Keeping the Competition in Kansas Debate.
Ad Astra aims to provide students and schools the resources and support needed to maintain and grow speech and debate programs in partnership with our community.
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Speech and debate supports the development of academic skills, as students learn to research, read, and write more effectively. They use critical thinking to deconstruct the logic of what they read and consider creative solutions to society’s problems. Studies have linked the activity to a 36% increase in reading test scores and an 87% increase in analytical skills for participants.
“As a result of the “speech and debate attitude, earned dual credits increased 800%, ACT scores increased an average of three points, and scholarship dollars offered doubled in three years”
– New Mexico Principal Douglas Wine
Regardless of skill level, age or background, students who participate in speech and debate programming learn that their voices matter and are valued by their communities, which naturally builds confidence. Participants have reported 15% higher self esteem after participating in competitive forensics and schools have experienced a 31% increase in regular attendance.
“At an age when bullying is so common, speech and debate celebrates kids who often fall through the cracks in more traditional settings. Specifically, girls are encouraged to be smart and argumentative as much as boys, in whom strong emotional awareness and expressiveness are celebrated”
– Robyn Kaiyal, an Associate Headmaster from Florida.
Debate allows students to gain in-demand critical thinking and public speaking skills in a fun, competitive and educational atmosphere.
Find events near you, competition schedules, openings, policies and tools to help prepare you and your team for any Kansas competition.
Kansas debate wouldn’t be the success it is without our volunteers. If you’re interested in judging a competition, assisting a coach, or helping manage the competition, visit our Volunteer Portal.
Why Join Debate?
Develop Useful Lifelong Skills:
Use Your Voice to Create Change:
What Students are Saying
“Ad Astra debate has greatly impacted the way I look at debate and helped me connect with leaders in my community to start my own initiatives in and outside of debate.”
– Aditya Joshi; Student, East High School
Ad Astra Debate League is led by former debaters who grew into pillars to the community. We’re knowledgeable and dedicated to keeping Kansas debate competitive.
Mike Harris – Co-Founder & Director
Three-time Kansas Coach of the Year, President –
Kansas Speech Communication Association, Director Wichita East Debate
David Abel – Co-Founder & Associate Director
National Chair of the Year in 2011, Best National District Chair –
Communications in 2013, Ralph E. Carey award for distinguished lifetime service in 2017
Bruce Rowley – Co-Founder & Program Advisor
Entrepreneur, Marketer, Creative Thinker