The Florida Civics and Debate Initiative will be supporting the development of middle and high school debate programs in 20 additional school districts in this phase. New programs will receive professional development, curriculum, team resources and the opportunity to compete in monthly competitions.
We encourage your district to take advantage of this program and its profound benefits by participating in Phase Two of the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative!
Incorporating a competitive speech and debate team at your school can address the need for both bridging the educational achievement gap and instilling critical thinking skills in students.
Speech and debate offers students the following skills and benefits:
· Higher-level critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills that transcend traditional classroom experiences;
· Better career and college placement;
· Accelerated maturity;
· Greater reading retention and analytical skills; and
· Strong civic disposition.
Research shows that:
· 98.5% of debate students attend college, and debate participation increases the chance of being offered college scholarships.
· Black males who participate in debate are 70% more likely to graduate and had significantly higher scores on the English and reading sections of the ACT compared to their peers.
· Students who participate in debate score 25% higher than their peers on literacy tests.
· Academic debate improves performance at statistically significant levels on reading test scores, diminishes high-risk behaviors, can increase critical thinking skills by 44%, and improves academic success and student attitudes towards higher education.
· Debaters are significantly more likely to participate in the democratic process through voting, volunteerism and participating in social activism.