Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day

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During the spring of 2015, we were inspired to join the national campaign to raise money for the Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day. This year, over 52,000 students in 36 states and the District of Columbia participated. Many more cities and towns issued proclamations to join the campaign. Read on for a few facts about Ruby Bridges, her courageous walk to school, and more. The campaign raised over $11 million, and it was a rousing success.

Ruby Bridges
The annual Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day is a celebration of civil rights and walks to school. More than 32,000 students from 36 states took part in the walk to school event. More cities were inspired to join the event, and the foundation even issued a proclamation. The day has become an important educational opportunity for students and a way to show support for education. Here are some ways to get involved. Read on to learn about the history of the walk to school day, as well as the mission of the foundation.

Her courage
A young girl named Ruby Bridges will be celebrated on Walk to School Day this year. The story of her courage was first heard by AAA School Safety Patrollers, who are the school’s walking safety officers. The students were inspired by Ruby’s story and decided that it should be celebrated as Walk to School Day. They will walk together to raise awareness and funds for the foundation, which helps support community walking safety initiatives.

Her desegregation
In 1960, a court order forced New Orleans schools to desegregate. Ruby Bridges was six years old and enrolled at an all-white kindergarten. When the school district refused to desegregate, it created entrance exams for African American students. The tests were designed to gauge their academic ability and readiness to compete in all-white schools. Ruby passed the entrance exam with five other African American students.

Her first day at school
A black student, Ruby Bridges experienced racial discrimination in the 1960s when she attended William Frantz Elementary School. She was a victim of daily threats of poisoning because of the way she was dressed. President Eisenhower acted on the threat by deploying the U.S. Marshals to allow her to eat only home-cooked meals. This school decision had tragic consequences for her family. Her father lost his job and the grocery store where he worked, and her family lost their land, which they had cultivated as sharecroppers.

Her impact on public education
When she was six, Ruby Bridges attended an all-white elementary school in the Southern United States. Federal marshals guarded her entrance. In fact, federal troops were protecting Ruby and her classmates, even though they were only there to learn. The school was the William Frantz Public School in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Today, the school’s walls tell a tale of desegregation, racism, and privatization.

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