Climb After School
Speech & Debate Programs

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SPEECH & DEBATE 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 who want to discuss interesting ideas.​

Registration is Open!
Speaking Programs are nearly full.
 

Over 1,200 students participated in our programs over the last year.

  • Led by Jim Hanson, one of the most successful speech and debate coaches in the nation. He has extensive and award winning experience teaching speech and debate (Coach of 7 national championship teams, NDT top speaker, CEDA National Champs, NPTE top speaker). He works with a highly qualified staff to provide individualized instruction. 
     

  • Our students have won dozens of awards, including multiple first places at Puget Sound high school tournaments, the 400+ student middle school tournaments hosted by Seattle University, and the national Climb speech and debate tournaments.

Deep learning process

  • Our individualized learning method (1 instructor with 4 to 8 students) and heavy emphasis on having students put into practice what we cover means students learn actively.
     

  • 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!

Registration is Open!
Speaking Programs are nearly full.

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Parents and students love the program...

TESTIMONIALS

 

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

Fees

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

  • Debate: $159

  • Speech: $205
     

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

  • Debate: $199

  • Speech: $205
     

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

  • Debate $299

  • Speech: $205
     

  • Lower income household? When you register, choose one of the two options for half or full fee reduction 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

  • Tournaments (optional) are an additional fee of $40 elementary, $45 middle school, $50 high school online. $10-$15 extra for in-person (food costs). Note--Climb does not transport students to the in-person tournaments--that is up to the student/parents.

  • All Instruction is ONLINE but the tournaments may optionally be attended in-person (at Seattle University).

Program Dates

We offer Speech and Debate Programs for 4th through 12th grade!

  • ELEMENTARY DEBATE 4th 5th graders

  • Weeks of Oct 3 - Nov 18, Choose Mon, Wed or Fri

    • 4:15pm to 5:30pm

    • Students can and should choose to participate in the Seattle University Elementary Debate tournament which occurs Sunday Nov 20, online or in-person (additional fee).

  • ELEMENTARY SPEECH 4th 5th graders

  • Weeks of Oct 11 - Nov 17, Choose Tues or Thurs

  • 6:15pm to 8:00pm

    • Students can and should choose to participate in the Seattle University Elementary Speech Tournament which occurs Sunday Nov 20, online or in-person (additional fee).​

  • MIDDLE SCHOOL DEBATE 6th, 7th, 8th graders

  • Weeks of Oct 3-Nov 18, Choose Mon, Wed or Fri

    • 5:40pm to 7:20pm

    • Students can and should choose to participate in the Seattle U MS tournament Sat. Nov 19 or Sun. Nov 20, online or in-person (additional fee).

  • MIDDLE SCHOOL SPEECH 6th, 7th, 8th graders

  • Weeks of Oct 11 - Nov 17, Choose Tues or Thurs

  • 6:15pm to 8:00pm

  • Students can and should choose to participate in the Seattle University Middle School Speech Tournament which occurs Sunday Nov 20, online or in-person (additional fee).

  • HIGH SCHOOL 9th-12th graders

  • Weeks of Oct 4 - Nov 17, Choose Tue or Thurs

    • 6:00pm to 8:00pm

    • Students can and should participate in the Gig Harbor High School (Nov 4-5)* and also the Tahoma High School Tournament (Nov 18-19)* (additional fee).

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  • HIGH SCHOOL SPEECH 9th-12th graders

  • Weeks of Oct 11 - Nov 17, Choose Tues or Thurs

  • 6:15pm to 8:00pm

  • Students can choose to participate in the Gig Harbor High School (Nov 4-5), Tahoma High School Tournament (Nov 18-19)* OR the Seattle University High School Speech Tournament which occurs Sunday Nov 20, online or in-person (additional fee).

  • *we do not know at this time if the Tahoma or Gig Harbor High School tournaments will be in-person, online, or both.

 

New & Experienced Students

  • NEW DEBATERS: 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 DEBATERS: 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 work on and debate different topics. 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.

  • SPEAKERS: Students will learn new kinds of speeches and prepare, practice, and present 2 different kinds of speeches. We are offering 1) PowerPoint speaking; 2) Extemp-Impromptu speaking; 3) Informative-Persuasive-Humorous (ADS) speaking; 4) Interpretation (Play-Prose-Poetry performances). Experienced speakers get advanced work with our experts to take their speeches from decent to great. Throughout you work with other friendly students who are just as interested in ideas and communication as you are.

​*Our After School Speech and Debate Programs are held ONLINE. You need a device with webcam and reliable internet--we will use ZOOM. We have a limited number of loaner laptops at low cost for low income and Rainier Scholar families--available to those on Seattle-Tacoma-Everett-Bellevue side of Puget Sound.

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Tournaments can be attended online or in-person--you will choose.

Program Information

  • Elementary Debate 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. Recognitions for all and awards for top teams and speakers finish the program. Students are also encouraged to participate in the tournament shortly after the end of the class, one where Climbers have placed 1st team and 1st speaker (extra fee).

  • Middle School Debate Program: Middle Students debate using the Public Forum format on a topic about whether standardized testing is beneficial. They learn research skills, presenting cases, refuting, defending their arguments, and summarizing the debate to persuade their judges. The topic was chosen by students and Puget Sound coaches. Students are encouraged to 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 Debate Program: High School Students debate in the Western Washington high school tournament circuit. (LD debate). 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. Students are encouraged to have a culminating experience in a High School Tournament.

  • Speech Program: Elementary, Middle School, High School. Students will learn new kinds of speeches and prepare, practice, and present two different kinds of speeches. We are offering 1) PowerPoint speaking; 2) Extemp-Impromptu speaking; 3) Informative-Persuasive-Humorous (ADS) speaking; 4) Interpretation (Play Prose Poetry performances). Students have an optional culminating experience in a Speech tournament.

Registration is Open!
Speaking Programs are nearly full.