Every week, we hear from adults who believe in the power of debate and want to bring it to kids in their community. Most of the messages include questions, like:
- Do I have to have a debate background to lead a club?
- How do I get my community engaged?
- How will your curriculum help?
- How do I do it!?
We could talk all day about our program and its benefits, but we thought it might be more helpful to get insight from others who are using DebateAble's curriculum in their clubs.
Tug of Words Debaters
This month, we're spotlighting Tug of Words, a debate club founded in 2017 by Namitha Pai in Aurora, Illinois. The club name was selected by its debaters, who've already competed against each other in debate matches!
We spoke with Namitha to learn more about her debate club and her experience as their coach.
Guest Writer Maggie Wyman is a debater and current sixth grader. Maggie participated in DebateAble Clubs in 2015-2017, when she won a Tournament Team Award! She wrote about her experience in a school memoir assignment. We're honored that she's allowed us to share an excerpt of that piece with you.
There are all different kinds of tournaments; basketball, baseball, tennis, swimming, spelling, hockey, football, running, slalom, ping pong, ballet or gymnastics. But when I hear the word "tournament" I think of debate.
When I am debating, I learn so much about the topic and how to look from a different side of an argument. I believe that my teammates are always counting on me and that I am really part of a team. I now realize that debate has changed my life.
I know that without debate I would not look at the world around me like I do now. Debate has so many benefits: it helps you to speak in front of a group of people, learn how to look at two sides of an argument, it shows how to really grab what other people are talking about, think on your feet, keep your emotions in check, and will (surprising) increase your self confidence.
Debate is more about the team than the win, although debate is very competitive. In debate your team is like your family, you have this special bond with them that makes you a perfect team. I believe that my teammates are always counting on me and that I am part of that team. Everyone has their ups and downs. You know it, I know it. In debate, I feel that your team is there for you even when it gets really hard for you. This is why I love debate. Although in debate you need a lot of focus, your team will always encourage you to keep going.
CREATIVE THINKING PUBLIC SPEAKING COLLABORATIVE TEAMWORK EMPATHY CIVIL DISCOURSE