11th Annual PECO-ASAP Checkmate Violence Marathon

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11th Annual PECO-ASAP Checkmate Violence Chess Marathon Tournament, presented by PECO

Location: Temple University Gittis Student Center, 1755 N. 13th St.

Dates: Saturday, January 27th 8:30am-7pm, and Sunday, January 28th 8:30am-5pm
Pre-register for all tournament sections by Tuesday January 23rd  

Contact Caroline Henley at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 215-545-2727 ext. 17


Event Overview:

On January 27th and 28th, ASAP/ After School Activities Partnerships and PECO present the 11th Annual PECO-ASAP Checkmate Violence chess marathon, set to engage over 300 Philadelphia youth, parents, teachers and coaches.

In addition a special pep rally will be held from 11:30am-1pm for the city’s most talented young chess players, featuring guest speaker Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. The Commissioner will be there to encourage the youth in their craft, ultimately underscoring the connection between making the right decisions in chess and in life.  Students will use the tournament as an opportunity to prepare for state and national competitions. After the first day of matches concludes, students will be treated to a special LIVE stage combat performance, featuring students from ASAP Drama clubs.

Tournament Schedule:

Chess Challenge Non-Rated Tournament: Saturday

Saturday will feature a 5-round Chess tournament for non-rated students in grades K-12. No matches on Sunday. Check-in/Registration 8:30am-9:30am. Competition begins at 10:00am. Late arrivals will be paired in round 2.

  • K-3, K-6, K-8, K-12. Game/30 minutes, 5 rounds: 10am, 11:20am, 1:30pm, 2:40pm, 3:50pm.

Award Ceremony: 5pm Saturday.

Chess Challenge Rated Tournament: Saturday and Sunday

Rated sections feature more rounds and longer games over Saturday and Sunday. Check-in/Registration Sat/Sun 8:30-9:30am. Competition begins on Saturday at 10:00am and on Sunday at 9:30am. Late arrivals will be paired in round 2.

  • K-12Open: Game /90 minutes, 5 rounds. Sat: 10am, 1:30pm, 4pm, Sun: 9:30am, 1pm.

Award Ceremony: 4:15pm Sunday.

  • K-3U500, K-6U800, K-8U1200: G/60 min., 7 rounds. Sat: 10am, 12:30pm, 2:45pm, 5:00pm, Sun: 9:30am, 11:45pm, 2pm.

Award Ceremony: 4:15pm Sunday

Coaches Classic Non-Rated Quick Chess Tournament: Sunday

ASAP Chess Coaches can compete in this non-rated 5 round quick chess tournament to prove their mettle! Check-in/Registration: Sun. 8:30am - 10am.  Competition: 5 rounds G/10 starting at 10:30am.

Special Events on Saturday

Pep Rally: We will kick off the Marathon with a pep rally midday on Saturday (between 12pm-1pm) featuring a special guest. In years past, this has included Mayor Nutter and the Police Commissioner!

Human Chess: In collaboration with ASAP Drama, we will be hosting a game of chess in which the pieces will be replaced with Drama students!


For more information, please contact ASAP Chess Director, Martin Collette at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 215.545.2727 ext.18

Philly Youth weigh in on NCAA athletes as employees

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Starting December 6, 2017- The ASAP Philadelphia High School Debate League covers new topic regarding the employment status of NCAA athletes! Match #1 will be at 3:30PM at Central High School, 12/6! 

The official topic was released by the National Speech and Debate Association for the month of December as: "Resolved: NCAA student athletes ought to be recognized as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act."

Interested in this topic?

There are plenty of ways to get involved with Philadelphia youth during this season of giving. One way is the devotion of one's time. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer debate judge, please contact ASAP Debate Coordinator, RJ Tischler at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call 215.545.2727. You can also click here for more information on the ASAP Debate site page

For the month of December, high school debate students will continue to refine and present their arguments alongside Philadelphia peers on the employment status of NCAA athletes. Future matches will proceed on the following dates:

-Wednesday, December 13th, 3:30PM-5:00PM @ Central High School

-Wednesday, December 20th, 3:30PM-5:00PM @ Central High School

Organized by After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP), ASAP Debate is one of the largest urban debate leagues in the country. This year, hundreds of students are embracing the opportunity and chose to spend their after school hours preparing their arguments for debate competition while also preparing themselves to be tomorrow's generation of informed leaders.  Debaters develop a deep knowledge of the many factors that influence public thought, governmental policy, and international relations. These student debaters happily work all season researching, exploring, and negotiating a variety of economic, political, and social issues. Referred to by former Federal Education Secretary as "one of the great equalizers of public education," scholastic debate programs have been shown to improve students' writing and researching skills, which lead to better grades and higher college matriculation rates.


