Newark Public Schools Teams Up with United Way of Essex & West Hudson, and Scholastic to Bring Author & Educator Sharon Robinson to Schools To Promote My Very Own Library Program

Daughter of the late Jackie Robinson visits three schools as part of national initiative

[Newark, NJ – June 20, 2017] Three Newark Public Schools hosted the United Way of Essex and West Hudson’s (UWEWH) My Very Own Library (MVOL) program, and author and educator, Sharon Robinson, daughter of the late, great Jackie Robinson on Friday, June 16.

Students at Hawkins Street School, Quitman Street School and Cleveland Elementary School were treated to day of reading as part of this national program, conducted in conjunction with Scholastic Book Fairs, a division of Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. In talking with the students, Ms. Robinson shared her journey as an author, educator and daughter to one of the greatest American hero’s, Jackie Robinson.

Roger León, Assistant Superintendent of NPS said, “Thank you to the United Way, Scholastic, My Very Own Library and Ms. Robinson for bringing this special reading program to Newark Public Schools. My Very Own Library helps to further our mission of encouraging students to read.” Joining Assistant Superintendent Leon was Assistant Superintendent Erskine Glover, who added, “Having Ms. Robinson in the District and participating in My Very Own Library Program, provides a unique opportunity for our students to experience the joy of reading. This program launches summer reading in a way students will remember and appreciate.”

Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball great and civil rights icon Jackie Robinson, is an acclaimed author of works of fiction and nonfiction as well as an educational consultant for Major League Baseball. She is the founder of Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life a baseball-themed national character education curriculum that helps empower students overcome obstacles in their lives. Robinson’s widely praised nonfiction books about her father, baseball legend Jackie Robinson, include Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson and Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America. Her other books include novels: The Hero Two Doors Down, Safe at Home, and Slam Dunk. Prior to joining Major League Baseball, Ms. Robinson was an educator and taught at Yale, Columbia, Howard, and Georgetown University. She currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

The partnership between NPS, UWEWH and MVOL allows students the opportunity to select three new children’s books at three special Scholastic book fairs, three times a school year.

“We are thrilled that Sharon Robinson is visiting students in Newark,” said Catherine Wilson, President and CEO. “This gives students an opportunity to not only connect with an author, but a woman whose family has made an indelible mark on African-American History. Our students are incredibly lucky to be able to learn from Ms. Robinson and connect her to their reading experiences.”