MCBC Education & Encouragement Ruby Bridges Day 2024 in Marin

Enthusiastic Turnout Marks First Ruby Bridges Day in Marin

With an impressive student turnout at 42 elementary schools, Marin Safe Routes to Schools celebrated its first-ever county-wide Ruby Bridges 2024 Walk and Roll to School Day on November 15.

The event served as a powerful educational platform, highlighting the significance of Ruby Bridges, a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement during the 1960s. The celebration provided a unique opportunity to make connections with the work we do to provide healthy, active travel for all in Marin.

Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old African American girl attended an all-white elementary school in New Orleans. In 1960, at the age of six, she bravely faced hostility during her daily walk to class and also when all her classmates left the school upon her arrival. With courage and resilience, she graduated from a desegregated high school and later won the Carter G. Woodson Book Award for writing about her experience. Ruby Bridges Day

Despite unfavorable weather forecasts, schools remained steadfast in holding their event with thousands of students marching down the streets waving purple flags–Ruby’s favorite color. 

Loma Verde parent volunteer Kelly Smith remarked, “If Ruby was able to take crowds of yelling people, screaming threats, and getting things thrown at her, we can take a little rain.” 

Venetia Valley School’s 300 participants showcased a resilient spirit with walking school buses, bike trains, and individual walkers. Their parent volunteer, Heather Crossen, echoed Smith’s sentiment: “Ruby overcame all obstacles in her route to school every day. What’s a little rain to us? Maybe we’ll just have a bad hair day.”

Deena Blas, a parent volunteer from Pleasant Valley School, emphasized the broader societal impact: “Ruby Bridges Walk and Roll to School Day is a call to action to continue our journey to end racism and all forms of bullying in our schools.” Blas also highlighted the environmental benefits of reducing vehicular traffic on the roads for the overall well-being of the community.

The Marin Independent Journal covered the Ruby Bridges Day 2024 event at Pleasant Valley. To read the story, click HERE.

If you must DRIVE to school, please be extra vigilant during school arrival and departure times and remember these important safety tips:

  • Allow extra time for travel

  • Go slow and scan for children, especially during morning and afternoon commute times

  • Stay alert – eyes up and focus on the drive; mobile devices can take a back seat to safety

Learn more about Safe Routes to Schools Marin and MCBC’s education and encouragement programs here.

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