Silverwood Elementary and other MDUSD schools participate in Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day
To remember the courageous, historic, and nation-changing “walk” of Ruby Bridges in November of 1960, and to promote healthy living, Silverwood Elementary held its first Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day on Friday, Nov. 17th. Silverwood was one of several District schools to participate in the national event, which is regularly held on Nov. 14th to commemorate the anniversary of the day 6-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first African American child to integrate schools when she walked into the formerly whites-only William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana. Schoolchildren around the country celebrate her accomplishment by walking to their own schools, reading books about Ruby Bridges and talking about ongoing efforts to fight racism and discrimination.
Organized by teachers Chiara Falcone and Shelly Harrison, Silverwood students who walked to school received Ruby Bridges flags, bracelets, stickers and backpacks. The idea for the walk-to-school event was generated by the Silverwood School Site Council when goals were being developed for the school's Single Plan for Student Achievement, said Principal Bruce Burns. The walk was held on Friday because the PTA had previously scheduled a Turkey Trot fundraiser on Dec. 14th. "The School Site Council provided funding for Silverwood to purchase a few dozen Ruby Bridges books for teachers and students to read and learn about Ruby's amazing and courageous story," Mr. Burns said, adding that teacher Terri Huston also developed "an incredible online resource for all staff, students, and parents, which includes virtual books and videos about Ruby Bridges."
Isabel Becerra and her 3rd grade daughter Joslyn were among the parents and students who participated in the walk. Joslyn said she enjoyed walking and she appreciated Ruby Bridges' courage. "She was brave in walking to the school when the white people were yelling at her," Joslyn said.
Ms. Falcone, who teaches 4th grade, said the school wanted to honor Ruby Bridges, who was a "courageous world-changer with integrity." Nicole Mora and her husband participated in the walk with their kindergarten twins. "It was great to see all the people doing this," she said. "The kids were excited. I think it's a great message."
Escorted by the Concord Police who blocked some roads from cars for the event, Mr. Burns estimated that about 200 students and 100 parents walked to school in recognition of and to celebrate the bravery and determination Ruby Bridges showed us more than 60 years ago. "I'm thrilled with the turnout, the excitement and the positive feedback," he said, adding that the school plans to continue this tradition next year.
Other District schools that participated in Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day included Fair Oaks Elementary, Gregory Gardens Elementary, Monte Gardens Elementary, Walnut Acres Elementary, Valle Verde Elementary, and Valley View MS.
- Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day
- Silverwood Elementary