SPEAK Out! Day Testimonials

"Attending SPEAK Out! Day has been one of the most important and rewarding things I've done professionally since I've been teaching and involved with my state organization. Not only have my experiences with Speak OUT! Day led to further contact with our federal representatives, but it they have also bolstered my involvement at the local and state levels. Most importantly, Speak OUT! Day has sparked a passion for advocacy and an incredible working knowledge of the issues directly affecting Health & Physical Education." - Ben Robison, Iowa


"Dr. Seuss taught us that “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” SPEAK Out! Day has equipped health and physical educators to live out that exact message from The Lorax in a meaningful way by paving the way for changing education policy and accountability. A paradigm shift at the federal level with ESSA has helped to shift the focus on educational priorities at the state and local level to allow for health and physical education to be a greater part of the conversation. States must now emulate SPEAK Out Day efforts from SHAPE America in D.C., to bring that same drive, passion and energy to state policy makers in their own backyards." - Jamie Sparks, Kentucky


"You simply cannot imagine how important and empowering visiting personally with legislators can be and how powerful it is to actually get to talk to your elected officials; especially when what you want to say is so critical and meaningful, regardless of political affiliation. Attending SPEAK Out! Day is a transformational experience; it can generate a set of competencies that aside from their targeted context can come in handy in the future at the state level, when talking to parents, running for office (state/national executive boards) or simply talking to colleagues in the K-12 system who might not know what quality health and physical education is or ought to be. This is a first but very basic step to becoming politically engaged and active at an essential level and in the purest and most significant meaning both for our profession as well as the future of this country and the health of its children” - Constantine Psimopoulos, Massachusetts


"I have attended twice and will attend again in 2015. I love the energy on Capitol Hill and in D.C. We were well received and listened to. I think it is important for us to maintain our presence even though it is difficult to make legislation progress in the current political climate. The first year we got Rep. Marcia Fudge from Ohio to introduce the legislation to make physical education as a core subject. Then, last year we also secured Rep. Albio Sires from New Jersey to sign on as a cosponsor." - Steve Mitchell, Ohio


"As HPERD professionals, it is our responsibility to lobby and advocate for our profession and for the interests of the children we serve. While much of this advocacy takes place in our daily work, it is also important that we take it to the Capitol to advocate/lobby on that level." - Kevin A. Richards, Illinois


"SPEAK Out! Day is an opportunity to learn and collaborate with the very best in our profession about advocating and promoting for physical education. Colorado has used our experience with SPEAK Out! Day to create our own local advocacy day at the State Capitol."- Clayton Ellis, Colorado


"SPEAK Out! Day is one of the most amazing and important professional opportunities I have experienced. It is an opportunity to meet with liked minded people to storm Capital Hill and advocate for the profession we all love. We get to actually speak to our own state representatives to make a direct impact on our states physical education policies. Not to mention the instant friendships that develop that I'm sure will last a lifetime." - Lynn Preble, Arizona


"SPEAK Out! Day has been one of the best personal experiences I have had in my professional career. The representatives were very receptive to hear our issues and seemed to light up when our students spoke. For myself, I have never felt so proud for what I do. The students advocate with such a purpose, because this is what they are dedicating their lives to and they truly want the representatives to feel their passion. I wish I had started to attend SPEAK Out! Day earlier with groups of students. A great connection is made for advocating what we do and re-energizes your program and the Professors that teach in it. Please bring a few students and see for yourself what SPEAK Out! Day can mean for you and your program." - Tom Watterson, North Carolina


"Lace up your sneakers and represent! As a Physical Educator we know the benefits of physical activity for children; improves kids' fitness and brain cognition, lowers their risk of health related issues, and helps build strong bones and muscles. However, we can talk the talk and advocate but we need our state legislature aware of the continued need of support in schools to be able to encourage and maintain these positive outcomes. Through advocacy at SPEAK OUT Day, Health and Physical Educators can come together to strengthen the awareness for physical education and recess policies along with additional school based policies influencing the health of our children. SPEAK OUT! Day is a time for Health and Physical Educators to come together and be the voice of our schools, our district, our state, and country to better serve our youth in the areas of health and physical wellness as a unified group all sending a lasting message with tennis shoes and business apparel." - Megan Adkins, Nebraska