Climb After School Debate Programs


After School Programs

Elementary (4th-5th grade)

Middle School (6th-8th grade)

High School (9th-12th grade)

Students who join our program develop self-confidence, thinking skills, and have fun communicating about important issues.


Students work with other motivated, smart kids. They learn to express themselves, organize their thoughts better and meet other students interested in discussing interesting ideas.​

Sorry--Our Fall Afterschool Programs are full. Registration is closed.

Register for Jan-Feb in early December.

Over 1,000 students joined our programs in 2021.

  • Led by Jim Hanson, one of the most successful debate coaches in the nation. He has extensive and award winning experience teaching speech and debate. He works with a highly qualified staff to provide individualized instruction. 

  • Our students have won dozens of awards, including multiple first places at the middle school tournaments hosted by Seattle University where 300+ students participate from all over the Puget Sound area.

Sorry--Our Fall Afterschool Programs are full. Registration is closed. Register for Jan-Feb Programs in early December.

Deep learning process

  • Our individualized learning method (1 instructor 6 students) and heavy emphasis on having students put into practice what we cover, makes the learning in our courses deep--meaning.

  • Kids who graduate from the program sessions write better papers, are more knowledgeable about the world, work better with other students, and give better presentations in their classes.

  • Students really like the fun of exchanging ideas, winning, and learning in an extremely active capacity. See how our program can help your child!

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Parents and students love the program...



Jim Hanson receives comments nearly every week:

"My daughter LOVES debate."
"My kid looks forward to each week. It is the one program that really engages and lights up his day."
"You've given my son the self confidence he needed. He is now much more social and he can easily express what he is thinking."


Program, Dates & Fees


  • Elementary students (4th and 5th grade): $110

  • Middle Schoolers (6th grade - 8th grade): $211

  • High Schoolers (9th grade - 12th grade): $312

  • Lower income household? When you register, choose one of the two options for lower fees in part 2 of the registration (no forms--just a click). We want our programs to be affordable to all families.

Fees include:

  • All instruction, materials on topics, and participation in the noted tournaments.

  • All events are ONLINE.

Program Dates

  • Weeks of Oct 18-Dec 6, Choose Mon, Wed or Fri

    • Elementary - 4:00pm to 5:10pm (Students in the elementary program participate in a tournament that happens during the last 4 classes (online)   

  • Weeks of Oct 4- Nov 15, Choose Mon, Wed or Fri

    • Middle School 5:15pm to 7:00pm (Plus Nov 20 or Nov 21 participate in one of the Seattle U Middle School Tournaments)

  • ​Weeks of Sept 28- Nov 30, Choose Tue or Thurs

    • High School 5:30pm to 7:30pm  (after the first four sessions, class is 5:30 to 6:40pm or 6:40 to 7:50pm)

    • Plus two tournaments on Friday afternoon/Saturday all day--in late October through early December (actual tournament dates to be decided when the high school tournament schedules are finalized).


Sorry--Our Fall Afterschool Programs are full. Registration is closed. Register for Jan-Feb in early December.

New & Experienced Students

  • NEW STUDENTS: Students begin by learning key skills for debating. The structure of an argument, responding to opposing arguments, ask and answering questions, taking notes, making cases, researching, and synthesizing the arguments in a debate into a persuasive argument. Students work in small groups--our staff to student ratio is typically 1 to 6 students. Students engage in debates with expert feedback and engage in redos to improve their speaking and argument skills. All the while, they are building up social connections and friendships with other students who share their goals.

  • EXPERIENCED STUDENTS: Experienced students build off the debate knowledge they have gained. Working in small labs of 4 to 6 students, they learn advanced skills and strategies and how to put them into action. They are challenged by more difficult debates. They are challenged to improve their cases and responses. All along, they are working with their debate friends--a supportive, high achieving group who want the best for each other.


​*Our After School Debate Programs are held ONLINE this Fall.You need a Windows, Mac, or Chromebook computer with webcam and reliable internet.

Program Information

  • Elementary Program: Elementary students debate at a challenging but supportive level. They research topics, take both sides on the topic, and present cases, refute opposing cases, defend their cases and summarize the debate to persuade their judges. Topics are mostly chosen by students and have included school cell phone use, ending plastic bags, video game effects on kids, vaccine mandates, and cigarette sales. Students have a culminating experience in the last 4 classes which are a tournament. Recognitions for all and awards for top teams and speakers finish the program.

  • Middle School Program: Middle Students debate the Puget Sound debate league formats (3 on 3 MS Parli in the fall and winter; Public Forum debate in the spring). They learn research skills, presenting cases, refuting, defending their arguments, and summarizing the debate to persuade their judges. Topics are mostly chosen by students and the Puget Sound Debate League and have included health care worker vaccine mandates, switching to the metric system, and football helmets. Students have a culminating experience at the end of the program, competing in the Seattle University Middle School tournament--one of the biggest tournaments on the west coast with 400+ debaters competing (and one where Climb has won dozens and dozens of awards). 

  • High School Program: High School Students debate in the Western Washington high school tournament circuit. (LD debate in the fall with possible other options in coming months). They learn about values, philosophy, and current issues reflecting choices society is making. They learn research, case building, responding, and rebuttal arguments to persuade judges. Topics are chosen by the national organization NSDA and for this fall will focus on worker rights. Students have a culminating experience in attending two high school tournaments in late October/November/early December.

Want more clarification on these kinds of debate? Email Jim Hanson and ask at