September 12, 2011
Washington, DC—The 2011-2012 LifeSmarts season is officially underway this week, with a new competition year going live at the program’s online home, www.lifesmarts.org, along with a variety of new resources for adult and youth participants. LifeSmarts is an educational competition run by the National Consumers League that tests middle school and high school students nationwide on real-life consumer issues through online quizzes and live contests. It culminates in the annual national LifeSmarts championship, where winning teams and individuals are awarded academic scholarships and prizes.
“We’re thrilled to be launching the 18th year of LifeSmarts,” said Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “LifeSmarts delivers real-world knowledge to students and allows them to shine in competitions where they demonstrate all that they have learned,” said Hertzberg. “It also provides thousands of teachers across the country access to much-needed consumer curriculum, which they unfortunately often aren’t getting elsewhere.”
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 100,000 students and teachers across the country answered more than 3.5 million LifeSmarts questions.
“As the consumer marketplace has become more challenging to navigate, LifeSmarts content is keeping up, preparing our teens and tweens to become the next generation of smart consumers and workers,” Hertzberg said.
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, which will be held in 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At last year’s national competition held in Hollywood, California, students on teams from 32 states competed over the course of four days. In the final match, the state champion team from Nickerson High School, Kansas, was crowned the 2011 national champs, beating out the team from New Hampshire.
NCL partners with coordinators in more than 30 states, including Better Business Bureaus, credit unions, state attorneys general and consumer protection agencies, State FCCLA organizations, Jump$tart Coalitions, and others, to staff and promote the program. Interested students and adults can visit the LifeSmarts Web site to connect with the program in their state.
“The National Consumers League’s mission is to inspire confidence and safety in the marketplace,” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director. “The LifeSmarts program, our consumer education initiative for youth, fosters students’ understanding of consumer issues and provides them with real-world knowledge they will need to take charge of their lives.”
New this fall at www.lifesmarts.org are dozens of up-to-the-minute teaching resources for coaches, including innovative lessons housed within the LifeSmarts U virtual campus, daily practice quizzes, question-of-the-day calendars, and more, all utilizing thousands of new competition questions.
Major LifeSmarts contributors include Visa, Experian, Toyota Financial Services, Western Union, American Express, American Century Investments Foundation, Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, TracFone Wireless, Inc., and others. To see a full list of current LifeSmarts contributors, visit www.lifesmarts.org.
To test your LifeSmarts, take a sample quiz at http://start.lifesmarts.org/. From there, click on “Daily Quiz” to get started.
About the National Consumers League and LifeSmarts
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.