Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vote now! No, really right now!

Update! The contest voting link was not posted on our website as it should have been, but is available now. Please visit to vote for your favorite entries. We apologize for the oversight.

This post was contributed by Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team, Nebraska

While you're enjoying the holiday season, take a minute to influence the future of FCCLA by voting for your favorite ideas in the Fall 2010 FCCLA Contests.

Contests that are open for voting include:

  • What to Wear? Contest
  • National Cluster Meeting Theme Contest
  • FCCLA T-shirt Design Contest

We have some excellent entries this year so take a minute and go vote at Voting is available until January 15. Good luck to all of our contestants!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

FACS Knowledge Bowl: Motivating Students

This week's entry is from Tricia DiGioia-Laird, State Adviser, New Jersey.

My members gravitate to competitions.  I think of the sports journalist who anchored ABC’s Wide World of Sports.  During the introduction to the program, Jim McCay would say the following:

"Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition… This is ABC's Wide World of Sports!”

I think competition is also part of the “wide world of FCCLA”; the excitement of competition motivates students to reach beyond what they thought was possible and achieve the impossible.  My students achieve what we thought was the impossible and became the 2010 National Knowledge Bowl Champions. 

Knowledge Bowl is part of the constant variety of competitive opportunities in FCCLA.  If your students like game shows and enjoy facts, then this is the competition for them.  My students think they are “in it to win it” but I want them involved because it stimulates learning and teamwork.  Knowledge Bowl motivates students to become “experts” in the diverse areas of Family and Consumer Sciences.  They see the scope and sequence of the subject matter and develop respect for the discipline.  One of the students commented to me, “FCS teachers need to know so much about so much.”   The team members also tell me that the information they are learning is extremely relevant to all aspects of their life.

Knowledge Bowl team members need to be willing to knuckle down and study the material.  Reading and research are important in preparing for the competition.  Members need to be quick at the buzzer and tenacious.  Most importantly, they must be will to blow off the “agony of defeat” when they miss a question and keep their head in the game.   The competition is fast paced and exciting.   

This year I have another Knowledge Bowl team who is excited about this competitive opportunity.  We traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, to participate.  They are all excited that they made it through the third level of competition.  They all plan to move on and face their fellow competitors in Anaheim, California. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Guiding Students to the Future Through Career STAR Events

This week's entry is from Lori Henry, National Executive Council Adviser, Minnesota.

If you have members interested in competing in one of the Career Star Events, here are some things that might help you as you guide your students through the process. Students in these events probably have a strong background and interest in one of these areas and may even be thinking of pursuing this as their career choice. Sometimes the STAR Event process in these topics can be overwhelming to students, so one good thing to do is to meet with the student and dialogue with them. Find out what interests them in doing the STAR Event, what school and community things have they done, personal accomplishments, etc. that would enhance this project. What knowledge did they gain from being in the Family and Consumer Sciences classes, and taking this information and knowledge that they have gained and developing all these things into a strong STAR Event? These skills may be helpful in the oral presentation, display or portfolio.

If the STAR Event involves a portfolio, have the student look at the different requirements and many times the students have done things in their Family and Consumer Sciences classes or other related courses that they can use in their portfolio. Encourage the student to find these papers, projects, etc. and then see how they will fit in or work with their STAR Event to make it stronger and perhaps more professional. Another helpful thing is to have students collaborate with other professionals in the career.

Two years ago I had a student compete in Interior Design and she took classes at a local college that offered mini-sessions related to principles and elements of design. She not only strengthened her skills, but she met people that served as excellent resources. The student was able to connect with a gentleman that owned his own design business. The student spent a morning with this gentleman to share her plans for the color scheme, textiles, wall coverings, etc. The gentleman was able to offer suggestions and swatches that she was able to use on her design boards. This was an exciting experience for the student and it gave her help that she never expected.

Last year I had a member compete and advance to national competition in Fashion Construction. Since I don’t teach a fashion course, the student took an independent study course to fulfill the course of study requirement. If this opportunity is possible in your school it is another great way for students to compete in something they have a passion for. For the independent study course, supply the student with a variety of resources for them to succeed and guidelines for them as they work alone to achieve their goal.

It’s helpful to set deadlines for the student, so you can see what process they are making in learning about the topic and provide useful assessments that will help them create their final project. For your members who have chosen a STAR Event in the Career category, I encourage you to help provide reliable and valid resources for them and guide them to success!

“Don’t tell students what you want them to do, but encourage them to do their best!”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Practice Leadership Skills through Leadership STAR Events

This week's post has been contributed by Juanelle Garretson, National Executive Council Adviser from Kansas.

Margaret Mead, said” A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” This is my belief about how important our role is as FCCLA advisers. We share the passion for our field with our students and help show them that they are an inspiration for change and hope in a time in education that is filled with test scores as one of the only measure of success.  

Not only does Chapter Service Project fall into the Leadership Category of STAR Events first alphabetically, I believe it’s the true base for all FCCLA projects. Without service to others, a person cannot truly grow to their full potential. In each of my comprehensive classrooms, students use the FCCLA planning process at the beginning of the semester to identify concerns in our school and community that can be addressed through our coursework and a group project goal is set. Students then form a plan to act out their project and when it is complete, the students follow up with a discussion to share their highs and lows about what happened. Students at both the junior and senior level carry out service projects and can enter them in the display or manual event annually. The community recognizes the importance of FCCLA by its giving spirit as well.

National Programs in Action is also a natural fit for so many service projects as you can incorporate specific themed projects from foods and nutrition to traffic safety to families through this STAR Event.

For your students who have a difficult time, narrowing down their options because they love everything about FCCLA, Chapter Showcase Display and Manual are the perfect events for them, as they get to share their personal FCCLA story with a clever theme from the entire year. I have found that my officer teams, usually make the best Showcase members.

Leadership STAR Events are the most general for the comprehensive FACS program. Your students will pick up on your dedication to FCCLA and will without a doubt want to compete in.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Creating a Foundation for STAR Events

This entry has been contributed by Kaye Bluntzer, National Executive Council Adviser, Texas.

