NYCUDL Debaters and Coaches Busy During Caronavirus Pandemic
During these trying times, the NYCUDL coaches, students, and staff have been busy working on a number of online initiatives and future plans to support our debaters.
July 6-17. NYCUDL Online Debate Camp
259 students enrolled!
June 29 77 lab leaders and camp administrators meant to continue planning for the July 6th kick-off of our summer institute!
June 24 Training Lab Leaders for Summer Debate Institute
Summer training has begun for more than 50 lab leaders for our Summer Debate Institute. With more than 250 students enrolled, we’ve been working hard to prepare!
June 19. Fun Fridays in June for MS debaters” Clashing this week were 3 students from the Bronx, Mart Twain, and Hunter MS as they wrestled with “Ethical Dilemmas” speed rounds.
June 18 Parli Outreach Coordinator Tylier Beattie met with Brownsville school administration and principals to plan our 2020-1 Brownsville Debate Initiative.
June 16 NAUDL, NYCUDL, & BUDL: “Meeting of the Minds!”
Greg Ekey, Director of Education and League Programming,& consultants & EDs of NYC and Boston exchange struggles, & best practices to translate & turbo-charge online training for coaches & students. First in a hoped-for series of quality summits!
June 13. Today was the last day of Debate Club for the year. Students enjoyed their time wrapping-up their lessons and competing in a tournament.
June 12 Middle School Fun Fridays!
Debate skills and community building every Friday in June, 4-5pm. Coaches watched and learned!
June 11 DebateAlumni, a membership organization devoted to brining together former middle school, high school, and college debaters and coaches from around the global to connect and network with each other while supporting future generations of debaters, held its first Adult Speed Debates night. We raised more than $2,000 for the NYCUDL!
June 10 We held our elementary school and middle school tournaments for District 7 in the South Bronx. More than 60 students participated!
MS and Elementary teams participated. Many schools were preparing with NYCUDL-curated articles and guidelines. Some schools met weekly for Friday e-sparring. Wednesday’s eTournament showcased 2wo rounds judged by experienced NYCUDL HS student debaters.
Resolved: Government should make WIFI free. And for MS:
Resolved: All Americans under the age of 18 are obligated to vote!
Here are a few “clips” from among many inspiring exchanges during rounds:
“People need have 5 basic needs to be met before a government should pay for the luxury of free. You need a shelter, food, and clothes first–it’s the SHELTER DIVIDE first, not the DIGITAL DIVIDE! “
“Internet is now the doorway to access healthcare searches, jobs, and even affordable higher education or even now improve your education during a pandemic. Lower income people are disadvantaged without it.”
“Nothing is FREE. There’s no free lunch or free WIFI. Who pays for it? Taxpayers. The government’s money is our money. So to use a word I learned in my ELA class, we call that IRONIC!”
“Emergencies happen if you don’t have GPS, and that takes expensive data plans. Lives could depend on whether someone gets a message or can communicate well using WIFI, and jobs and educational opportunities will be lost for too many.”
“There are other places to get online–libraries, schools. It’s too costly to make sure each home has its own WIFI when the government could be spending money on shelters and safer neighborhoods and healthcare that will then make people able to relax and learn and find better jobs.”
“It’s not fair to force people to vote because of the 1st amendment which shall not deny the rights of free speech, or of free press; or the freedom to assemble. That means we have the right to protest. To some people, and sometimes, the decision not to vote for one of the 2 political parties is a sign of protest. You can’t stop that.”
“No one has complete freedoms. You think people have the freedom to just do or say whatever they want?”
“No, they mean by freedom of speech. It means freedom of what you think–freedom like no one can make you do something or believe something you don’t want to. That kind of freedom.”
Coach Andrew Carvaggio commented, “This was incredible. Is there any way we can do this again soon?
Judge testimonials show they, too, were impressed. “I couldn’t believe how young these debaters were. I never had the confidence and competence they have now. They’re going to be incredible through middle school and beyond.”
June 10. The NYCUDL’s Aubrey Semple led a book club.
HS Debate Book Club & Black Lives Matter Voices!
Fabulous healing discussion on Michelle Alexander’s analogies of slavery to the new Jim Crow and its differences: more covert, but just as powerful control. Student-shared links were flying left and right!!
