Summer Debate Outreach Update

There has been considerable secondary school outreach activity throughout the summer.

Summer Debate and Leadership Communication Institutes
The Debate Union is hosting a series of middle school and high school debate and leadership communication workshops. Due to Covid-19, this year’s workshops are operating exclusively online, the first time that the CCDU’s summer conferences have been offered online. More than 200 students have registered so far for the summer programs.

Secondary School Outreach Expansion
The Debate Union is expanding its debate class and contest programming in Summer 2020. John Meany will lead workshops for more than 200 teachers in Arkansas, Massachusetts, and California in August. Direct mail recruiting is underway to add new schools to more than a dozen currently operating Public Debate Program leagues in Southern California, as well as for PDP leagues across the United States. The Debate Union is establishing new virtual debate leagues and in-class school public speaking and argumentation instruction, as well as inviting schools to participate in virtual competitions outside of their extant leagues. For example, the CCDU will continue to promote high school debating in English and Spanish throughout Panama, as it welcomes Panamanian schools to participate in online debate tournaments in the United States.

High School Outreach International Debate Success
Sierra Canyon School (SCS), a member of the HSPDP, won the London Online Debate Challenge in June 2020. Two SCS teams participated in the competition. The individual teams were ranked 2nd and 6th and their cumulative success led to the first place result. The tournament used the British Parliamentary debate format, typically used for college debating but infrequently available for high school competitions. It is an impromptu debate model, with debates organized after only 15 minutes of preparation time from the topic announcement to the start of the first speech of the debate. PDP middle schools and high schools will be able to participate in upcoming online debate tournaments in the UK and other countries. The CCDU will help organize 2020-21 HSPDP outreach online tournaments for international schools.

New PDP Website and Tab Software
The Public Debate Program will have a new, unified website for its network of schools participating in middle school debate, high school debate, international high school debate, leadership and civic engagement projects, as well as professional communication events. In addition, the CCDU is producing a next generation of proprietary software for tournament tabulation. The software will offer a more flexible and stable option for tournament administrators. Both website and software should be ready by September 1.

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