Ruby Bridges Reading Festival | National Civil Rights Museum

Saturday, May 18  •  10am-3pm

museum courtyard
Free & Open to the public


For the fourth year, the museum is proud to partner with civil rights icon Ruby Bridges-Hall to present the Ruby Bridges Reading Festival. 

Children pre-K through elementary school can not only receive free books at the festival, but can also enjoy storytelling and entertainment. Educators, with their valid school ID, can also get free books for their classroom. The event will feature fun activities including face painting, balloon animals, dance and musical performances and food trucks. Other activities ibnclude:

  • Hear read-alouds and music
  • See a puppet show with Les Passees Kids on the Block
  • Sing and play an instrument with Sue Schnitzer, the Singing Librarian
  • Meet jam skaters from V-Style skate crew and learn about jam skating
  • Meet authors of books about social justice and activism
  • Get new books for your home library!
  • Create a Community Painting of Ruby Bridges with AlivePaint
  • Make a Book of Your BIG Words
  • Create Chalk Art


At six years old, Ruby Bridges-Hall 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-Hall 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."


Literacy PartNers

Social Media Passport to Win Prizes!

Use social media for our Ruby Bridges Reading Festival Passport activity to win great prizes!  Must be present at the festival Saturday, May 18, to win.


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