City Council District #5 Debate Initiative
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.
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.
Girls Debate Tournament.
In the 2018-2019 school year we are partnering with the Chapin School to host an all girls debate tournament and workshop that is open to all members of the public.
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:
District Schools Served:
East Side Middle School
The Brearley School
The Chapin School
Special Awards & Recognition:
Each year, District #5 has some of the top middle school debate programs in the city and regularly places in the top ten including 1st Place at the citywide monthly debate tournaments for middle school students.
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.