There’s No Debating The Value of This Club


Ever since Dr. Benjamin Spock changed parenting rules from ‘children should be seen, and not heard’ to emphasizing that parents should aspire to nurture their child’s psyche for healthy psychological and sociological growth, homes were becoming child-centered.  As parents elevated children’s “freedom of expression”, children did become more self-confident; they also became more outspoken, defiant and demanding.

I used to call my children ‘the debaters’, as everything from bedtime, to teen-age curfew and later, why they couldn’t use my car, became issues ‘open for discussion’.  My voice of reason was quickly shot down during those discussions in favor of the new voices of authority I had help to create within my family.  As challenging as this was to my psyche, I am proud to say they have all grown to be successful in life, as well as business.  I have to admit that a ‘debate’, on any level, enables a child to acquire life skills and leadership qualities vital to success in today’s ever more competitive educational and career environment.

Among the thousands of successful entrepreneurs, global leaders, business executives that have all greatly benefited from their mastery of discourse, Lee Iacocca, CEO of Chrysler is quoted on the website,

“…I joined the debating team, which was sponsored by Mr. Virgil Parks, our Latin teacher. That’s where I developed my speaking skills and learned to think on my feet. At first I was scared to death. I had butterflies in my stomach – and to this day I still get a little nervous before giving a speech. But the experience of being on the debating team was crucial. You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your brains won’t get you anywhere.”

For those of us living at the luxury rental building, The Modern, we are fortunate to have local access right here in Fort Lee to an after-school educational program focused exclusively on the development of critical thinking, persuasive argumentation and public speaking skills for young students ages ten and up.

Bergen County Debate Club was founded over two years ago to enrich the social, intellectual and academic lives of students through debate.  Their weekly middle school debate program teaches participants to reason their point of view, incorporate evidence, and learn the techniques that can turn them into outstanding debaters and presenters. Students review the structure and organization of the formal debate, select and research topics, and prepare arguments to present in the parliamentary or policy debate format. In addition to regular debates in the classroom, at the end of each semester, students get to showcase their mastery of speech and persuasion at the North Jersey Debate Tournament, in front of their fellow debaters, judges, parents and friends.

Interested youngsters are encouraged to attend a free trial class or schedule a placement interview with one of their coaches before joining the program.  Registration for the fall 2015 semester is currently underway.   For more information about the North Jersey Debate Club visit their website at or call 201-421-8621. For the schedule of weekly classes and tuition information, please visit

Bergen County Debate Club

2185 Lemoine Avenue

Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024




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