February 20, 2014 —Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, enthusiastically stepped up to the mike before a standing-room-only audience at the Robert H. Jackson Center’s tenth annual Young Readers program on February 18, 2014. Each year, the Center partners with the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program of the New York State Bar Association to bring a young adult author to the Center in celebration of the important contribution young people’s literature makes to lifelong literacy, education and good citizenship.
Students in grades five through twelve were invited to participate in a statewide essay contest based on Ms. Robinson’s book Jackie’s Nine: Jackie Robinson’s Values to Live By. Entrants were asked to write an essay explaining how Jackie Robinson and one of the other individuals featured in the book exemplified one of those nine values.
Three students from three grade levels were recognized for their winning essays at a luncheon reception at the Jackson Center. Each winner was presented with a $250 cash prize, a certificate, and autographed copies of Jackie’s Nine and Robert H. Jackson: New Deal Lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, Nuremberg Prosecutor by Gail Jarrow in recognition of their winning entries. The contest winners were: Grades 5-6: Devyn Hall of Milton L. Olive Middle School in Suffolk County; Grades 7-8: Eleanor Anderson-Zych of Wilson Foundation Academy in Monroe County; and Grades 9-12: Jacob Kindberg, Jamestown High School.
Warren County, Pa. students were also invited to attend the event this year. Although they were not eligible to participate in the New York State contest, the Warren schools held a district-wide essay contest for sixth grade students, and the winners were recognized during the morning program. They were: Hanna Ruland, Beaty-Warren Middle School; Nick Collins, Russell Elementary School; Dakota Hensel, Youngsville Elementary/Middle School; and Lilly Darling, Sugar Grove Elementary School. Each winner received a personalized, autographed copy of Jackie’s Nine.
Sponsors for this years’ event were: New York State Bar Association Law, Youth & Citizenship Program; Ahlstrom-Schaeffer; Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame; Cattaraugus County Bank; Chautauqua Region Community Foundation; Comfort Inn; Cummins Engine; Double A Vineyards; E.E. Austin & Son; Evans Discount Liquor; Hope’s Windows; The Legend Group; Curt & Joyce Sechler; Serta Mattress; Shults Management Group; and Truck-Lite, Inc.
The event, which was coordinated by Jackson Center volunteer Paul Lombardo, is part of the ongoing mission of the Jackson Center to educate youth on the legacy of United State Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg prosecutor Robert H. Jackson. At the request of President Harry S. Truman, Jackson served as U.S. Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials of surviving Nazi leaders.
The Center is located at 305 East Fourth Street, Jamestown. Tours are available from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday–Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. For information about this or other Jackson Center events, please contact the Jackson Center at 483-6646 or visit www.roberthjackson.org.