Who We Are:
Our goal at Debate Mate USA is to increase social mobility in disadvantaged communities by increasing the 21st century skills of young people through peer-to-peer debate mentoring. We are the sister organization of Debate Mate which has impacted over 5000 students in the UK since 2008. Using a modified style of British parliamentary debating, we provide an innovative way for young people to increase their critical thinking and communication skills. Our long term vision is that 100% of our participants will go onto and graduate from high school and either enter college or gain employment.
Where We Work:
Last year, we partnered with 25 schools in the Greater Boston area, reaching over 350 students a week. Many of schools we work in often lag behind in several indicators of educational performance including MCAS/PARCC state testing scores and reading levels. Our schools include both public and charter, and are located in areas such as Dorchester, Roxbury, Revere, Lawrence, Allston-Brighton and Somerville. We have also run our programming at 3 Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston in Charlestown, Roxbury and Dorchester.
What we do:
Debate Mate’s greatest strengths lie in its tried and tested teaching method that has been successfully applied around the world. We combine verbal instruction, visual learning and written learning to create a fully differentiated classroom experience, while also applying speaking and listening to a competitive debate environment. Our curriculum consists of 6 planned lessons, over 100 debate topics and comprehensive instruction in parliamentary debate format (the format used at international collegiate debate competitions).
Why we do it:
The United States lags behind most developed countries in indicators of social mobility. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds show major achievement struggles that affect their every day lives from academic achievement in the classroom to their aspirations outside of the classroom. These struggles often stem from a lack of motivation to succeed in in schools: Many students throughout their entire educational careers feel they don't have an outlet to express their voice or their opinions. We aim to provide students that opportunity to find their voice and advocate for themselves as a means to reversing that cycle.