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Delta Charter Launches Junior Forensics at University of Pacific Invitational | Community

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Delta Charter Launches Junior Forensics at University of Pacific Invitational
Delta Charter Launches Junior Forensics at University of Pacific Invitational

University of the Pacific recently held the 32nd annual Jon Schamber High School Forensics Tournament.  The event was a great success (as it always has been) but this year there was something different about the event, for the first time the event hosted its first National Junior Forensics participants (middle school students in grades 6-8 were allowed to participate in the competition).  One local charter school, Delta Charter School, was among the only schools in the central valley who entered middle school students into the competition; in fact Delta Charter is among the only public schools in California’s Central Valley that is offering National Junior Forensics.  Recently Delta Charter School launched the Central Valley’s first National Junior Forensic Team (grades 6-8) that will begin competing on a National level in the 2011-12 school year.  The development of the Junior Team is a result of Delta’s strong showing in National High School Forensic Competitions.  Delta has moved into the top tier (top 10%) nationwide in the area Forensics and it only makes sense that Delta begins preparing students even sooner to participate in this great student growth opportunity.

According to the National Junior Forensic League (NFJL) participation in competitive speech and debate provides a highly effective way for middle level students to build communication skills including speaking, listening, and writing. These critical skills translate into significant advantages in school and later, the workforce. In fact, studies show that students who are trained in speech and debate tend to earn higher grades and score higher on standardized tests. In addition, students who are trained in forensics typically demonstrate superior critical thinking skills, which enable them to be judicious consumers of information and powerful voices of logic.

Additionally, NJFL builds confidence in young speakers. Early exposure to public speaking may help obviate stage fright in young orators; giving them a significant advantage over their respective student peers and adults alike (most folks would rather see a doctor for a medical procedure rather than speak in front of others). Equally important, forensics gives junior high school students a place to belong.  Forensics also helps students develop social skills involving empathy and conflict.  According to Adam Jacobi of the NJFL, the National Middle School Association profiles needs of the young adolescent for success in the middle grades. It discusses cognitive development for problem solving and abstract thinking, as well as the social/emotion development for awareness of self and others.

Education of young adolescents through participation in speech and debate activities provides them an opportunity to apply their developing thinking and social awareness through communication. In fact, fostering these skills at a younger age solidifies stronger roots by which students can flourish in high school and beyond.  There is a growing raft of research that indicates those students who hold the rank of Speech and Debate Captain are much more likely to enroll and finish when it comes to college coursework.  There is also a body of evidence that indicates these students are prepared to be tomorrow’s leaders in the classroom, the courtroom or the floor of the legislature!

The NJFL extends the opportunities of participating in speech and debate to junior high students. Regional junior high tournaments begin training youth for leadership. The National Forensic League is expanding its dedication to its NJFL program, to build a stronger foundation for our Nation’s Future Leaders by supporting an earlier start to participation in forensics.  Delta Charter School has made the same commitment to support early participation in forensics to grow strong student leaders.

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About Delta Charter School:

Delta Charter School is a WASC-accredited public charter school in Tracy, CA.  Through learning centers in Tracy, Manteca and Stockton, Delta offers several innovative programs as a full-time educational alternative for qualified students in grades K-12 in San Joaquin and adjoining counties. Delta is a 21st Century tuition-free public charter school, offering blended digital/onsite curriculum or strictly online learning supported by California Credentialed Teachers and Education Coordinators.

CONTACT:

Bill Redford, Assistant Director for School Development at Delta Charter School

wredford@njes.org

209-830-6363 Office

Manteca / Tracy / Ripon Deals