October 18, 2011
Washington, DC—With this year’s national LifeSmarts competition in full swing, the National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer organization and coordinator of LifeSmarts, has announced that the program will be the recipient of a unique three-year educational grant from Visa Inc., making Visa a major underwriter for the 2011-2013 LifeSmarts program years.
The 2011-2012 LifeSmarts program year kicked off last month, and high school students across the country are forming teams to compete online for a shot at their state—and ultimately the national—competitions. In thousands of classrooms, teachers use LifeSmarts learning activities to spark lessons and engage students with meaningful consumer content, awareness of resources, and the ability and confidence to participate in today’s dynamic global marketplace.
In October, the LifeSmarts curriculum spotlight is on personal finance, with online competitions and activities aimed at helping program participants learn strategies for navigating today’s increasingly complex financial landscape. The Visa grant will be used, among other things, to add new personal finance lessons to LifeSmarts U, the program’s virtual classroom, from Visa’s award-winning Practical Money Skills for Life financial education program (www.practicalmoneyskills.com). LifeSmarts U provides interactive online learning for individual students and classrooms across the United States, allowing students to go in-depth on important consumer issues. New content includes lessons on living on your own, the influence of advertising, consumer privacy, and consumer awareness.
“LifeSmarts U lessons offer students learning materials in a variety of fun formats, from articles to scavenger hunts and vocabulary building games and presentations,” said Lisa Hertzberg, LifeSmarts Program Director. “We are grateful for Visa’s generous support in making these valuable resources available to students and educators.”
In addition, LifeSmarts has partnered with Visa and the Executive Office of the Mayor of Washington, DC for a District-wide financial literacy campaign. Today, DC Mayor Vincent Gray and Washington Redskins Linebacker Brian Orakpo will lead student teams in a fast-paced game of Financial Football, a free educational video game developed by Visa. Mayor Gray will then distribute the free game and accompanying classroom curriculum to every public middle and high-school in Washington, DC. Today’s launch is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL and NFL Players, now in its seventh season. Since 2006, Visa has partnered with 30 additional states to distribute Financial Football to every high school and middle school in those states.
“Visa is a proud supporter of the National Consumers League’s LifeSmarts program and is pleased to be able to underwrite new content that will help bolster its personal finance curriculum,” said Jason Alderman, Senior Director, Global Financial Education at Visa.
LifeSmarts—the ultimate consumer challenge—complements the curriculum already in place in middle schools and high schools, and is used by adult coaches and student participants as an activity for classes, groups, clubs, and community organizations. LifeSmarts, run as a game-show style competition, is free of charge and open to all teens in the U.S. in high school and middle school.
Visa’s three-year grant to LifeSmarts will help bolster the program’s personal finance focus – one of five LifeSmarts topic areas that make up the program. Expansions to the personal finance portion of the program include new quiz questions to be used in competitions online and at the state and national level; incorporation of Visa’s Practical Money Skills for Life and Financial Football as resources and study tools for coaches and students; and implementation of Visa materials at a training for educators to be held in early 2012 in the District of Columbia.
LifeSmarts topics have been chosen to encourage knowledge in the areas that matter most to consumers and workers: personal finance; health and safety; the environment; technology; and consumer rights and responsibilities.
Financial support from contributors such as Visa makes LifeSmarts possible. Community-minded businesses, associations, labor unions, government agencies, other organizations and individuals—partner with NCL to provide the benefits of meaningful consumer education for young adults.
To learn more about NCL’s LifeSmarts program, visit www.lifesmarts.org. Or, test your LifeSmarts by taking 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.