Using STAR Events in class sure is a great way to get students involved and motivated to become an active member in FCCLA.  All of the STAR Events can be used as a project within any of the Family and Consumer Sciences courses.  I assign my entire class one of the Foundational STAR Events to complete as a project.  One of my favorite Foundational STAR Events to use in any of my classes is Illustrated Talk.  I hold class in the computer room or library in order for students to be able to research and type up their documents for the project.  This is a wonderful way to become familiar with the planning process and how to use it for its intended purpose.  Students are also allowed to help each other and ask questions about any part of the project which allows for great peer-to-peer interaction.  Once projects are complete there is a rubric to help make grading easy and precise.

The Foundational STAR Events, as stated earlier, seem to me as the basics.  Focus Children, Interpersonal Communication, Job Interview, Life Event Planning to name a few are the core of most FACS courses and can be used as a class project.  As teacher and adviser, using these events as a class project promotes a great way for members and advisers to learn and understand the events better.  I use the Foundational STAR Events as a way to model to the students how they can complete and be successful in any one of the events. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2010 National Cluster Meeting in Review

FCCLA thanks the advisers who joined us in Albuquerque, St. Louis, and Charlotte for National Cluster Meetings (NCM) this month. We know that there is a lot of work that goes into planning and preparing to take students to these conferences and appreciate your effort. We also recognize that while many advisers benefited from the adviser professional development sessions at NCM, others were unable to attend. While it isn't the same as an in person session, we have posted the materials from our adviser professional development sessions on the FCCLA website for your convenience.

The sessions listed below were developed and written by the National Consultant Team and presented by advisers from across the country. Please contact Amy Doane at, to indicate an interest in presenting or to recommend a topic you think advisers would find helpful.

Leadership is everyone’s business. Learn how FCCLA’s national program Dynamic Leadership and The Student Leadership Challenge can help build effective leaders in the classroom and out. Engage leaders through these programs and the tools they offer to integrate leadership into any classroom.

FCCLA is the only CTSO with family as its central focus. The national program Families First can help engage and reconnect with families in the community. Learn how to involve parents, grandparents, siblings, and others as FCCLA works to build strong, healthy families.

Whether it’s a field trip across town or a plane trip to another country, teachers put a lot of work into preparing effective travel opportunities for students. Find out what others do to make the most of travel opportunities that provide students with amazing, life-changing experiences.

Effective public relations can be as simple as sharing your story. But what story should you tell and who is the audience? This interactive session will guide attendees as they develop a chapter story and discover public relations basics.

In addition to the professional development sessions listed above, FCCLA also offers Adviser Networking (formerly Adviser Roundtables) to foster that collaborative, cooperative involvement FACS teachers are known for. Each networking session features guided discussion and opportunities to share and glean ideas from fellow advisers. Look for these sessions at every national conference.

On a final note, this has been a busy semester and FCCLA encourages all advisers to take advantage of the long holiday weekend. You have worked hard the past few months and your contributions to FCCLA and your classroom have not gone unnoticed. Enjoy a relaxing, fun, and possibly food-filled time with friends and family this Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Teaching with Teen Times

Teen Times can be a great resource for your classroom. FCCLA provides Teaching with Teen Times as an adviser resource to support classroom integration. Not only do FCCLA members benefit but the resource can be used to recruit new members and energize inactive members. Try out some of the below methods for Teaching with Teen Times:

  • Let FCCLA officers use Teaching with Teen Times to energize your classroom.
  • Activities can be used to connect your chapter to the FACS classroom.
  • Leave the Teaching with Teen Times for a substitute when you're away from school.

The November/December edition of Teaching with Teen Times is online now. The issue focuses on leadership. We encourage you to help your students develop their leadership skills with Teen Times activities. Look for the January/February issue of Teen Times which is built for student input and interaction on environmental concerns.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Planning Successful Chapter Activities

This week's blog contribution has come from Cathe Felz, National Consultant Team member from Montana.

Activity planning is an important part of any FCCLA chapter.  Activities promote teamwork and provide opportunities for chapter members to learn about each other, spend time together, and enjoy themselves while developing a sense of belonging. FCCLA members have the opportunity to learn leadership, teamwork, and communication skills through participation in and planning of chapter activities. Chapter activities also provide opportunities for young people to learn responsibility and provide meaningful service to their schools and communities. Sometimes, all the adviser needs to do is encourage students to plan and organize an event. Other times the adviser’s role is to initiate the activity and even convince chapter members that the activity will be a positive experience.

Use the KISS method when planning events.  “Keep It Simple Silly!”  Stop, look, and listen to chapter members, you will become aware of programming opportunities.  Learn to take advantage of situations in your community, current events, television programs, informal discussions, and other events that facilitate activities and programs.  Keep programming in mind at all times, network with other advisers, attend youth sessions, have a conversation with FACS classes about current issues, and encourage your officers to think outside the box.

First and foremost, an effective activity must be appropriate to the needs of the students.  If chapter officers are involved with their chapter members, activity ideas will create themselves. All that is required from this point is planning the event and acquiring the necessary resources. Use the FCCLA planning process to coordinate the activity, resources, scheduling, checking for conflicts on the school calendar, and publicity, and shopping for supplies. If chapter officers are able to coordinate these things successfully, a program has a good chance of being effective.

Set goals for each month or semester, involve as many members and non-members as possible. Develop a chapter program of work that includes fun activities in addition to chapter projects and fundraising events. Invite students from the general school population to become involved with activities. This may help promote member participation as well as opportunities to recruit new members.

By using both formal and informal assessment, activity planning can better meet the needs and stimulate the interests of students.  If a chapter builds community through activities and other techniques, chances are membership will increase and students will view FCCLA as a positive, students focused organization.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Take Time for You!

This week's post is contributed by Nicole Ruge, National Consultant Team, Georgia.

The school year is off to a great start, most of us are into our second quarter. If your time is like mine it is filled with FCCLA activities, sporting events, lesson plans, papers and projects to grade and spending time with my family. The frustration often sets in as to how we are to balance everything.

I often forget to take time out of each day for myself, how about you? We need to take time for ourselves even if it is just 2 minutes. Below you will find a few ideas on how to spend your time if you have 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes or an hour.

If you have 2 minutes:

  • Take deep breaths and think peaceful thoughts
  • Play or cuddle with your pet. They will love this time and it will let you forget about everything for a bit. 
  • Remember the last time you had a good laugh and it will bring a smile to your face. 

If you have 5 minutes:

  • Reflect on all the things for which you are grateful.
  • Express your thoughts or feeling in a journal. 
  • Go for a short walk around the building.

