Queens, N.Y. – After a successful year competing in numerous city and state debate tournaments throughout New York, Early Scholars Speech & Debate Society middle school competitors – ranging from fifth through eighth grade – competed at Harvard University’s 46th Annual National Forensics Tournament over President’s Day weekend. The tournament – which took place at the University in Cambridge, MA – remains the largest and most prestigious in the U.S. Students from across the nation competed in speech, policy and public forum debates, to name a few. While students faced tough competition, one of the Early Scholars’ six teams remained undefeated in the tournament’s preliminary rounds and three of the six teams left with winning records.
“When I founded Early Scholars four years ago, I wanted to help reduce social apprehension among elementary and middle school students through the art of debate,” stated Dr. Erin Jacques, founder and CEO of Early Scholars. “More than that, I wanted Early Scholars to foster a new generation of students who are truly vested in supporting and empowering the communities we live in.” Jacques’ vision is demonstrated, not only in her students’ ability to debate topics – such as social media addiction and environmental sustainability – but also in the way they conduct themselves in the midst of competition. As young leaders, such as Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, raise awareness about global issues and incite positive change – Early Scholars students follow in their footsteps by honing their ability to examine all sides of social matters and express themselves. While Early Scholars students continue to prepare for debate tournaments throughout the year – coaches, students and their families look forward to the 2020 debate year and the impact they will have on their communities.