US Flag AddThis Social Bookmark Button En Español - http://www.servir.gov/

 

Home United We Serve National Service
National Service Blog - Archive
by

By Greg Tucker

Ruby Bridges’ walk to school became a symbol of the Civil Rights struggle 
In 1960, 6-year-old Ruby Bridges’ daily walk to class took her past an angry mob and into Civil Rights history when she became the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South.
Though she only lived five blocks from her new school, Ruby previously attended an all-black segregated school several miles away. After the Louisiana State Legislature exhausted all its options in a long battle against a federal court order to integrate the schools, Ruby was allowed to attend the classes near her home.
“I understood it was important but it didn’t hit me until I saw that Norman Rockwell painting. And I realize that it wasn’t something that just happened in New Orleans but it was something that people all across the country, all around the world actually, recognized, especially through the painting.” -Ruby Bridges
Each day, Ruby was escorted to the William Frantz School by federal marshals who ensured her safe arrival. Her first year at the school was tumultuous to say the least, and many white parents refused to allow their children to attend classes as long as Ruby was there. She also had to continue to navigate the mob every day, and endure threats to herself and her family.
But Ruby’s trials were eased by the kindness of Barbara Henry, the only white teacher who agreed to work with her at William Frantz.
An interview with a reporter when Bridges was 17 or 18 brought home the significance of her walk past a throng of angry protesters.
“I understood it was important but it didn’t hit me until I saw that Norman Rockwell painting. And I realize that it wasn’t something that just happened in New Orleans but it was something that people all across the country, all around the world actually, recognized, especially through the painting.
“And I always say that the lesson I took away was a lesson that Dr. King tried to teach all of us — and that was we should never look at a person and judge them by the color of their skin.”
In light of recent events, Ruby’s story is a reminder that it only takes a few people to come together and create the change that can help heal our nation’s deepest wounds.
Watch the video below and learn more as Ruby Bridges tells her story, discusses the kindness of Henry, and how her experience relates to Dr. Martin Luther King’s message of racial equality.

Learn more about the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at MLKDay.gov
Pledge to serve — take the MLK Day Challenge

