Lions Club International
NSDA Districts and Lions Club International promote partnership to support local Speech and Debate activities.
What is Lions Club International?
What is an NSDA Lions Club?
How can Lions Club International and the NSDA benefit students and districts?
- Joining a network of 350,000 Lions in North America which can assist the NSDA in expanding its programs into new communities. Further, being an international organization Lions can open the doors for NSDA to expand its sphere of influence internationally.
- NSDA Alumni often reach out and want to connect with their old school or the region where they competed in high school. The NSDA Club provides a way for these interested individuals (former NSDA members, current and former NSDA coaches, and forensic judges) to remain actively connected to local NSDA chapter activities. This partnership will create a “home” and network of alumni of NSDA Lions Clubs to strengthen the positive impact of speech and debate in their communities.
- Lions Clubs International provides an opportunity for student participants to learn the value of community service, while also learning leadership skills.
- Collegiate participants, who join as a club member, gain access to the Lions Learn Center, which provides an opportunity for members to build a resume’ by completing a number of leadership courses, which provide transferable skills.
- As NSDA is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, some areas are moving toward an online experience. Lions in over 11,000 clubs in North America become a resource to provide judges, timekeepers, etc.
- While competition is a focal point for NSDA, the confidence to compete can be learned by participants speaking to Lions Clubs.
- In phase two of the rollout, an Online LEO club could be formed which would allow high school members to access the Learn Center, document community service and participate in webinars of interest to high school students and their parents, such as college admission, scholarship opportunities and more.
- While maybe not the most attractive benefit from an emotional stand point, our $2 million Liability Insurance policy is a benefit, which is essential to all members when sponsoring events and fundraisers.
What are the service projects and responsibilities of membership?
In addition to their Lions membership, NSDA Lions may choose to become certified judges for congress, debate, or speech activities; become trained to coach or direct NSDA activities; or may choose to support the activities of the club directed by local NSDA school chapters. Here are some additional service opportunities:
- Assist with judging, coaching, or managing NSDA district contests or activities.
- Offer certified judge training for NSDA and other forensic competitions to increase the number of judges available.
- Conduct public programs supporting forensics.
- Working with NSDA district officers to encourage schools without NSDA chapters to consider joining the NSDA.
- Sponsor a public speaking competition at the club, zone, region, or district level.
- Fundraise for the benefit of students from the district NSDA chapters to attend and compete at the NSDA National Tournament.
- Incorporate the international projects and goals of Lions Clubs International into the forensic experience (e.g., collect food items as entry fees to donate to food pantry; collect used eye glasses as tournaments).
How does an NSDA Lions Club assist the District Committee?
Within the district NSDA Lions Club, a liaison with the district NSDA Committee may be identified as a point of contact. When NSDA district tournaments or events are held, the club liaison will work with the district and local NSDA leaders to determine appropriate activities, projects, and focus support on the mission and purpose of the NSDA and Lions Clubs International. The NSDA Lions Club also works as a liaison between local supporters of forensic activities and the local school districts with school chapters.
“As a coach of 42 years, one of the best experiences I have had came from the partnership between our NSDA Roughrider District and our Dakota NSDA Lions Club. The importance of this joint venture of forensics and community service has ignited both our NSDA District and the Lions Club. The Lions Club serves the students by providing a tournament each year. The proceeds from that tournament help defray the travel expenses of students across North Dakota who qualify for the National Tournament. The students learn the importance of serving the community by having an eyeglass recycling drop off, food drive, and clothing drive for needy students. This, along with other projects, has enriched the lives of our coaches and judges, as well as the NSDA Roughrider speech and debate students. If you’d like to find out more from a coach’s point of view, please do not hesitate to contact me.”