic Publishing. The completed works would be shared with Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson, before a winner was named.
Teachers and students focused on the book Promises to Keep; a story chronicling Jackie Robinson’s rise to prominence in Major League Baseball amid breaking the color barrier for the popular sport. The prompt asked students to show how they use Jackie Robinson’s values to face their own barriers, making the writing relevant to their personal lives. While the essay was a perfect addition to the TCSS curriculum, it was also a rigorous lesson that made students think beyond the classroom.
Winners will be named later this month. One student writing is below: I faced a barrier when I was very young. Until I was six years old, my mom lived with me. When my mom was with me, she would get me, my brother, and my sister up for school. Then my mom went to jail, and I had to take her place. I had to have courage, because I had to look after my brother and sister. Jackie Robinson had courage to do what he had to do, too. I used determination, because I was determined she was going to come back. Jackie Robinson was determined not to fight back when people were mean to him.
• We used teamwork.
• We worked in a team.
• We had a plan.
• We stuck with the plan.
I was sad because she left. I wouldn’t think of it. I was mad at my mom for what she did, because she went to jail, and I didn’t have a mom for that time.
I never gave up.
The way that I overcame my barrier was similar to Jackie Robinson because we both never gave up. We both didn’t fight back even though we wanted to. He let them call him names and he didn’t let it stop him from playing baseball. Even though I was mad at my mom, I still went to school and made good grades.
Jackie Robinson and I were different because I had to get my brother and sister up at 6:00 am and help them get ready for school. Jackie’s barrier was that he played baseball and the people called him names, because he tried to break the color barrier.
The main thing was that my mom went to jail when I was six years old and I had to get my brother and sister up for school, then walk across the street to catch the bus. I was tired at school, because I did not get any sleep at home. I had to wake up my brother and sister. My dad was at work. This is how my life went.
I learned to not get in trouble so you can be with your family. I learned to keep going even if something bad happens in your family. In life we have to take the good with the bad and know that we are going to be okay if we pray and always makes good decisions.
That’s why I think Jackie and I broke barriers in our lives but didn’t allow it to stop us from succeeding.
Good luck to all students who participated in the essay contest. To learn more about Troup County School System, visit troup.org and the Troup County School System Facebook page.