Game On for Kansas Schools launches third 60-mile walk to Topeka on Friday

Members of Game On for Kansas Schools will be setting out for Topeka on Friday in another 60-mile walk that begins in Merriam. This will be the third walk to Topeka for the group.

Game On members head out on a previous walk.
Game On members head out on a previous walk.

The walk will begin at 9:15 a.m. Friday with a kickoff event at Chatlain Park in Merriam. Speakers for the Friday morning start include state representatives Stephanie Clayton and Nancy Lusk along with state education board member Janet Waugh.

The last leg of the walk will start at 9:30 a.m. Monday from Topeka High School headed to the State Capitol building. Representatives Melissa Rooker and Jarrod Ousley will speak at the Capitol.

Rallies also will be held along the way in Eudora and Lawrence on Saturday. This is the third year for the walk to Topeka.

Game On for Kansas Schools is a nonpartisan public education advocacy group that originated with parents at Belinder Elementary.

Heather Ousley will be making her third walk to Topeka this year. “We want for our children what we had attending school in Kansas at their age. And for some reason, I thought that would be given, and that the excellent education I received would be a permanent fixture of our midwestern life. We must make it clear that our schools, and the children attending those schools deserve better. We have the power to change our state’s priorities, but we need help. I’m walking to ask for that help from my fellow Kansans. Our kids need you in this game.”

Devin Wilson will be walking for the second time and says he was inspired to get involved after seeing Ousley on the news during her 2013 walk.

“Strong public schools are essential to our state. We are demanding more of our schools in terms of the students in our buildings as well as the education levels they will need to be productive participants in a global economy, but we aren’t adequately funding our schools,” said Judith Deedy, a founding member of Game On. “Many Kansans have joined our efforts, but we have many more to reach. We also see that many legislators are ignoring the will of their constituents. We seek to remind them that we are the Kansas families they were elected to represent.”

The full schedule for the walk:

Friday, March 27 9:15 am Kickoff at Chatlain Park, located off of 63rd Street (Shawnee Mission Parkway) on 63rd Terrace and Carter Avenue in Merriam. Speakers Janet Waugh, Kansas State Board of Education, Rep. Stephanie Clayton, and Rep. Nancy Lusk.
Saturday, March 28,  8:30 am Sendoff at Eudora Elementary School, 801 E. 10th Street, Eudora. Speakers will include Eudora Superintendent Steve Splichal.
Saturday, March 28 around noon Rally at South Park hosted by Educate Lawrence. Speakers will include Rep. Tom Sloan and Rep. John Wilson.
Monday, March 30 at 9:30 walkers will gather across the street from Topeka High School and walk to the Capitol. Speakers will include Rep. Melissa Rooker and Rep. Jarrod Ousley. Press conference to follow.