About LifeSmarts — the ultimate consumer challenge
LifeSmarts is an educational program that develops the consumer and marketplace skills of teenagers in a fun way and rewards them for this knowledge. The program, run by The National Consumers League, complements any curriculum in grades 6-12 and can be used as an activity for classes, groups, clubs, and community organizations. Students may compete on the Junior Varsity (grades 6-8) or Varsity (grades 9-12) level.
LifeSmarts can be a small or large group activity. Online teams may contain any number of students. To qualify for an in-person competition, a team must contain at least four students, and preferably five. But some teams have as many as 200 students competing in the online portion of the program. The majority of LifeSmarts coaches are teachers, and they use the program in these ways:
Create one large online team that includes all of their students in one type of course or in one semester;
Create a separate team for each class;
Use it with one particular class (it fits well within courses such as business, economics, family and consumer science, life skills, vocational education and other related fields);
Use it as an extracurricular activity in conjunction with FCCLA, FFA, DECA or a similar group;
Create a LifeSmarts club and give interested students the opportunity to get involved; and/or
In addition, youth leaders use LifeSmarts with 4-H, home school associations, and other community organizations. Interested parents have also coached their children.
Students compete online in the areas of Consumer Rights and Responsibilities, Health and Safety, Personal Finance, Environment, and Technology. In Missouri, students and coaches may begin to sign up on August 1, 2012. Online competition for 2012-13 will begin on September 14, 2012.
The 10 top-scoring Junior Varsity and 12 top-scoring Varsity teams will be invited to compete in an in-person competition. An in-person team consists of an adult coach and four students with the option of having one alternate. Coaches and/or schools are limited to one team at a state event. State competitions will be held in Jefferson City for Junior Varsity teams on February 26, 2013, and for Varsity teams on February 27, 2013.
A variety of prizes will be given to the state winners, including t-shirts, medals, and plaques. The Varsity state winner will be invited to compete at the LifeSmarts National Competition to be held in April, 2013. The competition is free, and many of the expenses for the state and national competitions will be paid through the generosity of our financial sponsor, American Century Investments Foundation. The Missouri Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) coordinates the program.