Sanford I. Berman Debate Forum

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LVDL Partnerships

Partner Organizations

Partner Schools

As of December 2013

  • Arbor View High School — Coach Emily Foust
  • Canyon Springs High School — Coach Julie Roos
  • Chaparral High School — Coaches Thomas Gutierrez and Joel Antwi
  • Coronado High School — Coach Carmen Rivera-Johnson
  • Desert Oasis High School — Coach Mary McInturff
  • Foothills High School — Coach Kathleen Dillon
  • Green Valley High School — Coach Scott Ginger
  • Palo Verde High School — Coach Sheila Berselli
  • West Career Tech Academy High School — Policy Debate Coach Amy Nelson

What the LVDL Offers Participating Schools

In order to encourage schools to participate in policy debate and to decrease the "buy-in" required to field a policy debate team, the LVDL offers participating schools multiple complementary levels of support. This three-tiered approach combines administrative/organizational support, coach support, and debater. All three tiers are designed to encourage program, coach, and debater participation and retention. The resources that the LVDL provides are meant to move a team from its inception stage on to sustainable participation and success in policy debate competitions.

  1. Administrative/organizational assistance
    1. The LVLD can help new programs connect with relevant local and national debate organizations, including the Golden Desert Forensic League, the National Forensic League, and others.
    2. Assistance with recruiting members to join the debate team
      1. Limited classroom/student body addresses by members of the LVDL
      2. Recruiting brochures/flyers
      3. LVDL Parents Night Open House events on the UNLV campus
    3. Travel funding support
      1. The LVDL is presently examining avenues to help subsidize or to reduce the cost of debate travel/competition for participating schools.
  2. Coach support
    1. LVDL coaches meetings (occur bi-monthly) help new coaches understand debate, answer organizational questions, network with other local coaches, etc.
    2. Coach training
      1. Coaches may attend bi-weekly LVDL League meets to receive training alongside their new debaters
      2. Coaches may also attend the Rebel Debate Institute Coaches workshop, offered each summer
    3. Additional coaching support
      1. The LVDL will provide an assistant debate coach with extensive prior policy debate experience to work with a participating schools debaters and visit the school on a bi-weekly basis to teach debate basics, judge practice debates, provide feedback on redo speeches, etc.
    4. Financial support
      1. LVDL coaches who meet certain criteria can qualify for a Debate Coaching Educator award offered through the Clark County Public Education Foundation (a key strategic partner with the LVDL).
  3. Debater support
    1. Debate coaching and training
      1. Debaters at participating schools are invited to bi-weekly LVDL League meets (typically held every other Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the UNLV campus), where they will receive coaching and training and where they will practice in front of experienced policy debaters.
      2. An LVDL assistant debate coach, with extensive prior policy debate experience will visit participating schools on a bi-weekly basis to teach debate basics, judge practice debates, provide feedback on redo speeches, etc.
    2. Summer debate camp — The Rebel Debate Institute is an annual summer debate camp that LVDL students are invited to attend. Camp tuition/fees are kept deliberately low, and LVDL students may qualify for LVDL scholarships to attend the camp for free or at a drastically reduced cost.
    3. Library and research support — The UNLV Libraries have agreed to grant LVDL students access to online research databases.

Why YOUR School Should Participate in the LVDL

In addition to all of the support structures built in for LVDL participant schools, the case for students participating in debate is nearly undeniable. A litany of anecdotal evidence about the power of debate is backed up by peer-reviewed scientific data that demonstrates that participating in policy debate can change students, can change schools, and can change lives.

Here is what a few of our current participant students have to say about the LVDL and how it has helped them:

"The LVDL has taught me that there are multiple ways to approach any problem and there are also multiple solutions. The LVDL has made it easy to learn more about policy debate."

—(photo can be found in brochure and logo pics) Jada Stinett, Junior, Palo Verde High School

"The LVDL has connected me to the debaters from other schools, and it has made high school policy much friendlier to novices… Since LVDL has connected the district, when we go to national tournaments we 'Run as One!'"

— Jake Wier, Senior, Canyon Springs High School

"The LVDL has helped prepare me for law school by improving my ability to critically analyze my opponent’s arguments and to respond effectively. It’s increased my confidence, my public speaking skills, and will definitely benefit me in the future."

— Phylaktis Demetriou, Sophomore, Green Valley High School

"Policy debate in the LVDL has been extremely helpful with school projects… My public speaking skills have benefitted, as has my understanding of the world today."

— John Villanueva, Sophomore, Canyon Springs High School

The 2012 study by Mezuk studying 10 years of data from students participating in the Chicago urban debate league illustrates the impact that participating in policy debate can have on student achievement, GPA, readiness for college, and standardized test scores.

And this compelling video by our friends at Georgia State University details the findings of several studies on the Atlanta Urban Debate League.