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. Find the latest updates HERE!
About Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day
In 2018, a group of fifth graders in the South San Francisco Unified School District were so inspired by Ruby's courage that they advocated to make November 14th Ruby Bridges Day. With the help of the San Mateo County Office of Education, their dream became a reality. In September 2021, the California State Senate passed a resolution proclaiming November 14th as Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day! Click HERE to see the resolution.
Learn more about how these students were inspired to create Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day and celebrate Ruby's bravery and courage.
Video directed and edited by JR Sheetz.
In 1954 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 William 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 the 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, Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day 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, 25 schools participated in 2019, 55 schools in San Mateo County and across the country participated in 2020 and over 50,000 people participated in 2021!
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Photo Credits: NBC Bay Area, InMenlo
Coordinator, Safe Routes to School and TUPE
Phone: (650) 802-5429