We want every student to think big. Every student interested in debate should have access to a debate program at his or her school. That’s our goal. We seek to support young Americans who listen thoughtfully, question critically, and speak articulately about the issues facing their community and country. In middle school and high school, students have a unique opportunity to learn the ins and outs of argumentation and build a foundation of skills for a lifetime of curiosity.
Discovering your discourse
There’s a type of debate for every student: fast-paced policy debate, philosophical Lincoln Douglas debate, or conversational public forum debate. Podius has historically focused on audience-centered debate, such as public forum, but our hope is to meet students where their interests and talents lie.
If you’re a student or parent who wants to check out debate for yourself, your first step could be to find out if your school has a membership with the National Speech and Debate Association or the local Urban Debate League. If your school administration doesn’t support a debate team now, encourage them to contact us about starting a program.
State your case for debate
Podius provides start-up grants for new urban or rural debate leagues, tournaments, or individual schools. If you’re a high school principal, English teacher, or guidance counselor with a vision for debate at your school, we want to hear from you. Contact us to discuss your proposal (we recommend checking with us before submitting an application, as grant amounts vary greatly at this level), and then start the application process here. Applications are considered on a rolling basis. In the case of large requests, consideration may be scheduled in accordance with our spring and fall board meetings.