For the second year in a row, Oregon students celebrated Ruby Bridges Walk+Roll to School Day. Around the state, students donned warm clothes and participated in walk and roll events to commemorate the bravery of Ruby Bridges, who at 6 years old was the first Black student in New Orleans to attend a previously segregated school. Ruby Bridges’ courageousness sparked change, and led to further desegregation in the South – proving that even the youngest among us can make a difference in creating a better world. Learn more about Ruby here, and read on to learn about what communities around Oregon did to celebrate Ruby Bridges Walk+Roll to School Day!

In Salem, SRTS coordinator Beth Schmidt felt the day had a huge impact on students, and that offering a variety of activities will help students remember Ruby’s message. 

“When so many students have different ways of learning, I always feel like participation in an activity helps make it real. They will retain what they learned about Ruby Bridges and her brave walk into school at just 6 years old. Hopefully for the rest of their lives they recall this event, and honor her and what she has done for American Civil Rights”, said Schmidt.

Students at Bush Elementary in Salem gather to celebrate Ruby Bridges Walk+Roll to School Day

In Bend, Oregon, students braved 20 degree weather to walk to school together and learn more about Ruby Bridges for an event organized by SRTS coordinator Whitney Bennet and local partners. Bend-La Pine School Board member and the Father’s Group Board member Marcus LeGrande joined and talked with students about the importance of Ruby’s role, and how students can continue to follow her example and strive for equity and justice in their lives. 

Students met in Juniper Park (Bend, OR) for hot cocoa before walking to school.

In Medford, students also joined in on the fun! Students and parents formed a bike train, and biked to school in honor of Ruby Bridges. School families and volunteers throughout the community stepped up to help, offering extra crossing guard support and providing sponsorships. SRTS coordinator Julie van Horn was glad that despite the long holiday weekend, and freezing fog, students were eager to walk and roll to school and learn more about Ruby Bridges.

Students in Medford bike to school.

Families and students celebrated in East Multnomah county, too! Butler Creek Elementary, Meadows Elementary and Wilkes Elementary joined the fun with support from after school SUN coordinators.

A family from Wilkes Elementary poses with portraits they made of Ruby Bridges

Thank you to the families, SRTS coordinators and students around Oregon who made this day possible! We look forward to celebrating Ruby Bridges Walk+Roll to School Day again in 2023!