Ruby Bridges saw the harshness of racism through her own eyes when as a 6-year-old in 1960 she walked through a screaming mob into a white New Orleans elementary school. Today, along with Scholastic Book Clubs, she recognizes 25 students who have described racism through their eyes
These 25 students are winners of the first-ever Scholastic Book Clubs “Dear Ruby Bridges…” National Letter Writing Contest. Chosen by Ruby Bridges herself, the winners described most eloquently and sincerely their experiences with racism today – 47 years after Ruby became a heroine of racial integration.
Racism “is like a dark shadow that travels among humans, robbing them of their self worth and identity every chance it gets,” fifth-grader James S. Goff of Damascus, MD, wrote to Ms. Bridges.
“You were strong, Ms. Bridges, to do what you did to stand firm against racism at the age of six,” wrote another student, sixth-grader Zackery Tidmore of Orwigsburg, PA. “I will follow your example and be respectful of others in my school. I know I can make a difference!”
Almost 15,000 students in grades 4-6 wrote letters to Ruby Bridges, author of the autobiography Through My Eyes, which is published by Scholastic, expressing their feelings about racism.
“These students deserve our recognition as shining examples of children in America who have dealt with adversity,” said Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Clubs, a division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company. “Ruby Bridges is the ultimate example of a woman who for her entire life has confronted racism head on rather then run from it. She is a great role model for today’s students.”
The winners of the 2007 “Dear Ruby Bridges…” National Letter Writing Contest are:
Meenakshi Chakraborty, Lexington, MA
Taryn Cordani, Douglas, MA
Laura Coughlan, Mantua, NJ
Abigale Crump, Olive Branch, MS
Alicia Czarnecki, Middleville, MI
Edward Dong, San Jose, CA
Elise Foote, Houston, TX
Alexis Garcia, Tampa, FL
James S. Goff, Damascus, MD
Laureano Gomez, Lynwood, CA
Cambre Goodlett, Douglasville, GA
Tiyana Kekaulani Hallums, Honolulu, HI
Kristen A. Johnson, Old Bridge, NJ
Matthew Kanter, Hillsdale, NJ
Gosuke Katoh, San Diego, CA
Jesse Lin, Fort Wayne, IN
Emilee Martin, Richmond, TX
Marissa Messina, Weston, MA
Bronte Torres Pagan, Winchendon, MA
Anaiste Reynoso, Oakdale, CA
Cameihl Rivera, Austin, TX
Katelyn Shimek, Sugar Land, TX
Clare Strickler, Mansfield, OH
Zackery Tidmore, Orwigsburg, PA
Belinda Wu, Cerritos, CA
The 25 winners will each receive a signed copy of Ruby Bridges’ Through My Eyes, personalized stationery to encourage them to continue writing letters on important topics as they grow older and a 25-book Diversity Classroom Library, compiled from Scholastic Book Clubs collections, for their school.
For 59 years, Scholastic Book Clubs have provided monthly catalogues offering top quality books and reading materials from all publishers to teachers and students in pre-school through high school. Today, eleven different Scholastic Book Clubs reach over one million teachers each month, providing the most sought-after titles at affordable prices for children in classrooms nationwide.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries and television networks; and the Company's Internet site, www.scholastic.com