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

  • Afya Public Charter Middle
  • Calverton Elem/Middle
  • City Springs Elementary School
  • Commodore John Rodgers Elementary
  • ConneXions
  • Empowerment Academy
  • Francis Scott Key Elem/Middle
  • Frederick Elementary School
  • Friendship Academy at Cherry Hill
  • Glenmount Academy Elem/Middle
  • Govans Elementary
  • Green School of Baltimore Elem/Middle
  • Hamilton Middle School
  • Hampstead Hill Academy Elem/Middle
  • Holabird Elementary
  • Lakeland Elem/Middle
  • Lillie May Caroll Jackson Elementary
  • Matthew Henson Elementary
  • Mt. Washington Elem/Middle
  • The Northwood Appold Community Academy (NACA) Public Charter School
  • Roland Park Elementary/Middle


Student Resources

  • TBA

Parent Resources

Elementary/Middle School Calendar