Third Coast Underwriters Partners With Chicago Debate Commission to Sponsor CPS Chicago Middle School Debate Championships

Third Coast Underwriters (3CU) and the Chicago Debate Commission (CDC) will sponsor and host the CPS Chicago Middle School Debate Championships on Saturday, March 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Taft High School, 6530 W. Bryn Mawr. The event will feature 300 Chicago middle school students from schools around the city, with 60 Chicago-area high school debaters serving as debate judges.

“We are thrilled to sponsor the Chicago Public Schools Debate Championships for middle school students,” said Marguerite Dixen, president of Third Coast Underwriters and Chicago Debate Commission Board member. “The Chicago Debate Commission is doing a remarkable job to help middle school and high school students develop important decision-making, analytical and leadership skills that these students will use throughout their lives.”

“Debate is the rare after-school activity that combines academic rigor, student empowerment and fun,” said Edie Canter, executive director of the Chicago Debate Commission.  “Debate also helps students build self-esteem and voice, and inspires excitement about learning.”

At the March 25 tournament, the 300 middle-school students will compete in the last tournament of their debate season, a tournament that will select the top middle-school debaters in Chicago.  Special awards for Debaters of the Year, as well as top coaches, judges and principals will also be announced.

The Chicago Debate Commission was founded in 1995 to advance the academic achievement, life success and community contributions of urban youth by providing them with powerful skills in reading, research, critical thinking, civic engagement, teamwork and communications – all through the mechanism of academic debate. In 1997, in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, the CDC launched debate in Chicago with five high schools and 35 students. Now, the program has grown to 62 schools with 1,300 students. It is the largest program of its kind in the country and a model for urban debate leagues nationwide.

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