April 5, 2011 > Junior high debate clubs head for nationals
Junior high debate clubs head for nationals
Story and Photos submitted by Kathleen Caine
For the first time in several years, Horner Junior High students were excited to host a champion debate tournament on March 26, which included schools from Fremont Unified School District. As part of the East Bay Debate League, students from Horner Junior High, as well as Hopkins Junior High, represented the district, taking part in four separate debates. "The topics are surprisingly complex," remarked May Chan, Assistant Coach for the Horner team. "Over the past year, students have debated everything from the school's role in disciplining for cyber-bullying to term limits for Supreme Court justices. It's been exciting to watch them grow in both confidence and ability."
There were 56 teams competing, with 168 students representing ten bay area schools. In spite of the cold and rainy day, Horner Junior High rallied to provide the students, their coaches and supporters with everything they needed for a successful debate. The school was fortunate to receive donations from several local vendors including McDonalds, Subway Sandwiches, Starbucks, Raley's, Safeway and the Grocery Outlet.
"Debate clubs offer an important opportunity for our students," commented Lara York, FUSD School Board Trustee, who observed the students' excitement as they announced the first topic of the day and raced off to prepare notes. "Members learn critical thinking skills, improve their public speaking and master communication strategies that will help them become excellent citizens."
Both of the Fremont schools are in their first year with the Middle School Debate League (MSDL) program and did remarkably well; each is sending a team to compete at Nationals in Claremont, California in April. We wish them much success.