NCL Personal Finance Issues
The 2012-2013 LifeSmarts season is officially underway this fall, with a new competition year going live at the program’s online home, www.lifesmarts.org, along with a variety of new consumer resources for adult and youth participants, and exciting expansion into several new states.
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 competition. It culminates in the annual national LifeSmarts championship, taking place this competition year in Atlanta, GA, where winning teams and individual students are awarded academic scholarships and prizes.
“We’re thrilled to be launching the 19th year of LifeSmarts,” said Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “LifeSmarts delivers life skills to students and allows them to shine in competitions where they demonstrate their knowledge of personal finance and consumer issues. It also provides thousands of teachers across the country with up-to-date, broad-based consumer education resources.”
Over the years, LifeSmarts has steadily grown in numbers of student and adult participants, state partnerships, and supporters. 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. At last year’s national competition held in Philadelphia, the Maryland team took home top honors after competing for four days against state champion teams from across the country.
This year, the National Consumers League is expanding LifeSmarts to partner with coordinators in 34 states, including new partners Georgia 4-H, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the Maine Jump$tart Coalition, and the New Mexico Council on Economic Education. Other state coordinators include Better Business Bureaus, credit unions, consumer protection agencies, and State FCCLA organizations. 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 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 educators, 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, Western Union, UL, Experian, Toyota Financial Services, 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 daily quiz at www.lifesmarts.org.