ASAP Debate empowers students to explore important issues and find their voice.
With 45 clubs and more than 500 students (grades 4-12), ASAP Debate is committed to providing youth in Philadelphia public schools with the same opportunity as their suburban and private school peers to develop the essential researching habits, persuasive writing and public speaking skills that will prepare them for success in high school and college.
ASAP Debate provides training and evidence packets to help middle and high schools run public forum debate clubs. Middle school clubs study one topic every three months, and high school debate clubs explore a different topic each month. ASAP holds debate competitions throughout the year to help students improve their cases and their public-speaking skills.
If you are a youth or a parent/guardian of a student in Philadelphia who is interested in debating after school or in the summer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215.607.2069 x4.
If you want to start an ASAP Debate club at your school or site, click here to learn more.
Through partnerships with Penn For Youth Debate and Victory Briefs, ASAP provides its club leaders with training, evidence packets, and resources to run effective debate clubs.
If you are a teacher, school administrator, site staff, parent or student looking to start an ASAP Debate club at your location, click here.
If you are interested in volunteering to judge debate rounds or support an ASAP Debate club, click here.
For high school clubs, ASAP runs the Philadelphia Scholastic Debate League from November through March. Weekly debates for novice and varsity debaters are held on Wednesdays at Central High School. League Finals take place in March at the University of Pennsylvania. Awards are given for top student pairs at both the novice and varsity level, top individual speakers, and top school.
To join the Debate League, contact email@example.com or call 215.607.2069 x4.
High School Debate: See Philadelphia Scholastic Debate League
Middle School Debate: ASAP holds monthly debate tournaments for middle school clubs from November through April and provides transportation for participating groups. Tournaments are generally held at high schools with active debate teams with high school debaters frequently serving as judges. Awards are given at the end of each tournament to top teams and speakers.
Weekend Debate Tournaments: ASAP supports a variety of weekend tournaments, including two weekend tournaments each year at the University of Pennsylvania through a partnership with Penn for Youth Debate. In addition, ASAP raises funds to support debate teams that compete at regional, state, and national tournaments throughout the year.
This summer, ASAP will run a free two-week Summer Speech and Debate Academy for students in grades 6th-12th!
- Monday-Friday (10 days total)
- 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Location: Carver HSES (1600 W. Norris St., Philadelphia, PA)
- In-person (not virtual)
- Near the BSL subway at the Cecil B. Moore stop
- Free SEPTA Cards included
- Grades 6th-12th
- Free of cost!
- Spots are not guaranteed due to limited space.
- Students from Philadelphia public & public charter schools are eligible to apply.
To learn more, contact:
Our players in action
Through year-round programming, ASAP Debate supports Philadelphia’s next generation of leaders
Want to discover more about ASAP’s programs? Click here to learn about ASAP Chess, ASAP Drama, and ASAP Scrabble.
Your Contribution Makes a Difference
Provides students with Septa passes for afterschool debate competitions across Philadelphia.
Supports 1 ASAP Debate student during the school year
Provides professional development training for afterschool club leader in debate and classroom management
Supplies evidence packets & equipment to one ASAP Debate club.