If you have 15 minutes:

  • Go for a walk in the park, by the lake or by the ocean. 
  • Take a nap. 
  • Drive or walk out of your way to find something beautiful in your everyday routine. 

If you have an hour:

  • Volunteer at your favorite charity.
  • Go to a bookstore by yourself so that you can browse to your heart’s content and maybe have a cup of coffee. 
  • Go to bed an hour early: put on your favorite pajamas, make some hot tea and crawl into bed. 

We will all be more focused and driven  in our families and careers if we remember to recharge our batteries. The only way we can do this is to take time out focus on ourselves.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Students that Inspire Us

Two National Consultant Team members share their experiences with students who have inspired and encouraged them as advisers.

Last year when I began teaching at a new school, I was starting from scratch with FCCLA Officers.  There were two girls that were interested, but hesitant to fill out the application.  After much encouragement, they finally filled it out—one of them becoming the Chapter President.  After being selected for the officer team, these two girls really came out of their shell.  They began seeking out projects for us to participate in and actively working towards increasing membership.  Our first year, we increased our membership from 25-54—all with the motivation and support of an outstanding officer team.

As the year continued, these two girls—my Ashley's—continued to be more involved.  They both applied and interviewed for State Office and when they didn't make it, decided it was great practice for District.  In the spring of 2010, they were both selected to be on the District Officer Team.  I couldn't have been more proud!  Watching the two of them grow and develop as leaders has been one of my proudest moments as an FCCLA Adviser.  Having the opportunity to watch a student go from shy and quiet to speaking eloquently in front of 500 of their peers is amazing.

I have come to realize that there are times that you have to encourage students to take the leap into leadership, and once they do—it is amazing to see the results!
Contributed by Jessica Marlow, National Consultant Team, Oklahoma

Students who inspire me are the ones who always keep me guessing.  The student who most comes to mind as an inspiration is one who stepped up and led an entire chapter event.  She had helped with the event in the past but she took the event, worked extra hard, got outside sponsorship, and made it more popular than ever.  She's the kind of student who is always busy with other activities and athletics but she saw the importance of educating our students about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure.  With her leadership and the help of the chapter, our small school raised over $700 for the Skin Cancer Foundation.  I'll never forget her hard work and determination to educate our students and make the event a success.
Contributed by Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team, Nebraska

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Taking Small Steps to Make a Big Impact

This week's blog post in contributed by Jessica Marlow a National Consultant Team member from Oklahoma.

As an FCCLA Adviser you hold a very powerful role with your students. You have the opportunity to influence them on a daily basis.  What you chose to do with this influence is completely up to you. If you are an adviser that is enthusiastic about the organization, you will have students and members that follow suit.  Students follow your example.

If you currently have a chapter that is stagnate and needing a little ‘spice,’ take a look in the mirror. Are you an FCCLA Adviser that is contributing to positive changes within your organization?

Work with your officer team to set goals geared toward the changes you would like to see and then create a time line to accomplish those goals. Positive changes could include increasing membership, awareness in the community, or something as small as increasing attendance at meetings. The goals you select need to reflect the positive changes that you want to see.

By selecting a few small goals to achieve, you could see amazing results within your chapter. Start small, changes don’t happen overnight.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Increasing Chapter Membership

The below entry was meant to be posted on October 13, but due to Capitol Leadership activities it is being posted following the conference. This post was contributed by Cathe Felz, National Consultant Team and Chapter Adviser from Montana.

Increasing membership and competing with the wide variety of extra-curricular activities, after school jobs, and social activities is a challenge all advisers have in common. How do you encourage students to get involved, hold their interest, and maintain a quality program which provides opportunities for a wide range of students? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. In small schools the same students are involved in everything from sports to speech and drama, in large schools the number of activities available decrease the number of members who want to join any particular organization. Some kids will not or cannot participate in extracurricular activities because of finances, lack of motivation, or transportation issues.

Two things must happen for membership recruitment to be successful: first students must see membership in any group as a place they could belong and second they must see the benefits of belonging. For example, student athletes may have letter jackets or team shirts that identify them as part of the group and receive recognition from the community for their membership on the team. Not everyone can be a successful athlete but everyone likes to feel that they are part of a group who accepts and appreciates them. Young people will join FCCLA they know what the organization is and how it can benefit them personally. Likewise, parents who see FCCLA as an opportunity for their student to develop a résumé, receive a scholarship, or gain positive recognition will encourage their child to participate.

In some cases the key may be to make FCCLA available during school hours. Students who cannot participate because of transportation issues can participate if the activities are integrated into the classroom.  Once the student has had the opportunity to participate in a class project they may decide being a member of FCCLA is something they would really like to do. Many projects can be completed as class assignments and graded for everyone in the class. Students who are members of FCCLA may be able to refine their class projects for participation at the district, state, or national level. Integrating FCCLA into the classroom will also benefit advisers freeing more of your after school time for your family, hobbies, or to work on extra-curricular FCCLA projects.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Capitol Leadership Day 4 - Final Day

Students and advisers wrapped up Capitol Leadership with some excellent sharing and reflection on the conference. Advisers spent time sharing advocacy activities they could take home, writing new advocacy based lesson plans, and finally enjoying a (all too brief) rejuvenation session to prepare for the trip home. Below are a few pictures of the students in action. Check out this enthusiasm!

If you liked what you read about, but weren't able to be part of 2010 Capitol Leadership Training, add next year's conference to your calendar to start preparing today. Join us October 9-12, 2011!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Capitol Leadership Day 3

Students and advisers walked all over Capitol Hill today in their red jackets talking to everyone from staffers to government officials to people on the Metro about FCCLA and the leadership opportunities it offers.

After the trip to the Hill, students and advisers came back to the hotel to participate in debriefing, think tanks, and follow up to their visits with the officials.

Advisers also had their own sessions following the trips. They spent time networking on topics such as working with alumni, community service ideas, public relations, gaining support from administrators, and new professional learning ideas for national and state meetings.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Capitol Leadership Day 2

Prepping for the trip to Capitol Hill was today's focus at Capitol Leadership Training. Advisers met with ACTE to go over advocacy tools, topics important to Congress right now, and how they can work with their students to share stories and follow up on their visits. In the afternoon advisers and students came together to plan and prepare for Tuesday. Students inspired us all with their stories of how they've become leaders through FCCLA and FACS education.

