Volunteers from the law offices of Bayer & Carey, P.C. and the DBA Lawyers and Schools Committee joined forces with College View Elementary for the second year to organize and coach the College View Debate Club for 5th grade students. During the program, volunteers met with sixteen students twice a week for five consecutive weeks. To participate in the club, students had to write an essay to school administrators explaining their interest in debate. The club kicked off with a debate by volunteers held in front of the student body and faculty discussing whether Peyton Manning should continue to play for the Denver Broncos or retire. Over the next the five weeks, volunteers taught the basics of debate: taking a position, researching evidence in support of arguments, and presentation techniques.
Students learned a broad range of skills, from how to introduce oneself, give a proper handshake, and stand up when presenting one’s position, to more nuanced topics such as how to research and cite sources in support of their debate topics. Students debated topics such as whether Pluto should be considered a planet and whether students should be allowed to bring cell phones to school. The final debate, which was held in front of family, friends, teachers, and administrators, featured the topic: Whether College View Elementary should have interscholastic team sports. The development and maturation of these students from beginning to end is awe-inspiring, especially in terms of their presentation skills and confidence.
Participating volunteers included: Hon. Laura Tighe, Teri Vasquez, Erich Bethke, Andy Nickel, Kristine Eckley, Simone Montoya, Matt Weeber, Aaron Goldman and Jessica Beegle. Thank you to all who volunteered in this successful educational program. If you or other attorneys and paralegals at your office would be interested in volunteering for DBA Lawyers and Schools programs, please contact Meghan Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-824-5303.
By Hon. Laura Tighe and Aaron Goldman