Providence, RI, On November 18th, students, including AAA School Safety Patrollers, and members of the Mary Fogarty Elementary School community in Providence will honor civil rights icon, Ruby Bridges by taking part in Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day.
In November of 1960, six-year-old first-grader Ruby Bridges made history when she integrated as the first black student to the William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Her courageous action and historic steps marked the desegregation of New Orleans’ public schools. “AAA Northeast encouraged local schools to incorporate lessons about Ruby Bridges’ story and join in a walk to incorporate the surrounding community in this lesson on inclusion. Fogarty Elementary was the first to accept the invitation; the school community works to build thoughtful programs and lessons on respect and leadership. Year after year the AAA School Safety Patrollers and advisors impress us; these young leaders will join in carrying Ruby’s story to this next generation,” said Diana Gugliotta, AAA’s Northeast’s Senior Manager of Public Affairs.
In 2018, AAA School Safety Patrollers from South San Francisco, CA, learned about Ruby Bridges’ story and decided to start Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day in her honor. This student-led movement has grown bigger every year, with a vision of building a nationwide movement. The Ruby Bridges Foundation partnered with AAA to make sure school-age children throughout our nation receive education on the power of diversity, equity, and importance of standing up and standing against bullying, one step at a time.
“As educators we teach students about the importance of having courage to speak up for social justice. Students need to be able to make tangible connections to these messages, and Ruby Bridges is an ideal role model and example of the courage required for social change,” said Courtney Monterecy, Principal at Fogarty Elementary School. This week Fogarty students will have lessons on Ruby Bridges on Monday and Tuesday and create posters around equity that will be carried on the walk. School staff, members of Family Service of RI, and members of the Providence police will join the walking school bus and walk with students to school on Thursday.