National Consumers League

LifeSmarts announces ‘Year of Health and Safety’ for national consumer education / scholarship program

September 26, 2017

Contact: NCL Communications, Cindy Hoang, (202) 207-2832, cindyh@nclnet.org

Washington, DC–The 24th season of LifeSmarts, a national scholarship competition and educational program coordinated by the National Consumers League (NCL), kicked off earlier this month at LifeSmarts.org, where students learn about real-life consumer issues and compete to win prizes and scholarships. Today, NCL announced that the 2017-2018 LifeSmarts program year will be the “Year of Health and Safety,” with special emphasis on health-related curriculum and competitive opportunities, underwritten by a grant from McNeil Consumer Healthcare.

Today LifeSmarts is unveiling a new community service opportunity for high school students – the LifeSmarts OTC Medicine Safety Mentoring Project. LifeSmarts provides materials and curriculum, bolstered by educational resources produced by Scholastic, to enlist high school students to become mentors for middle school students to help them understand the wise use and safe storage of over-the-counter medicines.

“We are so excited to declare 2017-18 the ‘Year of Health and Safety,’” said national Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “We know LifeSmarts gives students the skills they need to succeed as adults, and we see students applying what they learn immediately at home and in their communities. We are thrilled to be able to give special focus to this year on health and safety lessons and look forward to rolling out new resources for teachers and opportunities for student participants.”

Besides health and safety, LifeSmarts focuses on four other main content areas: consumer rights and responsibilities, personal finance, technology, and the environment. Students are quizzed on their knowledge of these subject areas during online competition. Top-performing teams then advance to statewide competitions, and state champion teams advance to the national championship held each year in a different American city. The 2018 National LifeSmarts Championship will take place April 21-24 in San Diego. Winning teams receive scholarships and other prizes.

Last year, students answered more than 3.5 million consumer questions about credit reports, recycling, nutrition, social media, state lemon laws, and everything in between. More than 100,000 students are expected to participate in the program in the 2017-18 season. LifeSmarts is active in all states and the District of Columbia, where NCL is headquartered.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to focus on health and safety for consumers at this age, when they are beginning to make decisions for themselves and influencing decisions made by their parents,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of NCL. “Too often, traditional high school curriculum fails to teach students vital information to become successful adults, and LifeSmarts helps to close that gap." 

“Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. is proud to be a long-standing supporter of the LifeSmarts program and thrilled about the OTC Medicine Safety Mentoring project. As a manufacturer of over-the-counter medicines, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. believes that the LifeSmarts OTC Medicine Safety Mentoring Project can help instill a healthy respect for all medicines in adolescents by teaching core concepts on the responsible use and safe storage of medicines. In doing so, we are building a healthier future for our adolescents, and helping to prevent medicine misuse, errors, and adverse events,” said Ed Kuffner M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Johnson & Johnson Consumer.

In addition to hosting the official LifeSmarts competition, LifeSmarts.org provides resources for teachers to supplement existing lesson plans. These include daily quizzes, educational videos, social media competitions, focused study guides, and scholarship opportunities. LifeSmarts lessons closely align with courses taught in family and consumer sciences, business, technology, health, and vocational education.

Visit LifeSmarts.org for more information.

LifeSmarts: Learn it. Live it.

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About LifeSmarts

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: LifeSmarts.org, email lifesmarts@nclnet.org, or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at 202-835-3323.

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.