Even if you're not at Capitol Leadership in Washington, D.C., you can still be part of FCCLA's advocacy efforts. Find out where your Representative or Senator will be campaigning or making town hall stops to check in, say hi, and schedule appointments at their state offices. Have your students share their stories and take the lead for FCCLA, CTE and FACS education.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Capitol Leadership Day 1

Day one of Capitol Leadership is almost over and already we have done a lot together! Youth have been working in teams to develop and share ideas, studying professionalism and enjoying a wonderful etiquette dinner sponsored by The Art Institutes.

Advisers have been working together on new fundraising ideas, grant opportunities, sharing leadership tools and learning about the Student Leadership Challenge. One idea advisers shared was teaching to the heart. The more interested they were in a topic, the better the students did. Not only was this a good example, but it leaves a lasting legacy.

Tomorrow we'll prep for Hill visits, learn about navigating Washington, DC, and participate in a community service project.

Follow us on Twitter by searching @NationalFCCLA and #FCCLADC.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

L is for Leaders

On Sunday FCCLA will begin its Capitol Leadership Training for the first time. This conference which used to be a phase of state officer training has been revamped, updated and is now open to any and all students and advisers who want to learn more about leading through advocacy.

This will be an exciting time for attendees to visit Capitol Hill to meet with legislators and decision makers on education including nutrition and childhood obesity, traffic safety, financial education, bullying, and other issues important in our communities today.

Attendees will also work together to develop leadership skills that can be used in school and beyond. Professionalism, teamwork, community service, networking, and public speaking are just a few of the topics covered during the conference.

Read about what attendees are doing on Twitter by following us at "NationalFCCLA." Check back here for tips from advisers during the week.

In addition to the new conference, FCCLA has also launched the new Advocacy STAR Event to help students better understand, use, and respond to our system of government.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Professional Learning Opportunities

There are several upcoming opportunities for professional learning. FCCLA hosted its first webinar today on Membership development. Watch the playback of the first Adviser Essentials Webinar Series: Membership Development for free. Additional webinars in this series are being held throughout the year. Visit the Chapter Adviser section of the website for more information on topics and dates.

Additionally, AAFCS has offered FCCLA advisers a discount on their webinars. FCCLA advisers can register for $50 ($65 Regular price). Enter Promotional Code “FCCLA” when prompted. Two upcoming opportunities from AAFCS inlcude:

Presented by Tina Shank
90-minute program including Q & A
September 30, 4pm ET

Presented by Dr. Jim Painter
90-minute program including Q & A
October 6, 4pm ET

We hope you take advantage of these professional learning options. As always, feedback is appreciated. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

STAR Events Manual Now Online!

The 2010-2011 STAR Events Manual is now available online. Use the updated manual to plan for your year in competitive events and integrate STAR Events into your classroom. FCCLA is proud to offer three new events this year: Advocacy, Nutrition and Wellness, and Leadership. In addition to the new events we now offer a new take on the hospitality industry with the Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation STAR Event.

You'll see several technological updates to the events this year. As you scroll through the manual you'll find everything from an electronic portfolio option to web design. We hope your students enjoy putting their FACS and FCCLA knowledge into action during the 2010-2011 competition. For more information about how your state is using STAR Events to recognize members, please contact your state adviser. We look forward to your feedback on the new events and updates.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Updates, Changes and New Projects

As with the beginning of any school year, we have hit the ground running with updates, changes and new projects at the national office. Over the course of the next several months you’ll find things aren’t exactly the way they were last year.

One of the changes you may have already noticed is a change in the day we publish this blog. We’ve moved from Mondays to Wednesdays in hope of increasing readership and reporting in a more timely way. Additionally, you’ll be hearing from more advisers throughout the year. This blog was intended to be for advisers, by advisers and we’d like to keep moving in that direction. If you are interested in contributing to the blog, please let us know at

Updates are part of every new year. We are working diligently to continue updating the membership database with accurate and helpful tools. As you go through the affiliation process, you’ll note some of these updates. Others may not be seen right away, but will make a difference in our office. One of the new projects we had this year involved creating a “how to” webinar for affiliation and using the database. That is now online and can be accessed through our homepage.

Another new project this year is a 10-year membership survey. We are beginning the exciting challenge of asking our membership what is good, what is bad, what can be improved, and what opportunities there are for the future. There has been a lot of change in the education system since our last survey and we look forward to hearing what members and advisers have to say.

Advisers are skilled at adapting to change and we thank you for putting up with changes at the national office. We think we are, with your input, headed in the right direction and hope that you feel the same way. We encourage you to contact us with questions, concerns, and suggestions for improvement. Your feedback only makes us better!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Two Heads Are Better Than One

The official close to summer comes with the passing of Labor Day. The long holiday weekend is always a bittersweet reminder that seasons are changing and new things are right around the corner. Not only new seasons, but new students, new meeting experiences, new opportunities for involvement, and new areas for improvement—not to mention all the surprises along the way!

As you have these new experiences, we encourage you to find a fellow adviser to share them with as a mentor. Finding a mentor, even for experienced advisers can provide an opportunity to generate new ideas, change something that doesn’t work quite right, and build a stronger and more vibrant chapter.  It always helps to have someone cheering you on, so link up with another adviser to start a partnership that will reward and refresh you!

Tip: Attending district, regional and state meetings are an excellent way to meet fellow advisers. If you would like help finding a mentor or connecting with another adviser, contact your state adviser for assistance.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Join Us for an Affiliation Webinar

In order to help advisers walk through the affiliation database, FCCLA will be holding a how-to webinar. This free 60 minute session will walk through the different pages of the database and show advisers how to fill out and look up information. It will demonstrate the new database's method of pulling information from formerly affiliated member lists and adding new students to the chapter.

We welcome you to join us on Wednesday, September 8 at 3:00 p.m. EST for this important session. The webinar will be recorded for those who are unable to sign up or be part of the session to view at a later time. Please check the September 1 EAdviser to link to the sign up page.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Meet the 2010-2011 NEC and NECA!

Ten new officers were elected and installed at the National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Chicago. We’re gearing up for the new school year and as we begin, those officers and their advisers will meet as a group for the first time since NLC to set goals and make plans.

