Ornstein Summer Debate Institute Right Around the Corner!

We are about to kick off the 6th Annual Ornstein Summer Debate Institute on Monday!

This is our first league wide event since before COVID cancellations happened and we are all very excited to see how our students have been doing for the last four months.

As soon as it became clear that schools would pivot to online education, we've been researching best practices for online education and consulting many of our university partners on how best to proceed. Thankfully, we've been able to test many of the key elements of our summer program earlier this spring, including Microsoft Teams, online competitions, and more.

Despite the pandemic, more than 200 students have signed up to participate this summer, an expansion over last year's program. Debate is an activity that, at least in a pinch,

We're offering 16 labs (after just 12 last year), ranging from middle school debaters learning the fundamentals to advanced students who look to compete nationally.

We've expanded our staff to meet best practices of online education, dramatically reducing class size and the faculty-student ratio. This has provided many of our alumni additional teaching opportunities, and an opportunity to work with veteran educators and get some experience and mentorship of their own.

From Program Coordinator Dara Davis:

"Hosting an online camp can present challenges but we have been working very hard to design a curriculum that is engaging and fun. We have secured wonderful guest speakers who are leaders in the Criminal Justice Field, our staff is composed of some of the most talented debate instructors across the country, and this year's topic, Criminal Justice Reform, is going to give our students a chance to express how they are feeling in today's climate.

We are all mourning the loss of cancelled events due to COVID. At camp this summer we are trying to embrace it by hosting our own 2020 Debate Olympics. Students will get the opportunity to represent their lab and display their wonderful talents for our judges. Times are different now, but we want to show our students that there are still ways to enjoy yourself."

Join us for parent orientation tonight, July 9th or July 11th, 2020.

Email Dara.Davis@urbandebate.org for details

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