Saturday, May 20 • 10am-3pm
museum courtyard • Free & Open to the public
For the second year, the National Civil Rights Museum is proud to partner with civil rights activist Ruby Bridges to present the Ruby Bridges Reading Festival on Saturday, May 20, from 10:00am to 3:00pm.
At six years old, Ruby Bridges was the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana in 1960 when her parents responded to a request by the NAACP to help integrate the New Orleans school system.The Ruby Bridges Reading Festival celebrates Bridges' legacy of passionately advocating for equal rights, education and tolerance by bringing together families across racial, economic and educational backgrounds around reading.
Bridges stated, “As a child, I never quite understood the power of a story until I found myself at the center of one that catalyzed and emboldened a movement. Today it is so important that our children learn to believe in the power of their stories and know what a force for change they can be. Which is why I am honored to have the opportunity to share my experience with the wonder of storytelling joined with the beautiful people of Memphis on the holy grounds of the National Civil Rights Museum.
Each child in grades pre-kindergarten through high school at the Festival not only has a chance to receive free books, but can also enjoy storytelling and entertainment. The event will feature fun activities including face painting, balloon animals, dance and musical performances and food truck treats. The event is free and open to the public.
The festival is sponsored by International Paper, Ruby Bridges Foundation, Scholastic, Georgia Pacific Cellulose, and Wells Fargo. Literacy partners include Books from Birth, Early Success Coalition, First Book, First Regional Library, Literacy Mid-South and Memphis Public Library and Information Center.