As they plan for their year, we encourage you to continue to plan for yours. Meet with your officer team to discuss their goals and dreams.

Get to know the new NEC and NECA in Teen Times and The Adviser. Meet them in person at National Cluster Meetings. Tell them what you want the future of FCCLA to look like by responding to Facebook and Twitter posts.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Creating Leaders Who Give Back

Service learning is an increasingly important aspect of a student’s academic experience. FACS curriculum provides many opportunities for students to learn by giving back to their community. When planning a service learning activity this fall, think about your local, regional, or state children’s hospital. FCCLA has partnered with Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) for its National Outreach Project. As we begin our second year with CMN, we celebrate our success in 2009-2010. FCCLA members raised more than $240,000 to support hospitals around the United States.

To get involved in the 2010-2011 efforts, see the Children’s Miracle Network page of the FCCLA national website. Activities can include visiting or touring a hospital visit and tour, sewing blankets, dolls or other items, organizing a community fundraiser and inviting CMN officials and patients to attend.

Did you participate in 2009-2010? Share your activities in the comments section.

Monday, August 2, 2010

National Cluster Meeting Youth Workshop Presenters WANTED

Chapter members can explore opportunities for personal development, gain ideas for shaping future careers, and discover great ways to use FCCLA national programs in their own chapters.  Workshops are presented by FCCLA chapters, partners, and exhibitors, and may include topics such as Family and Consumer Sciences careers, nutrition and healthy lifestyles, global perspectives, and much more.

Submit a workshop proposal by September 7 for consideration.

Monday, July 26, 2010

FCCLA Knows How to Party!

At NLC we collected membership recruitment ideas that celebrate FCCLA’s 65 Years of Leadership from FACS Education majors and new advisers in our Newcomers Session. As you think about beginning the school year, why not kick it off by sharing our important history?

  • Send a birthday invitation to non-members asking them to join FCCLA.
  • Serve birthday cake in FACS classes or during school lunch.
  •  Hold a birthday scavenger hunt.
  • Celebrate 65 Days or 65 Seconds of FCCLA by having members share about FCCLA history at the beginning of class.
  • Create a cardboard decorated cake and have students bring new toys to donate to Children’s Miracle network. Every time a new toy is added place a candle on the cake.
  • Reward the first 65 FCCLA members to affiliate with a cupcake or treat.
  • Have a “65 Seconds to Win It!” contest in honor of FCCLA before meetings.
How are you celebrating this special accomplishment? Show your FCCLA spirit by adding your ideas to the comments section.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Review: The Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching in the New Media Age

We finish our social media series by Marketing & Membership Assistant Lauren Rhodes with this review of The Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching in the New Media Age.

William Kist’s The Socially Networked Classroom should be in every teacher’s classroom.  Kist’s background as a teacher enables him to interact with educators on their level and provide realistic examples and resources.  Kist begins by explaining new media and social stereotypes then introduces the reader to the new literacies of social media.  From there, The Socially Networked Classroom is organized based on the availability of technology and internet access in your educational environment.  Depending on the individual access of the reader to technology, Kist then provides ideas, guidelines, and strategies to implement in the classroom.  Every chapter provides real-world examples and resources, classroom questions, and samples of rubrics and worksheets.

We recommend this book as a valuable resource for any adviser, teacher educator, or educational administrator; whether they have expansive knowledge of social media or have never used this technology before.

Ordering Information:
Paperback: 152 pages
Publisher: Corwin Press (October 21, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1412967015
ISBN-13: 978-1412967013

Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 NLC Wrap-Up

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2010 National Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois! FCCLA celebrated 65 Years of Leadership in the best way possible- with members, advisers, alumni, staff and guests from all over the nation.

Congratulations to the 2010-2011 National Executive Council and the outgoing NEC for doing a wonderful job onstage and during the week. Also, congratulations to all Competitive Events participants for the hard work and extreme dedication put into the conference. Your preparation paid off and everyone at FCCLA is very proud. Keep working hard and continue doing great thigns in your schools and communities.

It was a great pleasure for FCCLA to present a check for over $241,000 to Children's Miracle Network and hear from our own miracle child, Aidan. FCCLA will once again partner with Children's Miracle Network for the 2010-2011 National Outreach Project. All chapters and states are encouraged to continue fundraising for another year so we can help impact the lives of sick and injured children.

If you have any questions or comments about this year's National Leadership Meeting, please feel free to contact National Staff. Contact information can be found on the national website at Also,  FCCLA members are encouraged to follow FCCLA on Twitter (NationalFCCLA) and Facebook (Search Family, Career and Community Leaders of America).

Thanks again for a successful conference and good luck preparing for the upcoming FCCLA year!.

Banking on FCCLA: Fundraising Tips and Ideas from Chicago

National Consultant Team Member, Cathe Felz, presented a fundraising workshop to advisers at the 2010 National Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The following are various ideas that advisers from across the nation wanted to share:

"We held a Cookie Lee Jewelry Sale in the faculty lounge and cafeteria prior to Valentine's Day. FCCLA was only responsible for advertising."   
-Kathy Vik, AK

"We made homemade bread and rolls and sweet rolls to sell to the staff using our under utilized professional kitchens from a disbanded hospitality program. Best sellers were seedy wheat (fiber wheat loaves), rye bread, and cinnamon rolls. Next year we would like to expand to student access before school (e.g. Tasty Tuesday)."   
-Helen Martin, WI

"Our best fundraiser has been sales of TJ's Pizza (not sure if they are nation-wide, we're in St. Louis, MO). They have 50% profit, are easy to work with, and the pizzas are well-known so they sell themselves. TJ's also sells cookie dough and pies/cakes."  
  -Lisa Thompson, MO

"We go to Larry's Pizza Restaurant and work as servers. We get all the tips for the night plus 10% of the sales. We net almost $300.00. We do this in the early fall and then again in spring if we need a filler. All FCCLA members work. We have it from 5-8 pm. The kids love this and show up to work."     -Sheila Churchill

"For school sports (i.e. football, basketball, track, etc.) our FCCLA would do the concession stands."    

