After School Programs

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Afterschool Debate Teams are the core the Bay Area Urban Debate League. ​Our mission is to bring competitive evidenced-based debate to every public secondary school and student in the Bay Area. Currently, BAUDL serves more than a dozen pu​blic high schools and more than 300 students annually. In the 2015-2016 school year, BAUDL is providing suport for 17 high school policy debate teams and 6 middle school public forum teams. Since 2008, BAUDL has hosted 2,964 youth at tournaments and an additional 1,184 at training workshops. ​​​

​​​Core Elements of the BAUDL Afterschool Program

​BAUDL helps establish and provided ongoing support for full-fledge debate teams. A debate​ team typically consists of 6-40 students (depending on the size of the school and history of the team) who meet for a minimum of one 90 minute practice a week to prepare to attend debate tournaments. During practice, coaches will discuss current political, sociological, international, and economic events. Teams will devise strategies for arguing both the pro and con of topics, work on detailed, evidenced briefs, and practice public speaking. The Bay Area Urban Debate League runs a fully inclusive debate league which means we have many schools running independent programs in each school. 


To accomplish the huge task of managing an entire debate league, BAUDL provides: 

    Practice Materials ​(Basic Starter Briefs, Pens, Legal Paper, Highlighters, Folders, & Snacks - feeding     tummy's is a must)

    Mentors to assist in recruiting and coaching 

    Trained teacher-coaches and expert staff to provide feedback on building engaging practices 

    Six Workshops to prepare for competition ​​​

    Six Competitive Debate Tournaments (all logistics handled by BAUDL) ​


Why Debate?

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​​​​​​​1. Engagement Matters. The world is happening around us and we have to be part of it. We need people who think, who plan, who care about their neighborhoods, cities, states, countries, and our globe. Debate teaches you​ to engage with the world and each other. In a debate round, it's not enought to have an opinion; you must answer the other side. 

2. ​​There is a world beyond your block. There is an entire world beyond your school and neighborhood, but sometimes it's difficult for a young person to know that when they don't ever go beyond it. Debate tournaments take youth to difficult schools, cities, and sometimes across the country. They meet different people. 80% of BAUDL students report that in debate, they meet ​and make friends with people from different backgrounds.

3. ​Find something you love, then seek excellence. Debate tournaments are a rush. Students spend late nights practicing and studying. They give up their weekend to come to tournaments. If a debater comes to every BAUDL event, they will debate for 45 hours this season - excluding team practices and travel team. Watching the amazing power of self-directed learning is a reward in and of itself. You win debate rounds and tournaments. 
4. Winning isn't e​​verything. Competition is great, but it's meaningless if you don't learn something. ​Debate is a game, but the goals are what matter. The real debate goals are being informed, tranforming into an inspiring advocate, ​connecting to others, and engaging in the world. 
5. Your Ability to Listen Matters. In debate, you can give a great speech and still lose. You must answer your opponent; therefore, you need to listen to your opponent. ​​We cannot just ignore each other and downplay the relevance of another p​erson's thoughts or beliefs. ​Your success, in both life and debate, depends on your ability to actively listen and process what others are saying. 

​6. Your zip code does not define you. Debate teaches that you can compete with anyone from anywhere. Debate is a great equalizer. The round is platform for your voice. If you prepare, then success will be yours. BAUDL debaters have victories over all of the top private schools in the Bay. Victory is the product of hard work and passionate advocacy. ​​​

Why Urban Debate? 

BAUDL is a high shool graduation program. BAUDL is a college access and preparation program. BAUDL is an English literacy program. BAUDL is a self-confidence program. 

BAUDL is a social justice program. 

"Fifty percent of high schoolers in urban schools graduate. Ninety percent of urban high-school debaters graduate. When it comes to that subset of debaters deemed "high     risk," those kids who, for example, might have scored poorly on eighth-grade assessment tests, the data are even more dramatic. Seventy-two percent of high-risk secondary-school debaters graduate, versus just 43 percent of nondebaters. There's more: Debaters score better on ACT tests, and get into better colleges. And, remarkably, pupils do not need to debate forever to see results — even one or two debate experiences improve performance. But longer is better; for every semester a student debates, his grades go up. In college, debate also benefits students. This outcome differs from others sports at the high-school and college level. In the case of much-loved college football, team participation actually lowers the grades of the players. Debate's social achievements are so great that the sport even earned the solicitude of the Boston Fed. The social value of debate has also been captured in films such as The Great Debate, about the Wiley College team that broke racial barriers through sheer merit in the 1930s.​" Amity Shlaes, The National Review, July 2, 2014​ 

​Get the Facts: 96% of BAUDL debaters graduate from high school and 88% go on to college!

​​BAUDL High Schools (2016-2017)​

​Oakland: Castlemont High School, Fremont Media Academy, Aspire Golden State College Preparatory, Aspire Lionel Wilson College Preparatory, Madison Park High School, Oakland High School, Oakland Technical High School, & Skyline High School 

Emeryville: Emery Secondary 

San Lorenzo: Kipp King Collegiate

San Francisco: Downtown High School, June Jordan School for Equity, Mission High School, Raoul Wallenberg Traditional High School

West Contra Costa: Kennedy High School, Richmond High School

​BAUDL Middle Schools (2016-2017) ​

Oakland: Frick Impact Academy, Sankofa Academy, Westlake, Elmhurst Community Prep

San Francisco: James Lick Middle School, Visitacion Valley Middle School, Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School

West Contra Costa: Helms Middle School