Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day (RBWTSD) is the perfect opportunity to teach children about the civil rights movement and make connections to today’s collective efforts for change. RBWTSD gives children the opportunity to celebrate Ruby’s courage by walking to school.
RBWTSD will be held this year on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. We encourage schools across Oregon to host events on that day or another day in November! Incentive ordering will include a special Ruby Bridges sticker for the event along with standard incentives. Incentive ordering with the sticker will open in October.
Visit this page from San Mateo County to get more resources for planning your event, to register your event with them, and see how many schools across the country are hosting events!
In 1945 the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education ended racial segregation in public schools. However, southern states continued to resist. Ruby spent kindergarten in a segregated classroom. In 1960 a federal court ordered Louisiana schools to desegregate. The school district created an entrance exam to see if African American students could handle being in an all-white school. Ruby and five other students passed the exam. The six students were to be sent to two different all-white schools. The school district delayed their start and Ruby’s first day of school was November 14, 1960. A few days before the start of school, the two African American students who were going to attend with Ruby, decided to stay in their home school. Ruby braved Frantz Elementary School on her own.
How Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day Began
In May 2018, a group of fifth-graders from Martin Elementary School in South San Francisco, California, learned about Ruby and asked their school board to pass a resolution making November 14 Ruby Bridges Day. The San Mateo County Office of Education Safe Routes to School team met with students about making it a walk to school day and invited them to present this proposal to the San Mateo County Board of Education.
A resolution was passed endorsing November 14 as Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day in San Mateo County. When November 14th is a Saturday or Sunday, RBWTSD will be celebrated on the following Wednesday. The Safe Routes to School team invited other schools to join the Martin students in honoring Ruby’s courage by celebrating this walk to school day. Fourteen schools participated in 2018 and 25 participated in 2019.