"Our FCCLA has a soup supper for the community, sells orange crush on Valentine's Day (secret crush), sells candy canes during the holidays with messages. Also, certain days we will have teachers pay $1 to wear jeans or hats."    
-Julie McLean

"One event our FCCLA does is called the 'Tour of Tables'. Every member is encouraged to sell 8 tickets (full table) for $10. We serve a meal which is ordered through the school food service provider. Last year's menu was: chicken stuffed with fontina cheese, vegetables, twice baked potatoes, and cheesecake. Each table is decorated with a silent auction item. 20-30 minutes prior to the meal, everyone starts the tour of tables for the silent auction."    
-Jenny Ferrel

"We have a burrito sale. Customers pre-order and pay and the students make the items. We sell them 2 for $3. All supplies we try to get donated and the parents help with assistance. We sell to the public schools, parents, workplaces."    
-C. Simmons

"Talent Show! We raise money by having an application fee. People can enter as a team or individual. We charge admission for the event night and also have concessions provided. A 50/50 raffle or silent auction is also held to raise money."   
-Melissa Welsh, PA

A grant writer contact was also given during the session. Please feel free to use this contact as a consult and resource:

Julian Miller
Dreyfus/Kellog Expert
(662) 402-8249

Monday, June 28, 2010

Join Us in Chicago… Or At Home

A lot changes in 65 years, but FCCLA has always been a leading organization of its time. In 2010 we continue to embrace technology to include as many FCCLA members and advisers as possible in our National Leadership Conference (NLC).

Whether you’re with us in Chicago or enjoying your summer at home, FCCLA wants you to participate in NLC activities. FCCLA will be updating, blogging, and tweeting daily from Chicago.

If you're at the conference, we invite you to share your insights, ideas, and interesting take-aways with the FCCLA community through our interactive Media Center at the Hyatt Regency.

At home, follow Family, Career and Community Leaders of America on Facebook and Twitter and through our special NLC Blog, and, of course, right here on the Adviser Blog. Add your own insights and comments to participate in NLC from a distance.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Benefits of Social Media for FCCLA – Twitter

Once again, Marketing & Membership Assistant and social media guru, Lauren Rhodes is here. This time she offers tips for improving your chapter's Twitter presence.

What we have to do is deliver to people the best and freshest most relevant information possible. We think of Twitter as it's not a social network, but it's an information network. It tells people what they care about as it is happening in the world.”  - Evan Williams

What is Twitter? Twitter is a “real-time information network powered by people all around the world that lets you share and discover what’s happening now.” Twitter is a social networking and “micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers.” Basically, Twitter is quickly becoming the most effective form of non-verbal communication, especially now that users have direct access to it 24/7 via cell phone applications.

Twitter is important for FCCLA chapters because it helps them communicate quickly and it’s in writing.  All of those following your chapter on Twitter can receive real-time updates and reference older posts. You can also stay up-to-date on your students, other teachers and chapters, causes and organizations, even National FCCLA, by following them on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Twitter may not be for everyone…yet. Many are still getting used to what Twitter is and how it integrates into our daily lives. However, it is only a matter of time before Twitter becomes as popular and widely used as Facebook – so, hold on, we’re only climbing up the hill of the roller-coaster.

Step 1: Ask your chapter if they are using Twitter.
If they are, wonderful! If they are not, talk to them about Twitter and see if your chapter is interested in pursuing this.

Step 2: Sign up for Twitter, create your profile, and start following!
If you already have a Facebook profile, creating a profile on Twitter is a walk in the park. Let one of your students, perhaps the VP of Public Relations, take the lead to create a profile. Let your chapter know when the page is up so they can start following it. Select organizations, causes, members of the community and school to follow on Twitter. Following others will help keep you in the loop. Who knows – you may hear about a scholarship or grant your chapter could qualify for!

Step 3: Tweet it!
Remember you only have 140 characters per tweet. You can tweet links to pages such as your Facebook page or Tweet events, school functions, and reminders. Start a spreadsheet of tweet ideas for several weeks in advance. I have one for the next month and I update it a week before the end of the month. If possible, download the Twitter application for your phone. This will enable you Tweet from your phone and be able to update your site anywhere!

Step 4: Tweet and monitor the site as frequently as possible.
By tweeting frequently, the information posted will show up in any members’ twitter page and this gives free publicity.  As an adviser for FCCLA it is important to supervise your chapter and make sure they are modeling the way and representing FCCLA respectfully.

These are some essential steps toward launching and maintaining Twitter page.  Feel free to post questions and discuss.  If you have any questions or comments you are not comfortable posting please contact me at

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Benefits of Social Media for FCCLA - Facebook

Continuing our series on social media, Lauren Rhodes, Marketing & Membership Assistant, tells us more about Facebook.

“Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.” – Erik Qualman

What is Facebook? Facebook is a “social networking web site that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc.” Facebook's mission is “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Facebook has more than 400 million active users and people spend over 500 billion minutes per month on the site – and it continues to grow, globally.

Step 1: Have a personal profile page that is used exclusively for you as an adviser.
Connect with your students, other teachers, advisers, FCCLA and other professional organizations. You may already have a personal profile page that you use on Facebook to stay connected to friends and family – do not use this page! Instead, create a profile for you as an adviser and a teacher. For example, Jane Doe has her own profile so she created another profile for Ms. Doe, who teaches at Some High School. She even created her own email address for this personal adviser profile,

Step 2: Start a group for your FCCLA chapter.
Starting a group on Facebook is easy and valuable for you as an adviser. It is a way to connect your chapter together in a forum that most of them use on a daily basis. You can post photos and video, send messages to the entire chapter with one click, send event invitations and reminders, create online surveys and quizzes, etc. If time is an issue, have a chapter officer (such as the VP of Public Relations) monitor and update the site.

Step 3: Post important information on you group site.
Put up links to important web sites: FCCLA homepage, chapter website (if you have one), school website, press releases, causes your chapter is supporting, etc. Model the way by posting encouraging chapter photos, videos, news stories, FCCLA information, etc. Communicate important announcements on the group’s wall and create upcoming events.

Step 4: Promote and recruit for your chapter.
Use Facebook to promote upcoming events and fundraisers by having your chapter members re-post events to all of their friends. This is done by selecting the “Share” box on the event page and is then re-posted on the individuals wall and news feed. Encourage your chapter to invite friends to join your chapter’s group - this will help introduce them to FCCLA, FACS, and your chapter.

