About Elementary & Middle School Debate

The Baltimore Urban Debate League’s elementary/middle school program was launched in 2005. By this time our high school program had demonstrated its impact and the Baltimore City School System asked us to develop a similar program for the middle school students. Early adolescence is a time of incredible uncertainty for young people, it is during these years that they are looking to define themselves. Am I smart, is school for me, do I belong? Debate helps a young person answer all of these questions affirmatively. This is a key moment to help young people see themselves as smart, capable and to see learning and intellectual inquiry as fun.

Our middle school program begins with a summer camp and follows with the development of debate squads led by teacher/coaches in schools across the City. Our students come together to debate important local, national and international topics and learn the initial skills of argument development and analysis, the need for supportive evidence and listening and refutation skills. Students develop confidence in exploring their own ideas and presenting them both in both the written word and orally.

Come out to one of our monthly citywide middle school tournaments and be amazed by the hundreds of young people who have discovered a passion for learning through the use of their own voice. For more information contact Leslie Stanton at leslie@budl.org.

Tournament Registration

BUDL now uses Speechwire to streamline our tournament registration process!

REGISTER: Speechwire

If you have any questions regarding EMS programming, please email Elementary/Middle School Program Manager Leslie@budl.org for more information.



Participating Elementary/Middle Schools

  • Alexander Hamilton Elementary School
  • Armistead Gardens Elementary/Middle School
  • Banneker Blake Academy
  • City Springs Elementary School
  • Commodore John Rodgers Elementary
  • Creative City Public Charter School
  • Cross Country Elementary/Middle School
  • Dr.Nathan Pitts-Ashburton Elementary/Middle School
  • Dorothy I. Height Elementary School
  • Edgewood Elementary School
  • Fort Worthington Elementary School
  • Francis Scott Key Elem/Middle
  • Garrett Heights Elementary/Middle School
  • Glenmount Academy Elem/Middle
  • Govans Elementary
  • The Green School of Baltimore
  • Hampstead Hill Academy
  • Hazelwood Elementary/Middle School
  • Holabird Elementary
  • Lakeland Elem/Middle
  • Lillie May Caroll Jackson Elementary
  • Maree G. Farring Elementary/Middle School
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary/Middle School
  • Mary E. Rodman Elementary School
  • Matthew Henson Elementary
  • Montebello Elementary/Middle School
  • The Mt. Washington School
  • Roland Park Elementary/Middle
  • The Crossroads School
  • Thomas Johnson Elementary/Middle School
  • Wolfe Street Academy
  • Woohome Elementary/Middle School


Student Resources

  • TBA

Elementary/Middle School Calendar