June 7 Summer Debate Institute Open House Mini Lessons!
We showcased some H.O.T Higher Order Thinking skill-honing tasks and games at the JUNE 7 OPEN HOUSE for Summer Debate Institute.
June 5 FUN FRIDAYS
Recurring city-wide celebration of MS debate skills and community building games. Every Friday in June. Students hale from all levels and locations: 3 from the Bronx, 2 from Queens and Brooklyn, and 2 from Manhattan. Activities include debate tug of war, Jeopardy, and sparring matches!
June 2-4 & June 9 NYCUDL Education Director Loretta Brady attends a series on debate inspired curriculum with Boston Urban Debate League. They share ways to ensure online debate instruction –especially its inherent gains of thinking and engagement–to stay active, warm, and vibrant on screen.
June 3 MS Debate Book Club closed for now with students presenting burning research questions, especially: Save Capitalism? Down with Monopoly & Monopsony, a powerpoint by Nikita Chernin.
June 1 District 23 — Brownsville Meeting
We had a great meeting today to kick-off our Brownsville Initiative that is being sponsored by L&M Properties. Twenty students have submitted videos as part of an application for our online summer camp! We spent time discussing our summer camp preparations and laying the groundwork for our year-long program during the next academic year.
May 28 – Online Presentation – Topic Discussion on the 2019-2020 NYCUDL Policy Debate Topic – Criminal Justice Reform Students will learn about various affirmative case positions, various negative arguments and topic literature which will help them approach the policy issues with preparation and confidence. .
May 23 MS Winners of Weekly Web Debate Contest
NYCUDL staff solicited, reviewed, commented, then evaluated case/editorial submissions from 6 middle schools and early 20 submissions. Finalists who made the cut to elimination rounds then had to write rebuttals to the opponent essay they deemed the strongest. Top pro and con winners reflected proudly on the growth of our Bronx schools, In-Tech Academy and PS343.
May 21 HS Debate Book Club
Michelle Alexander’s THE NEW JIM CROW continues to inspire participants with possible Aff cases: , Federal Regulations to videotape interrogations, to community policing training and support. Aubrey Semple, Chiara Fuller, and Loretta Brady, all NYCUDL staff, guide students to related law cases, famous advocates as DA Larry Krasner, and other germaine statistical references and articles they’ll pursue.
May 20 MS Debate Book Club
10 participants from 6 schools continue to debate free market capitalism through Barbara Ehrenreich’s NICKEL AND DIMED. Student-generated questions led to clash on the worthiness of work stoppages and unions to best solutions for affordable housing in a free market economy. Some are researching whether Welfare to Work programs have “worked” and who defines that success.
June 1-June10 District 7 elementary and middle schools prepare with NYCUDL for two online tournaments in June. NYCUDL reaches out with practice planning trips and fills their Google Drives with relevant articles—rich with embedded claims, counterclaims and reader-friendly statistical studies— germaine to the different resolutions for each tournament:
Local Governments Should Provide Free Wi-Fi Access to Their Citizens.
MIDDLE SCHOOL DEBATERS:
The U.S. federal government should make voting mandatory.
May 16-17 National Debate Coaches Association National Conference
NYCUDL presenters Aubrey Semple and Stefan Bauschard share best practices and expertise on digital debate and issues of equity and access. NYCUDL staff Loretta Brady gleaned cutting edge ideas on e-curriculum, synchronous/asynchronous debate camps, and virtual community building from leading national programs who presented this year.
May 18 We had a great meeting with the education leaders of District 7, including principals and the Superintendent, to kick-off our District 7 initiative.
May 16 NYCUDL MS E-Tournament. We had Parli and Public Forum Divisions. Expected attendance –– 100 students. Coaches continue seeking support from NYCUDL staff for tips and training.
We had 19 schools, 140 debaters, 53 judges, 22 coaches, 13 UDL staff/volunteers at our first official online UDL tournament!
Weekly Beginning May 13 MS Debate Book Club: NICKEL AND DIMED: Watch out! When adolescents take ownership of a group, anything can happen. This week’s session became an impromptu research fest thanks to each debater’s riveting questions.
“Does she exaggerate how managers’ with control and disrespect?”
“Is all of capitalism broken, or just some places? Or is society broken?”
