A number of Akron children for whom English is a second language will improve their critical thinking and public presentation skills thanks to a two-week speech and debate camp created by International Institute of Akron.
The refugee and immigrant resettlement agency launched the pilot program for about 20 middle school students this summer, called Inquiring Minds. Funded by Akron Community Foundation, IIA partnered with Summit Education Initiative and Akron Public Schools to coordinate the program, during which area students attended classes at the National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM Middle School in downtown Akron. The two-week camp wrapped up with a judged debate and closing ceremony.
The debate model, created by John Meany from Claremont College, veers from traditional methods and focuses less on the minutiae of debate rules and procedures and more on the spirit of the debate itself. Meany says there’s more dynamism and interaction with this format. Due to its universal appeal and ease with which non-English speakers can learn, this model has been successfully spread to 800,000 students and teachers in 28 countries. IIA plans to continue this program for area students.
For info, visit www.iiakron.org.