Guided by Kids Ready to Start a Fourth Year on December 10, 2020
During 2019/2020, we were of course impacted by coronavirus and did not get to compete in any middle school speech and debate tournaments. We did, however, complete the year, with a little over half of our students continuing to meet regularly via Zoom videoconferencing, finishing our year by having an online debate between two of our students.
Three students decided they wanted to take part in summer bonus sessions, so Ms. Shudak and I met with those individuals for five weeks to advance skills in producing solid research, understanding both sides of issues, and recognizing reasonable, middleground approaches to debate that can work best for persuasion.
While there is still a lot undecided for 2020/2021, with questions about whether middle school speech/debate tournaments will be able to be held with in person competition--or if some tournaments might be hosted virtually--we will begin learning about effective speaking and debating, and becoming better citizens in our community in our Guided by Kids classes starting on December 10, 2020, 6-7:30 p.m., with a second meeting on December 17, 2020. Regular weekly meetings will continue on January 7, 2021--and a total of 20 classes, along with competition participation if available--will be held, finishing on May 13, 2021.
The Kroc Center has agreed to be our host facility and I will be meeting with them to decide if we will start classes in person with mask wearing and social distancing required, or if we will begin classes via Zoom videoconferencing.
Students who were in Guided by Kids and stayed with the program when we continued online do not need to reapply to be members of Guided by Kids. I will be emailing parents/students who did complete last year's classes and who remain in the 5th-8th grade age group for this school year. Those students/parents can let me know if they will continue in Guided by Kids this year (we hope so!), and also let me know their preferences regarding how we should start--with Zoom conferencing or with in person learning with mask wearing and social distancing required.
Any new students who are in 5th-8th grade and want to be part of Guided by Kids can go to www.guidedbykids.org and complete an application to join us this year. The deadline for receiving new applications will be announced soon (I want to check when we closed apps last year) but it will be sometime in mid or late November, approximately two months away.
There is still a lot of uncertainty facing us today, but Ms. Shudak and I are certain about this: we love teaching and coaching and being part of Guided by Kids and look forward to another year of learning with students and having fun!
Fred Robertson, Director and Co-Teacher
Guided by Kids