Campus News

Bluegrass Debate Coalition Expands Support for Debate Education

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 3, 2021) — The Bluegrass Debate Coalition (BDC) is again offering no-cost, online public speaking and debate courses for the children of University of Kentucky’s faculty and staff. The after school debate program is part of a greater outreach from the UK College of Communication and Information aimed at enriching the lives of children across Kentucky. The initiative is helping students develop essential life skills now to substantially improve their self-confidence and their thinking/speaking abilities.

This high-quality debate education experience is designed to be fun, educational and produces valuable life skills that last well beyond their school years. The BDC offers beginner, intermediate and advanced classes featuring a short lesson, group discussion and fun activities to generate new skills. These courses are provided in a virtual environment for safety and convenience.

  • Elementary courses are geared at students in grades four through six. The lessons are activities-based leading to lots of doing and time passes smoothly — and enjoyably. These classes meet once per week for 60 minutes over a period of six weeks. The BDC will also create a fun speaking event for them and give them medals like in the Olympics.
  • Middle school courses are geared at students in grades six through eight. No matter their experience in speech and debate, there is a course that will fit. Middle-school classes meet once per week for 90 minutes over a period of six weeks. At the completion of the course an event will be created for them and the BDC will give positive encouragement for the students to join a team and attend tournaments (if they are interested).
  • High school courses are geared at students in grades nine through 12. These classes will not occupy too much of a student’s time as the BDC strives to create a healthy balance to challenge students, but not overwhelm them. These classes meet once per week for 90 minutes over a period of six weeks. Students are encouraged to start a team, and go to speech and debate tournaments, which can be a lot of fun for them. Three experience levels are available: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Customized scheduling is also available. Students who have missed the deadline can be waitlisted so that additional classes can be created later in the month or possibly the following month. This creates a space for people to request classes that better align with their busy schedules.

The courses are currently offered at no cost. The BDC initiative greatly appreciates donations, which help the program to offer even more classes and special events throughout the year.

For questions or to enroll, please visit bluegrassdebate.org or call 859-218-8888.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.