Step 5: Update and monitor the site as frequently as possible.
No one likes to visit a website that isn't current. Updates should be posted regularly. By posting frequently, the information posted will show up in any members’ news feed and this gives free publicity. As an adviser it is important to supervise your chapter and make sure they are modeling the way and representing FCCLA respectfully.

These are some essential steps toward developing and maintaining presence on Facebook. Feel free to post questions and discuss or contact me at

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Publications Now Available!

New Officer Handbook

The Ultimate Officer Handbook & Training Manual will be unveiled at the 2010 National Leadership Conference! This new publication is a must-have for all FCCLA leaders! Use this manual as an instructional tool or textbook for teaching leadership in every Family and Consumer Sciences class. The training manual is available for only $15.

Get your FCCLA Lesson Planner!

The FCCLA Lesson Planner features 52 weeks of 7-day adviser planning pages, 12 months of FCCLA tips and adviser networking suggestions, the FCCLA Planning Process, a program of work template, and a Family and Consumer Sciences Accountability Matrix. Start the school year off right with the FCCLA Lesson Planner! The lesson planner is available for only $10.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Adviser-Spring/Summer Online Edition

The Adviser - Spring/ Summer

What you 'll find in this issue:
Fresh Start
An update from National FCCLA on membership, affiliation and information for the 2010 school year.

Extra! Extra!
Updates from state meetings across the nation!

Adviser -to-Adviser
What are FCCLA Advisers up to this summer?

Lesson Plan
A Lesson Plan for your Family and Consumer Sciences class focusing on leadership.

And much more...

Download the Spring/Summer issue of The Adviser!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Being Socially Savvy in School: An Introduction to Integrating FCCLA into Social Media

Today our own social media guru, Lauren Rhodes, discusses the importance of being technology savvy and connecting your chapter and classroom through social media.

We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well do we do it?” – Erik Qualman

Many educators are asking “Why should I use social media? It’s not like I have access to it in the classroom.” To begin, let’s addressing the first question “Why should I use social media?” Social media is not going anywhere. Rather, technology has barely scratched the surface on the possibilities of what social media is capable of. In another five years, the Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites that we have today are going to seem archaic. Now to address the statement “It’s not like I have access to it in the classroom” – it’s only a matter of time. Social media is so rampant and is changing the face of communication as we know it, before long the education system and government will be on board. For example, remember Barack Obama’s Presidential candidacy media campaign. Many prominent advertising professionals credit his campaign’s use of social media as giving him a significant edge in the race to the presidency and as we all know now, Obama is president. Also, many Senators, Congressmen, and government officials have Facebook pages, including President Obama.

What are the benefits for integrating social media into FCCLA? Social media was designed to enhance communication, making it easier to network and to generate interest in a cause. Social media can be used to augment what is being instructed in the classroom and cultivate your FCCLA chapter. Imagine being able to communicate directly with your chapter on a forum that your students interact with on a daily basis. Where you can share conference photos, classroom videos, remind members that a fundraiser is launching tomorrow, and have a video chat with another chapter in real time. For example, using sites like Facebook and Twitter you can communicate, promote, recruit, and network quickly and easily with your chapter, school, other advisers, etc. You can even network professionally and connect with other advisers on sites like LinkedIn and communicate live globally via web chat with Skype.

Over the next few months, I will guide you through six of the top and emerging forms of social media and explain how to incorporate them with FCCLA:

  • June - Facebook
  • June - Twitter
  • August - YouTube
  • August - Flickr
  • September - LinkedIn
  • September – Skype

I’m looking forward to the next few months. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments you are not comfortable posting please contact me at

Monday, May 17, 2010

FCCLA Lesson Plans & Activities

Following an April edition of the FCCLA E-Adviser, Paula Chessher of Warren High School, Texas, reminded us that the lesson plans and activities page of the FCCLA website is a great resource. She writes, “I would love to see more of the lesson plans available! That is a fantastic source and service for FCS teachers! …the lesson plans and materials are invaluable to me!”

As the year comes to a close, testing ends and graduation is on our heels, we want to make a plug for adding your lesson plans and activities to the FCCLA website. While you are cleaning for the summer, take some time to look through the resources you use. Submit your ideas to us and we’ll add them to the website.

Without the support and participation of advisers, these resources would be unavailable. Thank you for your generous contributions!

Monday, May 10, 2010

National Youth Traffic Safety Month

This week’s blog come from National Executive Council member, Abbi Sudtelgte, Vice President of Programs.

The spring NOYS meeting (National Organizations for Youth Safety) was held Wednesday, April 28th through Friday, April 30th in Washington D.C. Along with myself, Leilani Mullins, Vice President of Membership, and Bethany Standley, Program Coordinator, Michael Benjamin, Executive Director, also attended the NOYS meeting. Throughout the whole conference the main focus was traffic safety as May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month. Thursday at the National Press Club NOYS had a press conference with the Secretary of Transportation, Rae LaHood. Friday morning we participated in Oprah’s No Phone Zone Day at the Newseum. Oprah had set up five different no phone zone sites across the United States, Washington D.C. being one of them. Lani and I were even able to get our picture with Gayle King! As follow-up I was interviewed on Keloland, which is South Dakota’s main new broadcast TV station.

Abbi and Leilani holding their No Phone Zone signs.

Abbi and Leilani with Gayle King at the Oprah event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Monday, May 3, 2010

10 Minutes to Make a Difference

The Census Bureau has posted online at information on the critical phase we are now entering known as Non-Response Follow-Up. This phase involves trying to account for the roughly 48 million households that did not mail back their Census form. We will be sending approximately 635,000 census takers out to count all non-responding households, and we need your help in convincing them why it is important for them to talk to the census taker.

You can find out more information on census takers at our website:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Vote for FCCLA!

April is almost over. Make your choice today for FCCLA!

FCCLA needs your vote! National FCCLA is in the running for a $50,000 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project. The grant would allow FCCLA to enhance leadership opportunities and personal development to Family and Consumer Sciences students and their teachers through the Capitol Leadership Training. Please visit, register, and vote every day in the month of April. Up to 10 grants in this category are awarded each month. Click here to vote!

