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.

Walk With Us in 2020

Join San Mateo County students on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, for Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day. The students behind Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day (RBWTSD) have a dream of celebrating this special day across California and the nation. Help them realize their dream by signing your school up for Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day. We will post updates on sign-ups so you can join us in watching this movement grow. A participation list will be posted following the event.

COVID-19 Considerations

If your school is not holding in-person learning on November 18, consider teaching children about Ruby Bridges and encourage them to take a mindful walk with their families on November 14th, thinking about Ruby's courage and the power that children can have toward positive change.

If your school is continuing in-person learning using a hybrid model, consider making Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day a week-long event so children can participate on their scheduled day.

About Ruby

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.Ruby bridges walks down steps alongside US marshals

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 and 25 schools participated in 2019. 

Resources

Photo Credits: NBC Bay Area, InMenlo

Theresa Vallez-Kelly

Coordinator, Safe Routes to Schools and TUPE

Email: tvkelly@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5429

Vanessa Castro

Project Specialist, Safe Routes to Schools

Email: vcastro@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5430

Ruth Wallace

Administrative Assistant, Safe Routes to Schools

Email: rwallace@smcoe.org

Phone: (650) 802-5428