Why Speech & Debate Club?


Speech and Debate is fun! Public Speaking activities! Debate and Argumentation Games! Working with other students passionate about current events, speaking and debate. Games. Prizes. Awards. Medals. Trophies. Tournaments. Learning and discussing issues we care about. Speech and Debate Team is like Sports Team but for the Brain! The most important reason to join Speech & Debate Club is it is fun!  


While there are numerous debate programs and debate clubs, we are firmly committed to the power of public speaking. This is the most important academic, business and life skill. It is also one of the number one fears in America!  And so we practice this weekly for at least one hour. Each month students learn different speech events from Extemporaneous Speaking (current events speeches) to Declamation (students practices speeches by famous speakers throughout history). Each year we will explore at least seven different speech events and skills.


The other hour of class is devoted to debate and argumentation. All students will learn Parliamentary Debate which is the largest debate format in the nation and world. Parliamentary Debate exposes students to several different issues every month, students learn to think in their feet, prepare notes and outlines and other fundamental academic skills. Students work in teams of up to three students. 


Every session we start out with the most important academic subject - current events!  All students and families receive a free weekly current events guide they can read and complete at home. We review current events each week. And we speak and debate about current events each week. Through engaging students about the world around them, students become empowered to think about the world around them and how to change the world around them.  Our goal is for students to not simply become public speakers and debaters, but as youth leaders. 


Our Faculty includes some of the top speech and debate educators in New York City and the nation. Together, they have over 30 years of experience in coaching public speaking and debate at all levels - college, high school, middle school, elementary school and adults. Their debaters have won collectively thousands of awards over the years including numerous championships at the city, state and national levels of competition. But most important they are passionate about speech and debate and that every child should have access to speech and debate. 


The great thing about speech and debate is that it is a community for life. Opportunities only grow over the years. We start students in elementary school because the overwhelming research shows that the elementary school years are the most pivotal on impacting students. And after that our students can take off! There are so many opportunities for students at the middle school and high school levels. Indeed, at the high school level there are speech and debate tournaments every weekend. All colleges have speech and debate teams and many will offer full or partial scholarships for debaters. Middle school, high school and college debaters can also volunteer as judges and coaches at tournaments every weekend. And speech and debate alumni return after school to support tournaments every weekend. The folks you meet in the world of speech and debate will become friends and support for life. And so definitely try out our incredible community. 


I joined my school's speech and debate team because I was one of the shyest students in my class. The Debate Team helped me break out of my shell. I met most of my friends on the speech and debate team.  And I learned more in my speech and debate team than in all my academic classes combined.  One of the number one fears in America is the fear of public speaking. Speech and Debate Club helps students overcome these fears because we do public speaking and debating all the time. Rather than fearing the times we have to do a speech or public debate, we look forward to the opportunity! And it should be fun! 


While there are many for-profit debate programs run by national corporations and nonprofits available, we are different. As a local small nonprofit, all our funds go to supporting speech and debate programs at underserved schools in New York City. Speech and Debate is our passion. And we have committed our lives to ensuring that all students in New York City have access to speech and debate. And so your support only goes to supporting our city, our youth and our future. 

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