For its 20th anniversary year, NCL has launched an all-new, improved, and rebranded LifeSmarts.org, providing new opportunities for participants and cultivating new partnerships. LifeSmarts has a new Web site with better navigation, usability, and social media integration, and a variety of new coaching and study resources, such as ConsumerMan Herb Weisbaum podcasts for LifeSmarts, are available on the site, too.
NCL rolled out a major expansion to LifeSmarts in partnership with the global safety science company Underwriters Laboratories, UL, to provide participants with a community service learning opportunity in their communities. LifeSmarts students are becoming Safety Ambassador, sharing environment and safety lessons with elementary school children in classrooms across the nation. More than 1,000 children have participated in presentations made by LifeSmarts students so far, with many more presentations scheduled before nationals.
LifeSmarts has become an official competitive event open to the 250,000 students involved in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapters. FBLA participants have the opportunity to compete through FBLA or LifeSmarts – and this year hundreds of teams have taken advantage of the two ways to win. One FBLA team will represent FBLA at nationals in an at-large berth, and as many as 10 other state champions teams are comprised of FBLA members. In addition, the 24 top FBLA teams will advance to compete live at the FBLA National Leadership Conference in June.
The 2014 season is in the home stretch. The majority of state competitions are taking place in February and March, with 20 state champion teams already determined. The 2013 national champion team from Paxon School for Advanced Studies, in Jacksonville, Florida, will return to defend its title. At last year’s national competition held in Atlanta, the Florida team took home top honors after competing for four days against 38 state champion teams from across the country.
LifeSmarts is an educational competition run by the National Consumers League to test middle school and high school students nationwide on real-life consumer issues through online quizzes and live competition LifeSmarts provides participants with practical advice and information on consumer issues ranging from personal finance and health and safety to the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities. Starting online each fall, the competition progresses to live state play-offs, and then builds to a high-spirited National Championship.
Over the years, LifeSmarts has steadily grown in numbers of student and adult participants, state partnerships, and corporate sponsorships. In the most recent season, an estimated 125,000 students and teachers across the country formed nearly 2,000 LifeSmarts teams and answered more than 3.5 million LifeSmarts questions.
This year, LifeSmarts state champion teams from across the country will be treated to the Disney experience, staying at a resort in Orlando on the Disney campus, visiting DisneyWorld, and meeting Timon, a beloved character from Disney’s The Lion King, who also stars in the UL Safety Smart videos.
“The National Consumers League’s mission is to inspire confidence and safety in the marketplace. The LifeSmarts program fosters students’ understanding of consumer issues and provides them with real-world knowledge they will need to take charge of their lives,” said Lisa Hertzberg. “We are looking forward to our best national event ever!”