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Lancaster Middle School Debate Program

The Lancasterís Middle School Debate Program (LMSDP) improves educational outcomes and provides skills that last a lifetime for urban students in the Lancaster Public School System. Led by Neighborhood Services Gilbert Abney (pictured left), the program is a partnership between Neighborhood Services, the Lancaster School District and the Associated Leaders of Urban Debate (ALOUD). 

Both national studies and anecdotes from local communities prove that debate is one of the most successful educational strategies for developing students into critical thinkers, skilled researchers, engaged learners, and effective advocates for themselves and their communities.

Through Lancasterís Middle School Debate Program, we reach and recruit urban students with needs. Through debate, LMSDP engages them in their studies, their personal development and helps them to take control of their own destiny.

As addicting as it is competitive, debate provides young people with a way to constructively channel their energy, a valuable set of skills that includes critical thinking, argument construction, public speaking and oration, and most importantly, a sense of self-worth. Debate opens the door of opportunity for students reaching towards a future of promise deserved by all young people.

The League launched its program in the fall of 2008 with 5 participating Lancaster middle schools. Each school holds debate practice two days a week after school in preparation for three monthly debate tournaments beginning in February of 09 and culminating with a final championship tournament in May. Students will debate complex policy issues such as immigration, the environment or year round schooling. Students from all 5 of our participating middle schools will compete in three rounds of debate before the day ends with a celebratory awards ceremony.

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The Lancaster Middle School Debate Program is a partner of the ASSOCIATED LEADERS OF URBAN DEBATE (ALOUD)--www.debate.leaders.org