City Council District #30 Debate Initiative

Our Mission

Every school  should have a debate team. Every student should have access to the best debate education opportunities. Debate is one of the best academic programs to prepare students for college, career, and civic success.


District #30 Tournaments Hosted


Our flagship program is our Saturday Debate Tournaments. We host debate tournaments every month during the school year and summer for high school and middle school students. Each monthly debate tournament will feature different topics including current events, economics, environmental affairs, philosophy, international politics, law and justice, and every other topic - topics traditionally not covered in school curriculums.  Students practice every academic skill preparing for these tournaments including reading, writing, researching, listening, practicing, public speaking, questioning, team work, and every other academic skill.  Academic learning time basically doubles through this out of school time program and culminates with the monthly debate tournament. At each tournament we serve over 300 students, teachers, family members and volunteers. Tournaments are all day from 7:00am-5:00pm and include breakfast, lunch, debate rounds and an awards ceremony.  Our Tournaments are free thanks to City Council support.


Queens Summer Debate Tournament @ Maspeth High School

We host a summer debate tournament every year for the past four years at Maspeth High School. Over 100 students, parents, and volunteers participate in this tournament.



District Schools and Students Served


Half of our work is debate tournaments every Saturday. The other half of our work is how we support our teachers, schools and students through outreach and starting and sustaining debate programs in schools. We have outreach coordinators in each Borough to support schools, train teachers, provide curriculum and professional development, coordinate local debate scrimmages, year round virtual support (webinars, emails, phone calls, etc), help teachers recruit and start debate programs at their school, and anything else needed to start and sustain a successful debate team. We provide assistant coaches and volunteers to schools to support their debate programs. We have all day teacher training conferences at least four times a year.


As a result we have successfully partnered with the following schools in the district to create sustainable and successful debate programs through year round support:

Schools Served:

Christ the King Regional HS

Maspeth High School


Special Awards & Recognition


Both Maspeth High School and Christ the King High School have some of the city, state and region’s top debaters.



Other District Debate Programs


Debate Club. All District students are able to participate in our debate programs for free. We have a Debate Club that serves students without debate teams at their schools. 


Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) Partnership. The New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL) partners up with the NYC Department of Education to boost middle school literacy skills through curricular and extra curricular debate.  


Travel Team. We provide travel scholarships to the District’s top debaters to compete at the nation’s top tournaments which include: Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Georgetown University, Rutgers University and other top tournaments. We also provide monthly practice sessions for the Travel Team.  We pay for all expenses for students including tournament registration, travel, meals and any other fees.

Queens Summer Debate Institute @ Maspeth High School. We host a free summer debate institute at Maspeth High School every summer for 2 weeks.  Each year from 2014 over 100 students participate in this debate institute. Summer Debate Institutes often cost thousands of dollars and therefore exclude the majority of students from attending. We provide a free summer debate institute for NYC youth. We provide daily debate workshops, top debate trainers, breakfast, lunch, a summer tournament and more.