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Sharon Robinson, Daughter of Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, to Attend Urban Initiative Jamboree

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (June 1, 2006) – Sharon Robinson, vice chairman of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and daughter of the late Baseball Hall of Famer, will attend the third annual Urban Initiative Jamboree, supported by Major League Baseball, June 2-4.

Ms. Robinson is an educational consultant to Major League Baseball and in this capacity leads Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life, a multi-curricular character education program developed by Major League Baseball. Each of the teams participating in the Jamboree will be presented this educational component as part of their Jamboree experience. Ms. Robinson will be in attendance at the Jamboree’s opening ceremonies, Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Howard J. Lamade Stadium. The public is welcome to attend.

The Breaking Barriers curriculum is based on the values demonstrated by Jackie Robinson and uses motivating, baseball-themed activities to reinforce literacy skills, mathematics, science and social history in addition to addressing critical issues of character development. In 1947, Mr. Robinson became the first African-American to play Major League Baseball in more than a half-century.

“The Urban Initiative Jamboree is a special opportunity to share the story of Jackie Robinson with the next generation of baseball players,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “The Jamboree provides an appropriate forum for melding baseball with education. To have Sharon Robinson be a part of the Jamboree and recount her father’s life lessons through the Breaking Barriers program affords these Little Leaguers a rare chance to gain an understanding of the challenges met by him.”

For years, the Little League Urban Initiative – Little League’s endeavor to bring the benefits of the program to families in urban areas – has provided young people a chance to play baseball where there was once little opportunity. As part of its continued efforts to increase interest in baseball among urban youth, Major League Baseball, recognizing the merits of the Urban Initiative and the unique opportunity afforded by the Jamboree, has contributed $500,000 in support of the program.

Prior to joining Major League Baseball, Ms. Robinson had a 20-year career as a nurse-midwife and educator, teaching at Yale, Columbia, Howard and Georgetown Universities. She directed the PUSH for Excellence program founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson from 1985 to 1990. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for the Roberto Clemente Sports City Complex and is an accomplished author. Among the literary works to her credit are: Stealing Home, a memoir recounting her days growing up in the public eye; Jackie’s Nine, a book for young readers about the nine heart-felt, hard-won values that helped her father achieve his goals; and the photographic biography Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America. Her first fiction novel, Safe at Home was published this year and each of the Jamboree participants will receive a copy.

Ms. Robinson received a bachelor’s degree from Howard University in 1973 and a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1976. She went on to receive a post-master’s certificate in teaching from the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998, and has honorary degrees from Medaille College (1998), Dowling College (2004), and Monmouth College (2005).

Sharon Robinson