Essay contest for kids focuses on overcoming obstacles

Dodger pitcher Eric Gagne lends his support to contest that helps kids build character, stay positive

Positively For Kids, Inc., a multimedia content provider specializing in publishing books and other learning materials that promote and incorporate character-building themes, has announced it has teamed up with Dodgers pitcher Eric Gagne to offer an essay contest for kids based on the theme of the Cy Young winner’s upcoming autobiography, "Break Barriers."

Children 9 to 14 are encouraged to tell their story about how they’ve been able to "break barriers" and stay positive in their own lives, helping them to become a person of character.

Entries should consist of an essay of no more than 500 words that: 1. describes the greatest barrier or obstacle the entrant has overcome; 2. describes a well-known celebrity who is the entrant’s role model for overcoming barriers or life obstacles; and 3. gives helpful suggestions to others their age on how to overcome barriers.

"I know about barriers, and I’m not talking about just the barriers I’ve faced in baseball. I know the barrier of not having enough money. I know the family barrier created by divorce. I know the barrier of facing a career-ending injury," said Gagne.

"And I know about the biggest barriers of all, the barriers buried in our own minds."

Positively For Kids books are launched in tandem with essay contests based on themes from various athletes’ books and are co-sponsored by a regional literacy group.

The Literacy Network of Greater Los Angeles is the official literacy sponsor of the Eric Gagne "Break Barriers" essay contest.

Entry forms will be available on the Positively For Kids Website:

The grand prize winner will receive two tickets to a Dodgers game on Aug. 7, on-field access during batting practice, an Eric Gagne-signed "Break Barriers" book and baseball and Atari’s Backyard Baseball video game.

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