Join Au Pair in America in Celebrating Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day (2024)

It started with a question: “Why isn’t there a day named after Ruby Bridges?”

Maddie, a student at Martin Elementary in South San Francisco, along with her fellow AAA School Safety Patrollers, wondered if there was a way to celebrate the civil rights icon, and Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day was born.

In 1960, at the age of six, Ruby Bridges was one of the first Black children to integrate the all-white public school system in New Orleans, Louisiana. Facing an angry mob, Ruby was escorted into school by federal marshals. Read more about Ruby’s story and bravery.

What is Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day?

This nationwide event — happening Monday, November 14th — is a partnership between the Ruby Bridges Foundation and AAA. To honor Ruby Bridges, school children across the US will walk to school with friends, neighbors, and classmates, and you can too! Be sure to post photos and videos of your walk to social media using #RubyBridgesWalkToSchoolDay (and don’t forget to tag Au Pair in America and The Ruby Bridges Foundation!). Members of the Au Pair in America community who email images captured from the walk with the subject line “Ruby Bridges” will earn a special thank you gift.

Other ways for you and your family to participate:

  • Read more about the story. Check out I am Ruby Bridges, authored by the civil rights hero herself (recommended for ages 4-8)
  • Plan a family movie night – the film Ruby Bridges is available on Disney+ (recommended for ages 10+)
  • Take a virtual field trip – The Norman Rockwell Museum is home to the iconic painting of Ruby Bridges, titled “The Problem We All Live With”. The museum provides virtual museum tours and programs.
  • Learn more about Ruby Bridges and her work by visiting the Ruby Bridges Foundation
  • Wear purple! It’s Ruby’s favorite color.
  • Ask your school to participate. It’s never too early to begin planning for next year’s walk to school event.
  • In support of your school or community organization, request information and free materials from AAA – event resource guides, printable posters, and more – to help make your Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day a success.

Did you know? As a leader in the field of au pair child care, Au Pair in America partners with other organizations who are experts in their field. AAA is just one of those partners. For decades, Au Pair in America au pairs have had access to “best in the industry” training in driving and road safety.

Interested to learn more about hosting an au pair with Au Pair in America? Click here.

Join Au Pair in America in Celebrating Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day (2024)


Why do people walk to school on Ruby Bridges Day? ›

Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day (RBWTSD) is the perfect opportunity to teach children about the civil rights movement and make connections to today's collective efforts for change. RBWTSD gives children the opportunity to celebrate Ruby's courage by walking to school.

Who escorted Ruby Bridges to school each day? ›

Ruby had to be escorted to school by federal mashals for the entire school year. She was the only student in the classroom with teacher Barbara Henry, the only teacher willing to accept her, and she spent most of her lunches and recesses alone. In spite of all this, Ruby showed up every day, ready to learn.

Why do we wear purple for Ruby Bridges Day? ›

Many students walked to school wearing purple to remember the days she spent walking to school under escort. The irony is the police were there by order of the governor to keep her out. The president sent her with an escort to ensure she made it in. This is Black history.

What is the favorite color of Ruby Bridges? ›

The museum provides virtual museum tours and programs. Learn more about Ruby Bridges and her work by visiting the Ruby Bridges Foundation. Wear purple! It's Ruby's favorite color.

What happened to Ruby Bridges during school? ›

Ruby faced blatant racism every day while entering the school. Many parents kept their children at home. People outside the school threw objects, police set up barricades. She was threatened and even “greeted" by a woman displaying a black doll in a wooden coffin.

How did bridges get to school each day? ›

14, 1960. Bridges walked to school each day as she was denied a seat on the school bus because of the color of her skin.

Did Ruby Bridges pass away? ›

Answer and Explanation: As of April 2022, Ruby Bridges remains alive. She is 67 years old and works as an author and civil rights activist. She created the Ruby Bridges Foundation in 1999 and has won multiple awards for her work.

What was Ruby Bridges' real name? ›

Ruby Nell Bridges Hall is an American Hero. She was the first African American child to desegregate William Frantz Elementary School. At six years old, Ruby's bravery helped pave the way for Civil Rights action in the American South.

Did Ruby Bridges get married? ›

Ruby graduated from a desegregated high school, became a travel agent, married and had four sons.

How to contact Ruby Bridges? ›

Ruby wants to hear from you!

To connect with the Ruby Bridges Foundation, you can email

What do Ruby Bridges do today? ›

She is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences". Describing the mission of the group, she says, "racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it."

How many sisters did Ruby Bridges have? ›

Ruby Bridges was born on September 8, 1954, the oldest of four children (two brothers - one deceased - and one sister), into a family of sharecroppers in Tylertown, Mississippi. Her parents worked very hard, and life was not easy.

What is Ruby Bridges' fav food? ›

For dinner, they ate New Orleans or Southern food like red beans and rice. Sometimes, they had fried catfish or shrimp for dinner. Ruby's favorite desserts were banana pudding and sweet potato pie.

What is Ruby Bridges' favorite color in 2024? ›

Woodson Book Award for writing about her experience. 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.

What grade was Ruby Bridges in? ›

Most white parents also would not let their children attend the Frantz School anymore, so Ruby was the only student in her first grade class for most of the year.

Why did Ruby Bridges mother want her to go to school? ›

Ruby's mother, in this case, wanted to force the situation. Lucille (Ruby's Mom) believed that if she passed the test, Ruby would be able to attend Page 2 an all white school and receive a better education. Lucille eventually convinced Abon to let Ruby take the test.

Who drove Ruby Bridges to school on her first day of class? ›

Ruby didn't fully understand what was going on, but she knew her parents were scared. Some white men in suits arrived (Federal Marshals) that morning. They drove Ruby to school and surrounded her on the way in. The first day of school was strange for Ruby.

How many kids went to school with Ruby Bridges? ›

Ruby was one of six Black children to pass the test. Two of the six students decided to remain in their current school. Three of them transferred to McDonogh No.

What is the Ruby walk? ›

Every year on November 14, Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day honors the power of dialogue and movements built by young people, and the wisdom young people have to change the world — just as Ruby Bridges did when she took her historic walk to school on November 14, 1960, at just six years old.

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