Speech & Debate

Cute African-American girl holding small USA flag and smiling with sky blue and white background.

About Speech & Debate

San José Public Library offers Speech & Debate to build persuasive argument and critical thinking skills for 3rd–5th graders. Students focus on learning about social justice issues.


Global Citizenship is the topic for SJPL's Speech & Debate program for 3rd–5th graders. With this topic, students accomplish the following:

  • Global Citizenship: Gain a deeper understanding of being a global citizen in the 21st Century.
  • Social Justice: Explore social justice issues within the framework of speech and debate.
  • Persuasive Speaking: Learn the basics of persuasive speaking.
  • Race, Equity, & Inclusion (RET): Reflect on race, equity, and inclusion.
  • Critical Thinking: Sharpen critical thinking skills.
  • Speaking & Arguing: Build confidence in speaking and defending arguments.


For questions about the program, please contact Bridget Kowalczyk at bridget.kowalczyk@sjlibrary.org or 408-808-2194.