ASAP would like to thank the Hamilton Family Foundation, the Patricia Kind Family Foundation, Wells Fargo, the Lenfest Foundation and the School District of Philadelphia for their support. In addition, ASAP is grateful to Central High School for providing a safe space for our youth to convene.

Race to Fundraise- Team ASAP 5K

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ASAP Scrabble Coach and mentor, John Green, flew through the finish line!

 

On Sunday, October 29th, Team ASAP crossed the Generosity Series 5K finish line! With the support of staff, club leaders and even an ASAP Chess participant, Mateo, we walkedran AND raised $9,090.00!

But we are not finished yet!

Individuals are still able to support our fundraising efforts until Sunday, November 12th.

How to donate:

  1. Go to: www.generosityseries.com/asap-after-school-activities-partnerships
  2. Scroll down to our participants, our teams and top fundraisers
  3. Select any ASAP individual (staff, board member, club leader/ coach) to support! Please note that although you support a runner, ALL proceeds go to the chairty.

Why support?

ASAP serves youth attending traditional Philadelphia neighborhood public and charter schools (grades K-12), where it is estimated that 81% of students come from circumstances of poverty.

According to recent Philadelphia School District data:

  • 60% of traditional public and public charter school 3rd graders do not read on grade level;
  • 37% of the city’s youth are chronically absent from school;
  • and only 65% of youth graduate high school in four years

By supporting Team Philly ASAP, you are supporting youth in Philadelphia discover new talents, new friends and new worlds when the school day ends. You are keeping them SAFE & ENGAGED. At ASAP, we believe that after school is not just a tmie when kids get to BE themsleves- it is a time they get to BECOME themselves through enriching experiences. You are keeping them on track.

Every little bit counts!

Be sure to share: www.generosityseries.com/asap-after-school-activities-partnerships with friends and family who support keeping the youth of Philadelphia safe & engaged and on track for graduation!

If you have questions about donating: please contact ASAP's Communication and Development Coordinator, Tori Bakey at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  OR 215-545-2727 ext. 12

 

Let's keep supporting the youth of Philadelphia after school together!

How to be an After School Champion!

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On October 29th, ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships is participating in the Generosity Series 5K event! Generosity Philadelphia is a multi-charity 5K Run/Walk that takes place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where several charities team up to raise funds in support of their respective missions!

The event will feature ASAP staff, board members, long-time coach and friend, Johnny Scrabble and more! Our goal is to raise $25,000 to directly support the youth in Philadelphia through after school enrichment. 

How to donate:

  1. Go to: www.generosityseries.com/asap-after-school-activities-partnerships
  2. Scroll down to our participants, our teams and top fundraisers
  3. Select any ASAP individual (staff, board member, club leader/ coach) to support! Please note that although you support a runner, ALL proceeds go to the chairty.

How to run OR walk:

  1. Go to: www.generosityseries.com/asap-after-school-activities-partnerships
  2. Scroll down and click "register for this event"
  3. Create a profile- this includes why you are participating and personal fundraising goals, which can be updated at any time. This will also be the link you share among friends, family and co-workers to support you. 
  4. Commit to raising at least $200 for the youth of Philadelphia after school enrichment mission.

Why support?

ASAP serves youth attending traditional Philadelphia neighborhood public and charter schools (grades K-12), where it is estimated that 81% of students come from circumstances of poverty.

According to recent Philadelphia School District data:

  • 60% of traditional public and public charter school 3rd graders do not read on grade level;
  • 37% of the city’s youth are chronically absent from school;
  • and only 65% of youth graduate high school in four years

By supporting Team Philly ASAP, you are supporting youth in Philadelphia discover new talents, new friends and new worlds when the school day ends. You are keeping them SAFE & ENGAGED. At ASAP, we believe that after school is not just a tmie when kids get to BE themsleves- it is a time they get to BECOME themselves through enriching experiences. You are keeping them on track.

Support Team ASAP

Every little bit counts!

Be sure to share: www.generosityseries.com/asap-after-school-activities-partnerships with friends and family who support keeping the youth of Philadelphia safe & engaged and on track for graduation!

 

If you have questions about registering or donating: please contact ASAP's Communication and Development Coordinator, Tori Bakey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  OR 215-545-2727 ext. 12

2017 Summer Debate Academy

Fake news vs. independent journalism. Cyber-bullying vs. online community building: Philly youth debate pros and cons of social networking sites

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New friends, 7th grader Shakia of Folk Arts Cultural Treasures Charter Schools, and 8th grader Raquel of Maratime Academy Charter School prepare for cross fire round vs. opponents!

On Friday, August 4th, students participating in ASAP’s Summer Debate Academy competed in a two round tournament on the following topic, “Resolved: On balance, social media networking sites have a positive impact on the United States.”  But this was not their first go at the topic.

