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Honoring the Power of Children

Created for William Frantz Elementary

Commissioned by the Ruby Bridges Foundation

Dedicated on November 14th, 2014

ABC’s WGNO News Coverage

In 1960, a six year old named Ruby Bridges made history by integrating William Franz Elementary, a formerly all-white school, escorted by U.S. marshals to protect her from mobs of angry white parents.  Franz Elementary is located in the Ninth Ward which was demolished by Hurricane Katrina and destined to be torn down. The Ruby Bridges Foundation pushed to have it recognized by the Historic Building Register and raised funds to renovate and re-open the school, which now ironically serves a predominantly black community.  

Ruby Bridges was one of the courageous individuals chosen by Mario Chiodo for the Remember Them monument, and when the Franz School (since re-named the Akili Academy)was nearing completion, The Ruby Bridges Foundation commissioned Mario to create a sculpture of young Ruby for the school to inspire the students. It was dedicated on November 14, 2014, the fifty-fourth year anniversary of Ruby’s first day of school.

The sculpture, titled Honoring the Power of Children, depicts 6 year old Ruby Bridges walking to school but also includes books with the names of other child heroes: Malala Yousafzai , Ryan White, Little Rock Nine, Anne Frank, and the McDonogh Three.  By focusing on brave young people who have tried to make the world a better place, it proves to children that they too can make a difference.