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Jackie Robinson's daughter visits Wisconsin and calls for diversity
MEDFORD - Jackie Robinson hit 137 home runs, stole almost 200 bases and won the National League MVP after breaking baseball's color barrier.

His story is one of perseverance, struggle, and success. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, brought a similar message to our area on Monday.

8TH grader Aiden Gardner has played baseball since he was in Kindergarten.

"I love it. It's my favorite sport," said Gardner.

Jackie Robinson has been Gardner's hero his entire childhood, for what Jackie did both inside and outside the foul lines.

"He's the best at everything, at stealing bases, at defense," said Gardner.

When Gardner found out Robinson's daughter was coming to speak at his school he couldn't believe it.

"It's just really special. He's always been an icon to me," said Gardner.

Sharon Robinson spent Monday morning at Medford middle school presenting a program called "A Walk in Their Shoes."

Robinson talked about her father's baseball career and her family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

The program emphasized diversity.

"Diversity is important because we learn from people who are different from us, as well as those that are the same," said Robinson.

Robinson also addressed bullying, a problem she thinks kids can relate to.

"That's something that happened to my dad when he was playing baseball and that they can grasp onto now as well," said Robinson.

More than 8,000 kids from 35 private and public schools across Central Wisconsin will hear Robinson's story on Monday and Tuesday.

One of the event organizers Colin Hanson said it is important to inspire students.

"They are the generation to make that change. We are seeing a lot of movements right now and it's all done by teenagers," said Hanson.

Teenagers like Gardner, who was certainly inspired by Robinson's speech.

"It was inspiring to me to me because she taught me not to judge people because they're different," said Gardner.

The program continues on Tuesday at two more schools. The main event will happen on Tuesday at the Grand Theater in Wausau at 6:30 p.m.

Story By: Fitzgerald, Maggie


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