The Issue: Debate Sparks Academic Success
Debate teaches students literacy and communication skills, which can help them succeed in their academic careers and compete in the job market. Students who participated in the Chicago Debate League were “more likely to graduate, more likely to meet ACT college-readiness benchmarks, and had greater gains in cumulative grade point average” throughout high school than their peers, according to a 2011 research paper from Educational Research and Reviews.
The Campaign: Sponsoring Students in a Debate Tournament
If 20 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then Milwaukee Debate League can sponsor 20 teenagers in a debate tournament. An anonymous board member of the Milwaukee Debate League will match donations up to a $400 total. Each additional $10 raised will cover transportation, food, and program costs to allow another student to participate in a debate tournament.
Afterschool debate teams practice for six hours every week with their coaches, conducting research from academic journals, law reviews, and government documents. Seven times a year, students from across the city gather for weekend tournaments, where they exercise their skills and unfurl their knowledge in 90-minute bouts against a team of peers. Each team prepares arguments for both sides of a policy topic and debates one side against an opposing team. At the end of each tournament, an awards ceremony recognizes both leadership and sportsmanship.
All donations will be matched up to a $400 total by an anonymous board member of the Milwaukee Debate League.
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Milwaukee Debate League
The Milwaukee Debate League trains students for rigorous academic debate to help them strengthen their mental faculties and improve their self-esteem. Completing research in preparation for debates informs them about the world, and engaging in debates with their peers builds communication skills that translate to future careers. The centerpiece of the program, seven citywide debate tournaments, pits students against other teams to debate a specific policy topic and share their ideas about social issues. The Milwaukee Debate League also hosts other opportunities for students to learn research and articulation skills, including a summer institute, a leadership council, and the MDL Scholars Program, which engages high-school students in high-level research at Marquette University. Following a period of declining participation, the Milwaukee Debate League relaunched in 2011 and now works with 14 high schools in the area.