Friday, September 4, 2015 — City Council member Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) visited students at Maspeth High School just before the final tournament of the two-week Queens Debate Institute summer camp. “The community is so proud to have a first-class debate team right here at Maspeth High School, and I enjoy seeing the team share their talents with other youth in New York City,” Crowley said. “Debate is used in so many everyday situations, and I’m pleased so many students are developing that skill so early in life.” Crowley allocated $5,000 to the high school’s debate team from her 2015 budget. The Queens Debate Institute summer camp is a “two-week boot camp, teaching the fundamentals of debate and ending with a full debate tournament on the last day of camp,” according to Erik Fogel, director of the New York City Urban Debate League. “Debate teaches every academic subject including current events, philosophy, critical theory, economics, geography, political science—many subjects that students normally do not learn until college or graduate school. As a result, every study shows that students that participate in debate have higher graduation rates, college acceptance rates, grades, test scores and every other academic indicator,” Fogel said.