South San Francisco, CA November 11, 2019 Submitted by Peter Feng, SSFUSD
Elementary and middle school students in the South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) will convene at city hall on Grand Avenue on November 14 to commemorate Ruby Bridges Day in South San Francisco by walking to their respective schools.
Joining them will be South San Francisco Mayor Karyl Matsumoto, parents, and officials from SSFUSD.
“Ruby Bridges was a six-year-old, African-American girl who helped desegregate the William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans in 1960,” said Martin Elementary fifth grade teacher Deborah Carlino. “Her courage has inspired children in my class, in my school, in our community to stand up and make a difference.”
According to Carlino, after her fifth grade students learned about Ruby Bridges in social studies, they expressed surprise that there was no special day set aside to honor her achievements.
They consequently set out to gather signatures to petition the SSFUSD board of trustees to designate November 14 as Ruby Bridges Day in the district.
“This campaign started in 2017,” said Carlino. “The students that year gathered more than 1,000 signatures from throughout the community and successfully convinced the school board to make November 14 Ruby Bridges Day. Then last year, my students went before the San Mateo County board of education to make the same request.”
The county board of education agreed, designating November 14 as Ruby Bridges Day throughout San Mateo County and encouraging schools to observe the occasion. The City of South San Francisco followed suit<http://ssfusd-ca.schoollo
“In our district, we are focused on providing meaningful learning experiences that encourage students to embrace different ideas and perspectives as they explore the world,” said SSFUSD Superintendent Dr. Shawnterra Moore. “The way Mrs. Carlino’s class is continuing to widen discussion of this issue is a great lesson in civic responsibility and political activism.”