“Why do they say unions have sneaky promises?” “Do they?”
“What percentage of homeless people today are employed but still live in their cars like she found? (25%, and 40%-60% are unstably employed part-time, a 45% rise since our book. NCH.)
“What percentage of homeless people are dependent on drugs & alcohol?” (Close to 35%, but about 15% of them became that way during the stress of homelessness. CDC)
May 11-13 Bronx PS 343 and Staten Island IS 75 enjoyed a 3 day battle of the boroughs debate tournament, with consultation from NYCUDL staff. Advice to students spanned tips on developing a story of the harms when free speech is diminished, to suggesting the PRO could gain credibility conceding some other root causes, while still persuading that regulation is key to diminishing violence. Staff support also included supplementing a raft of academic and international articles to flesh out the resolution: Social media companies should be responsible for censoring hate speech on their platforms, especially any threats against Asian-Americans during this pandemic.
We also aligned this resolution to the Weekly Web Debate Contest online to better support coaches and teams. Participants’ drafts receive intense, targeted input on both writing and research.
Ava Garnett, who lives with a rare joint disease that hampers mobility, finds e-tournaments a benefit to riding a bus for hours from IS 75 in Staten Island.
This echoes the enthusiasm of a differently-abled young man who attended our recent HS Debate Games Night who thanked the league’s awareness of ablism, and hoped we’d continue as strong advocates for all physically, mentally, or emotionally challenged. https://www.silive.com/entertainment/2020/03/assemblyman-malliotakis-introduces-ava-garnett-advocate-for-rare-diseases-on-floor-of-assembly.html
May 8 Weekly Web Debate Contest: Written War of Words.
NYCUDL staff provide feedback and select finalists and winners. This week, two Bronx schools triumphed with 1st place Pro Champ Jaden Rocha of Pelham Lab School, (pictured here with Coach John Curci, supported by Outreach staff for this task) and World View’s 2nd place Champ, on the Con side,
Dylan Brown. “I am so thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait to enter again,” wrote Dylan.
May 7. NYCUDL outreach coordinator leads 20+ coaches/teachers in a training on our May 16th online tournament
May 7th. Outreach coordinator Loretta Brady leads our weekly middle school book club.
May 1 ––Online Debate Contest honors winners in this Written War of Words
The NYCUDL awards student entrants who revise an opinion piece after our careful feedback, then refute best “elimination round” contestants. Weekly, MS and HS e-debaters grapple with topics that include border closings, covering presidential health briefings, and whether celebrities’ should fundraise with their own branded products.
New contests in this Written War of Words launch every Friday continuously throughout the season. https://debate.nyc/weekly-web-debates/
Arielle Gallegos leads the NYCUDL’s community game night to support our high school debaters.
April 30 NYCUDL gifts Title 1 Squads with “Pre-stocked” Slack libraries –along with training and collaboration to raise the bar for their teams.Like a hot line to the “Bat phone,” the coach at Bronx PS15, for example, now has argument prep, articles, and teaching tips at her fingertips–plus instantaneous, in-depth support from NYCUDL staff. Better still, empowered, linked-in debaters divvy up research tasks and exchange files, cases, and blocks among each other. May 16th’s e-tourney may witness their highest levels of debating yet!
April 30 and Thursdays thereafter HS Debate Book Club. High school debaters will read, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
In our first session, we navigated through the scholarship of various criminal justice scholars on the subject of the roots of the criminal justice reforms to slavery. Members of the club shared their viewpoints on the literature.
Applicants tell us, “I would like to meet other curious peers who are also interested in debating and working towards a more equitable future.”
And thank us, “I am an avid reader and debater and would like to broaden my horizons in both fields to improve my skills. I have always enjoyed reading fiction novels, but never have read books related to law and history. This book club is perfect to expose me and help understand those types of books!”
April 29 and Wednesdays thereafter MS Debate Book Club. Middle school students will read, Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Applicants tell us, “I am very interested in social and economic justice and would love to read and discuss this book with others.”
And thank us, “I like to read and I am home bored because I don’t have books.”
And parents thank us, “We are very excited for this program! What a great opportunity for shared critical thinking. Thank you for your consideration!”