Keywords: MLK Day, Ruby Bridges, Education, United We Serve
For low income non-English speaking families, tax season can be a daunting time. In Pinal County, Arizona, Ricardo Banuelos has opened up 16 centers to help residents overcome language barriers and recover the benefits they are entitled to.
With the Citizen Corps Council/VOAD, RSVP hosted an informational meeting on August 24, 2009 - to kick off Safety and Security Week and also build up to 9/11.
Pratyusha Yalamanchi is making a difference locally and globally.
The Bronx Wash is a cement covered arroyo that is an uninviting eyesore in the Northwest Neighborhood in Tucson, Arizona. The goal of the Bronx Wash Mural Project is to encourage a sense of pride and ownership in the area, to reconnect the neighborhood and involve local residents in beautifying this shared space.
On the first-ever September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance, young people from across the nation planted trees in Keystone, Colorado, to honor fallen heroes and increase their knowledge of nature.
United States Embassy staff and families in Tokyo, Japan have embraced the State Departments Embassy Community Action Program (ECAP) by leading book drives in local libraries.
EducationWorks, which serves children and youth in urban neighborhoods, including Trenton in NJ, wanted to participate in a service event to recognize the new National Day of Service and Remembrance on 9/11/2009.
This August, a group of Girls Inc girls at our Brooklyn site volunteered at Rooftop Farms in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Professional athletes in Austin, Texas answer the President's call on the first ever National Day of Service and Rememberance.
Mother organizes her community to knit 130 helmet liners for her son's fellow troops in Afghanistan.
I am a senior and member of the varsity cheerleading squad at Stone Bridge High School. This year I helped organize my team to participate in a community service project to commemorate September 11.
UPS employees have completed a project that benefits both Atlanta residents and the environment. These employee volunteers transformed a small patch of unused land into a garden full of hearty produce: corn, onions, okra, squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, beans, sweet potatoes and watermelon now fill a space that was previously vacant and unattractive.
The Northeast Ecological Corridor, protected as a Nature Reserve in April 2008, lies between the towns of Luquillo and Fajardo on Puerto Rico's northeastern shoreline. Its 3,200 acres include forests, wetlands, beaches, coral communities, a bioluminescent lagoon and one of the hottest surfing spots on Puerto Rico's east coast: "La Selva" (the jungle).
Danielle talks about the challenges ("try getting a physically combative 60 lb. 5 yr. old in a car seat by yourself") and triumphs ("I could see him carrying himself differently") of mentoring 5-year old Tyler, a young boy struck by the instability and stigma of having an incarcerated parent.
Students from 11 New York City schools competed in the first Teen Iron Chef competition of culinary skills and talent organized by HealthCorps®, Family Cook Productions and Urban Assembly School of Music and Art.
Usher helps youth use their creative talents to address problems in their communities.
How one school got involved on September 11th by honoring our service members.
When I first found out I’d be interning in the New York City Mayor’s Office this summer, I resigned myself to a summer of desk work, with perhaps some filing thrown in for variety. So imagine my surprise when I began working at NYC Service, an office launched by Mayor Bloomberg in April in response to President Obama’s national call to service.
A Pittsburgh, PA couple takes time out every day to talk to the "Mayor of Main Street."
When I retired nearly four years ago, I never dreamed I would have so many interesting jobs and experiences.
Eastern Colorado experiences blizzard conditions every winter. Living snow fences are tree plantings strategically planned to provide protection along roadways by capturing wind driven snow, keeping snow and ice from creating driving hazards. In my career, I have coordinated or participated in 36 living snow fence plantings.
Mike L., a member with the American Red Cross’ AmeriCorps Together We Prepare program, has been making quite an impact on Washtenaw County in Michigan. Through his service with the county’s Red Cross chapter, Mike’s usual service has been organizing a youth service group called Youth Community Action Team (YCAT) and responding to local disasters. But following an AmeriCorps training session, another opportunity presented itself.
As the National Day of Service and Remembrance came to a close, Sprite renewed the urgent call for volunteerism across America by launching the Sprite Step Off Service Challenge on the Mall of Washington on September 12. As part of the Sprite Step Off, the largest college Greek competition ever, the Service Challenge presents an opportunity for young people to refresh their communities through volunteerism.
A retail store in Los Angeles opens its doors to help children read.
Boston-based rockers Thirteen Yards to Victory couldn't help but notice the headlines in the local newspapers and the announcements on social media sites that many arts and music education programs in their area were being cut severely. The bad economy was going to mean a poor education for so many students.
On September 11, more than a dozen Cabinet secretaries and senior administration officials commemorated the heroism of those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001, and remembered their spirit of sacrifice by engaging in service and volunteerism as part of the first officially recognized September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.
I wanted to share some news with you that the First Lady and I are excited to share on this National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Beverley is a volunteers with Prisoner Visitation & Support in rural West Virginia. Her experiences have allowed her to inspire others and be inspired. Through her visits, she hopes to serve as a role model for those inside and outside of the prison walls.
In 2007 we started the Boston Latin School Youth Climate Action Network as a student led extracurricular club devoted to helping the environment.
Working for a company for 25 years shows loyalty—volunteering for an organization for 25 years is much more than just loyalty. It is dedication, selflessness, and passion for what one does. Wanda Allen-Yearout is one of only a few individuals with this huge accomplishment, but she is very modest about it.

Pages

Stay in Touch

Follow us on the following social networks, to ensure that you are always up to date!

Facebook Icon
Twitter Icon
YouTube Icon

 

 

CNCS Logo

Tell us how we're doing: serviceinitiative@cns.gov

National Service websites:

 

Back to Top