City Council District #45 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.

 

 

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.

 

Midwood High School Debate Invitational Tournament

 

Every year we host a citywide free debate tournmaent at Midwood High School

42 participating schools

444 participating students

107 judges and volunteers

192 teams

3 debate events

 

Tournament Photo Album

 

Website Landing Page of the Tournament

 

Tournament Results Page

 

 

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 help create sustainable and successful debate programs through year round support:

 

Schools Served:

 

Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School

 

Midwood High School

 

 

Special Awards & Recognition

 

Midwood High School is one of the top debate programs in the city and often wins top awards at city, regional and state debate tournaments.  This includes top awards at Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, and Rutgers University Debate Tournaments. 

 

 

Other District Debate Programs

 

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

 

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.

 

 

District #45 Debate Tournament Participation

 

Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School

Debaters: 20 active competitors

Coaches: 1

Judges: 4

 

Midwood High School

Debate Team:

Debaters: 40

Coaches: 1