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WPACO Information

Western PA Christian Orators (WPACO) is a parent-led coop specializing in speech and debate. It had its beginnings in 1999 in Franklin, PA after Debbie Hebda attended a Communicators for Christ Speech and Debate Conference and started a small speech class in her living room. From there, interest grew. Currently we have many families with both beginner and intermediate level classes, for students from age 4 to 18.

WPACO participates in the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association (NCFCA) sanctioned tournaments. We therefore adhere to NCFCA's debate and public speaking format and guidelines. You can view NCFCA's goals and guidelines at www.ncfca.org

WPACO meetings are held bi-weekly (on Friday afternoons) in the Grove City, PA, area. 1 1/2 to 2 hours of class time covers speech instruction and practice time for different age groups and skill levels. The next 2 to 3 hour time period is devoted to debate format and theory for ages 12-18 yrs. Related homework assignments are given and opportunities to practice learned communication skills are provided with a variety of means.

Speech students are instructed in the basics of presentation style as well as content for the various categories as outlined in the NCFCA homeschool forensics league. These categories include: Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Impromptu, Extemporaneous, Original Oratory, Persuasive, and Expository. We also cover the importance of audience analysis, and basics in writing and presenting an effective speech. Students are given ample opportunity for class participation and practice on multiple levels. They also have the opportunity to memorize and present their selections in homeschool practice tournaments held both locally and in various locations throughout the year.

Debate: We teach students Team Policy Debate and, when there is interest, Lincoln-Douglas(values)Debate. During class instruction they learn theory while practicing research and organization of materials. They develop affirmative and negative arguments for the NCFCA resolution for that academic year. Teams then have opportunities to participate in practice tournaments with each other as well as with other homeschooled students in various locations throughout the year.