Group wants to revive debate program in Youngstown schools

Staff report


A community group has raised $10,000 to revive the speech and debate program in the city schools.

The Alliance for Congregational Transformation Influencing Our Neighborhoods last year approached Superintendent Connie Hathorn and Doug Hiscox, deputy superintendent for academic affairs, about returning the program to the school district.

Carl James of ACTION’s Education Core Team and Atty. Alan Kretzer worked with the Youngstown Foundation to create the Youngstown City School District Speech and Debate Fund.

“This fund will raise the funds from our community to support the reorganization of the Youngstown Speech and Debate program,” according to a letter James and Kretzer wrote this month to the school board.

The group raised $10,000 with plans to seek more funding.

Hiscox said that up until 2006, the district had an active program with state and national tournament qualifiers.

The money will be used to pay a speech coach as well as tournament entry fees, he said.

In a memorandum to Hathorn and Hiscox, James wrote that a speech program “provides a path for a creative and intellectual polish and maturation. Having such a path is a necessary option to provide for excellent students and for students working to attain excellence.”

Hiscox said students who participate from East, Chaney or Youngstown Early College will all compete as a Youngstown City team.

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