This BrainPOP Jr. movie made me cry

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There's a million and one ways to teach algebra, or punctuation, or how a star is formed.

But how do you teach bravery?

How do you encourage your children to have the courage of their convictions?

Who understand that making the harder choice is sometimes the only choice that makes sense?

One way is to seek inspiration in others, to look to their example and learn from the path they took, often in the face of great adversity.

Have your children met Ruby Bridges?

Don’t follow the path. Go where there is no path and begin the trail. When you start a new trail equipped with courage, strength and conviction, the only thing that can stop you is you!
— Ruby Bridges

Following the end of school segregation in America in 1954, 6 year old Ruby passed a test enabling her to attend a better all-white school in New Orleans, closer to home.

In doing so, she became the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in America.

Her journey was hard and fraught.

Famously, Ruby had to be escorted into William Frantz Elementary School by policemen. But she stayed calm and composed.

No one would speak to her, or teach her, for a whole year.

In fact, other parents started taking their children out of school in protest.

But she persevered.

A teacher, Mrs. Henry, stuck by Ruby and taught her. Other people also believed in Ruby and neighbours and community members helped the Bridges family and protected them from angry protestors.

Ruby went to school every day and over time the school welcomed more children from different backgrounds.

She went on to become a civil rights hero who stood up for her rights and encouraged black students all over the country to do the same.

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This topic sensitively explains concepts like segregation, racism, and activism in a way that's suitable for young children. As an educator you should use Annie's notepad prompts to encourage questions and develop understanding of these grown up terms.

But also don't forget that at the heart of this topic was a real 6 year old girl, in a smart dress and clutching her school bag, tiny in comparison to the adults around her, who persisted.

Even when the world seemed to determined to get her to stop.

And she didn't. She kept going to school. She believed she had to the right to the best education she could get.

Can you imagine the courage that took?

All children could stand to be a little more Ruby.

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