Over the course of two weeks, 40 Philadelphia youth, from 25 schools in Philadelphia, had been steadily crafting pro and con arguments on the growing influence social media has on public discourse, government policy and international relations. The catch, is that a huge percentage of this year’s campers were debate novices, perhaps only used to arguing over pizza toppings without respective restraints, instead of climate change and the Electoral College.

The structure of the camp was to divide students into four groups, each with a teacher and a TA. During the first week, groups learned the basics of debate through instruction and games, while discussing the social media topic with their teachers, a topic so relevant to the life of a millennial. Groups were quoted, “I’m not sure I can even imagine a world without social media. It doesn’t exist.”

Then, in the second week, students were placed in pairs and began to research the social media topic using evidence packets and Microsoft tablets provided by ASAP.  From there, the pairs wrote pro and con speeches and practiced for the upcoming tournament.

 

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Veteran 9th grader, Maliek of Paul Robeson HS and 8th grader, Berekt, of Labroatory Charter School fight for their contentions! 

The academy is unique, in that students with experience often work with partners who are still learning debate techniques and strategies, and are almost always from different schools from throughout the city. Although apprehensive at first, students unanimously agreed that the most important part of the experience was the friends that they made.

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New to debate, 9th grader Mateo, of Esperanza Academy Charter School and 8th grader Sanaiah of Maritime Academy Charter School question the validity of their opponent's argument   

Correction. The family they gained.

In addition to reading, writing and constructing arguments, students were also granted a variety of opportunities to further explore and interact with content related to the final tournament, such as speaking to education reporter, Avi Wolfman-Arent and Assistant Vice President of News, John Mussoni, of WHYY and News Reporter, Dave Kinchen of Fox 29 News, about the effects of social media on journalism and the spread of fake news.

Overall, Avi and John offered an interactive presentation where they provided expertise on busting “bogus” sources, and recognizing credible information in a public sphere. John even distributed copies of the National Enquirer to show how “fake news” existed even before the internet. Then, Dave of Fox 29, engaged the kids on topics about “clickbait” and the fast pace nature of TV news. All three reporters took questions from the group, and the students gained perspective on the topic of their upcoming tournament. Avi even returned on the final day of the camp to interview students about their competitions. Click here to read more!

 

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[From left to right]: Avi-Wolfman and John Mussoni of WHYY and Dave Kinchen of Fox 29 

Thanks to ASAP Debate Partners throughout the city, the students were also able to attend recently open and highly acclaimed Museum of the American Revolution in Old City, on Friday, July 28th.  ASAP debaters enjoyed a guided tour, engaged with Revolutionary War experts, and paid particular attention to debates among colonists and Native Americans about the merits of loyalty to the Crown and independence.

 

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ASAP Summer Debate Academy at both Constitution Center and American Revolution Museum 

The final stop was the Constitution Center on Independence Mall on August 1st! The museum’s main exhibit and famous Freedom Rising performance provided our students with various perspectives on the Constitution’s first amendment. The protection of free speech proved to be an important discussion topic when considering the impact of social media in the United States. While con cases could use the spread of “fake news” on social media as evidence, pro cases could claim that any information – even disinformation – is protected by the first amendment.

As the quick two weeks came to a close, students were ready for the ultimate test: debating against their peers. It was a chance to take all of the information gained throughout the week, in addition to the hands-on field trips provided, to try and win against their opponents. Ultimately, the results were as follows:

Top teams (receiving trophies)

  • 1st: Joseph (8th grade) & Jahmeer (8th)
  • 2nd: Karlysa (10th) & Amirah (8th)
  • 3rd: Raihannah (9th) & Priya (9th)

 

Top speakers (receiving medals)

  • Joseph, 8th [#1 speaker]
  • Jahmeer, 8th
  • Dejah , 8th
  • Karlysa, 8th
  • Priya, 8th

 

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Coach Natacha and TA Jada, a previous Girls' High debate alum, currently attending Temple University standing proud with their kids! 

ASAP would like to thank the Hamilton Family Foundation, Thomas Skelton Harrison Foundation, Wells Fargo, the Lenfest Foundation and the School District of Philadelphia for their support. In addition, ASAP is grateful for the Museum of the American Revolution and the National Constitution Center for providing hands-on experiences for our Philadelphia youth. Finally, we could not do it without our wonderful volunteer judges, teachers and TA's who dedicated two weeks of their summer, not only educating our youth on debate, but providing a fun and safe environment for the kids this summer.

As always, we look forward to next year!

 

 

This article was written and edited by ASAP Debate Coordinator, RJ Tischler and Communications & Development Coordinator, Victoria Bakey

Jan
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3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

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4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

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4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Jan
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8:30 am - 5:30 pm

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After School Activities Partnerships
1520 Locust Street, Suite 1104
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P: 215.545.2727 | F: 215. 545.3054
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