April 28 and Tuesday thereafter – Virtual Professional Development with Program Director, Aubrey Semple
Aubrey Semple, program director of the NYC Urban Debate League presents a sixty-minute Zoom conference call where coaches from NYC UDL engage in an informative discussion on best coaching practices in competitive debate. This session prepares debate coaches on contemporary coaching techniques that complement various debate events that we offer in the league. The goal of these sessions would be to inspire, encourage, and engage coaches on ways to help your debate program grow, both in terms of competitive success and student engagement in the activity.
April 24 – Loretta Brady, NYCUDL’s Director of Education, reached out to some of the League’s coaches to see how they are doing. After a healing discussion, encouraging their e-studies, students sparred on mini-topics including: “E-graduation, or postpone to September?” and shared pandemic paradoxes, including Kalvin’s insight that, “You know, in a weird way, it’s bringing people to life. Look at how much more people are appreciating each other and life.”
April 23 –-World View HS, and Pelham Lab HS, Bronx, Arts & Technology HS and Murray Hill Academy, NYC with the help of NYCUDL together spawning solutions to help their students surmount massive obstacles of the digital divide. Team chats, group conference call-ins with coach and NYCUDL Outreach Tech Support are building momentum. One Bronx coach has students video tape themselves delivering a speech, then upload it to her for feedback! With every coming week, we’ll be “e-meeting” with more middle and high school coaches not yet connected to their debate clubs in order to provide technical support on matters both practical and pedagogical.
April 18 — Online Parli Tournament
The coaches from PS 161 (Tyler Beattie), Center School (Rebecca Eastwood), Hamilton Grange (Joao Moderno), Q300 (Elijah Cho), Brownsville Collaborative (Guy Dion) and Sunset Park (Adina Benno) are collaborating to do a digital MS parli tournament run by themselves on April 18. We hope to learn from their experience as we consider developing a larger online tournament for our schools.
April 17 — Online Text Debates
The NYCUDL launched its Weekly Web Debates. These text debates are open to any students from league member schools and are designed to help students improve their writing and reasoning skills. Through model anchor texts, focused research tips, and guiding personal feedback on first drafts, debaters clash over current policies in the face of a global pandemic.
These are held every week.
April 11 — Debate Club
Our 75+ enrolled Debate Club students will meet for our Saturday morning Debate Club session from 9:30-11:30
April 6 — Kappa VI MS, a diverse Title 1 public school in East Rockaway, begins planning with NYCUDL on how to guide advanced research and “Rebuttal Redos” remotely. Peer-generated topics included: “PG13 ratings harm more than help society.” “Teen popular music has more power to influence good, than evil.” In future meet-ups, debaters wish to grapple with socio-economic justice questions and current government decisions and conflicts around the COVID-19 emergency, all inspired by the NYCUDL MS Debate Book Club and NYCUDL Weekly Web Debate Contest topics.
April 4 — Leon Goldstein Wins Novice Georgetown online
Leon Goldstein’s Shelma Ben Abdallah won the novice policy division of the Georgetown International Online tournament.
The NYCUDL announces that its summer debate institutes are moving online. The programs are o try pen to anyone in the US at standard tuition rates and available to NYCUDL students who are from league member schools who qualify for scholarships based on coach recommendation.
March 26 — In-Tech, MS & HS in the Bronx continues meeting virtually for regular debate practices and to train to prepare trials for courts in their related Restorative Justice Peer Discipline program. Their debaters so far have won top prizes through the Weekly Web Debate Contests, too.
March 24 & 28 — Debate Club Moves Online
March 22 — NYCUDL E-Learning Classrooms
The NYCUDL launched its new online e-learning platform — https://classrooms.debate.nyc/
March 18 — PS 161 Practice
Debaters from PS 161 in Harlem participated in an online learning exercise and a scrimmage with their Coach Tyler Beattie (also the NYCUDL parli director) and Loretta Brady and Arielle Gallegos from the NYCUDL.
They collected feedback and released it here.
March 17 — NYCUDL Debate Staff Meets to Plan Summer Camp
NYCUDL plans debate camp in the Lakeland High School debate room.
March 16 — MS343
On Monday, the first day students were off of school in NYC (and they didn’t even know until Sunday that they didn’t have school until the next day), they started their own initiative to have debates on Discord, a free online text chat and video chat for gamers. The students recruited other debaters, judges, and even turned it into a class!