Story and Photo by Janiya Rivera.
MARCH 9, 2017: On Saturday, March 5, 2017, Woodridge hosted the DC Urban Debate League Tournament. The event brought over 250 students from around the city to Woodridge. All of the classrooms were filled with a diverse group of middle to high school students debating over relevant issues and legislation.
Scholars competed in their first ever Congressional debate. During the Congressional debate, students emulated members of the United States Congress by debating bills and resolutions. Before the event, each school submitted mock legislation for each tournament. After the legislation had been compiled, it was distributed to each participating team. Each team had an opportunity to research as many topics as possible, with the goal of being able to speak on both sides of every legislation. It was a very great debate and experience for all of the scholars who participated. Ms. Tawanna Howard, school counselor, worked hard along with a debate coach to advise and support the team. Woodridge was excited to have several middle school scholars who participated in the debate competition.
One 5th grader, Janiya Riveria, and 6th grader Ayanna Lovelace impressed the judges. Other participants included 8th graders Terrell Jackson, TJ Moss, Damari Harelston, McKinley Bunting and Janielle McKnight. TJ Moss placed 2nd in his round and Janiya Rivera placed 3rd in her round. This formal debate setting helped scholars present arguments in support of and against a given issue with reasons and relevant evidence.
Janiya Rivera is a 5th grade scholar at Friendship Woodridge Academy.