Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc. Approves Renewable Grant for the Memphis Urban Debate League

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Memphis, Tennessee, June 16, 2011 – The Memphis Urban Debate League Advisory Board has been awarded a renewable grant by the Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc..  The initial amount of the grant for FY 2011-2012 is $71,000.

The Memphis Urban Debate League, launched in July 2008, currently enjoys participation by students and teachers from 21 Memphis City Schools high schools and 2 charter schools also located in Memphis.  “We were pleased to be able to introduce and grow this rigorous academic sport in the Memphis City Schools, and we are very appreciative of the Assisi Foundation of Memphis for providing us with their financial support,” said Jim Sdoia, president of the Memphis Urban Debate League Advisory Board.

The Memphis Urban Debate League is open to all students at any of the 21 MCS high schools participating in the program.  The program plans to add at least 2 more MCS high schools for the 2011-2012 school year.  Memphis Urban Debate League participants have been documented to show higher average ACT scores than their non-debating peers. “Debate can be life-changing for a young person—especially from an inner city school,” said Dwight Fryer, league director.

The Advisory Board will need to raise an additional $25,000 from new donors in order to take advantage of a $50,000 renewal for the 2012-2013 school year and an additional $50,000 from new donors to take advantage of a $26,000 renewal for the 2013-2014 school year.  Interested donors can learn more about the program and can make donations by visiting the Memphis Debate website: www.shelbydebate.org.

The initial grant award will be used to fully fund several of our program components for this year.  One such program is the Memphis Urban Debate League Summer Debate Institute scheduled for July 18-22 at the University of Memphis.  That program is offered free of charge to all MCS high school students who have an interest in debating in the fall.  The program will run from 9:00AM to 3:00PM daily and lunch will be provided. Details are available on our website.