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Nov 04

Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day planned for Nov. 18

Posted on November 4, 2020 at 9:03 pm by Clay Curtin

On November 18, 2020, the City of Menlo Park will celebrate Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day. The day was first celebrated in Menlo Park during the 2019-2020 school year, and recognizes Ruby Bridges, who at the age of six, became the first African-American student to integrate into an elementary school in the South on November 14, 1960. Her simple but courageous act of showing up for school each day played an important part in the civil rights movement.

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. 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.

The 2019 event in Menlo Park was organized and supported by local organizations and agencies (Parents for Safe Routes, Safe Kids Santa Clara/San Mateo, San Mateo County Safe Routes to School/San Mateo County Office of Education, Stanford Children's Health and Menlo Park’s police department). Students and families gathered at Karl E. Clark Park to remember Ruby Bridges and begin their walks to Beechwood and Belle Haven schools. Over 60 people attended.

This year, all Menlo Park schools are invited to promote Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day among their students and families even though some may still be distance learning. Families can take a walk discussing how Ruby’s action back in 1960 is still relevant and how the work for justice and equity continues today. 

Walk with us Wednesday, November 18, 2020. Pictures of our 2020 Ruby Bridges Day walks submitted by community members will be presented during a City Council meeting in December. Please send your photos and selfies to the Safe Routes to School team.

Learn more about Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day on the San Mateo County Office of Education webpage.