In addition, since MO FCCLA finished the month of March in the top 100 for their category their proposed project is back in the running for the month of April so please use one of your ten daily votes for MO FCCLA. If you place FCCLA in the search engine of the Pepsi Refresh Project it will display both National FCCLA and MO FCCLA in one location to make voting easy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Join the Adviser Academy

We want you to get the most out of your time as an adviser. FCCLA’s Adviser Academy was created for advisers with fewer than 5 years experience as an opportunity to learn more about FCCLA, integrating the national programs and competitions into the classroom and getting the word out about your chapter’s work. The Adviser Academy takes place at national meetings across the country and provides invaluable networking time with other new advisers.

Participants in the Adviser Academy can use Perkins funds for this series of professional development. Applications are due May 1 for enrollment in Track 1 at National Leadership Conference in Chicago. Apply today!

P.S. Don’t forget to vote for FCCLA! Click here to vote!

Monday, April 12, 2010

AAFCS Offers the Pre-Professional Assessment and Certification (Pre-PAC) Program

The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) is proud to offer the Pre-Professional Assessment and Certification (Pre-PAC) program as the premier family and consumer sciences pre-professional assessment and certification system in the nation. AAFCS has engaged the assistance of a broad range of esteemed industry professionals, content specialists, and educators from across the nation to assist in identifying relevant industry standards and to develop the assessment instruments. In addition to drawing heavily on business and industry input, Pre-PAC assessments correlate to the National FCS Standards, other content-related standards, and the National Career Clusters initiative. The online Pre-PAC competency assessments are rigorous, psychometrically sound, and consistent with “gold-standard” quality testing requirements.

FCS teachers can use Pre-PAC assessments to facilitate accountability, gain recognition for their students, enhance program recognition and support, and promote program improvement and effectiveness. The Pre-PAC Portfolio of Products available for testing this spring includes a total of NINE assessments (* indicates new product available April 19, 2010):

(1) Broad Field Family and Consumer Sciences
(2) Culinary Arts*
(3) Early Childhood Education
(4) Education Fundamentals*
(5) Family and Community Services*
(6) Fashion, Textiles, and Apparel*
(7) Interior Design Fundamentals*
(8) Nutrition, Food, and Wellness*
(9) Personal and Family Finance

To learn more and to become an approved test site to administer Pre-PAC assessments, visit the Pre-PAC Management System. For more information, contact Lori Myers, Director, Pre-Professional Assessment and Certification, at

P.S. Don’t forget to vote for FCCLA! Click here to vote!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vote for FCCLA!

FCCLA needs your vote! National FCCLA is in the running for a $50,000 grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project. The grant would allow FCCLA to enhance leadership opportunities and personal development to Family and Consumer Sciences students and their teachers through the Capitol Leadership Training. Please visit, register, and vote every day in the month of April. Up to 10 grants in this category are awarded each month. Click here to vote!

In addition, since MO FCCLA finished the month of March in the top 100 for their category their proposed project is back in the running for the month of April so please use one of your ten daily votes for MO FCCLA. If you place FCCLA in the search engine of the Pepsi Refresh Project it will display both National FCCLA and MO FCCLA in one location to make voting easy!

Monday, March 29, 2010


State meetings are beginning to wind down, testing is coming up, and spring break is just around the corner. Chapter members will soon have other things on their mind and may need a push to stay focused until the end of the year. This is a great opportunity to recognize those that will be graduating, parents and volunteers who have helped all year long, administrators who have gone to bat for the chapter with requests, and those who will be representing the chapter at National Leadership Conference this summer.

Here are a few ideas to help you create a successful recognition program:

• Hold a spring banquet to install new officers and give chapter awards
• Enjoy a chapter picnic to celebrate warm weather, invite parents/volunteers to attend
• If your school has an all-school award banquet, submit FCCLA awards for chapter members
• Make goodie bags to give to all parents, volunteers, administration and others who have supported the chapter
• Celebrate chapter successes by hosting an open house to show off members’ projects

Monday, March 22, 2010

Support Your Local Superintendent

We know that sometimes superintendents, principals, CTE directors and others can sometime seem more like local sheriffs than support systems, but these individuals can often be very instrumental in building and growing an FCCLA chapter. There is still a few days left to nominate your administrator for a national FCCLA award. If you have a great support system, why not take a few minutes to show your appreciation by nominating someone at your school for National School Administrator award.

Traditionally the national headquarters doesn’t see very many nominations for this award, but we love to give it out to show our support to the people behind the scenes. We encourage you to support your local crew at the national level.
If you don’t have a great relationship with your administrator, or they just don’t “get it,” we recommend bringing him or her to a state or national meeting as a chaperone, ask them to join in at a community service event, or have an administrator from another school call them to talk through their questions. Who knows, maybe your surly superintendent will turn into James Garner.

Monday, March 15, 2010

And the Winner Is…

Most of you know what the Oscars, Emmys, and Golden Globes are and probably more than a few of you watched your favorite actors, actresses, directors and movies take home statues this awards season. There are several opportunities for advisers to be awarded throughout the year and especially at National Leadership Conference, but one of the awards that always lacks entries is the distinction for Integrating Core Academics.

The application for this award can be found on the FCCLA website under Adult Awards and takes a few minutes to fill out. As FACS teachers, integrating academics is something you do every day. Being recognized not only shows FCCLA’s support for you, but also shows your support for your school, chapter, and career. We encourage you to take a look at the award and apply today. You could be the one that comes home a winner. Applications are due April 1 and are announced at the Adviser Recognition Session at NLC.

Monday, March 8, 2010

We’re All In This Together

Mentorship is an important part of FCCLA. Not only do we recommend mentors for officers and members as they develop their leadership skills, but it is also important for advisers to have someone to bounce ideas off of, go to for help, and be a sounding board for the rough times. Of course, we want advisers to celebrate successes together too!

Read the below thoughts from some experienced advisers as they reminisce about the people that helped them become successful today.

I have been very blessed in my career as a FACS teacher and FCCLA adviser to have many wonderful mentors. I think one of the biggest benefits to being a FACS teacher/FCCLA adviser is the tremendous network of support that we have. I have had mentors who have taught me everything from the basics of FCCLA to tips on how to fill out a national program awards application.

One of the best pieces of advice that I got about being a FCCLA adviser is to remember that we can't do it all. It would be very hard to be involved in every national program and every STAR event. Instead I was challenged to participate in the activities and programs that best suit my school and community.

I found this to be great advice and when I am planning out my year I often think back to this advice as I am evaluating what program and activities are most beneficial for my students, school, and community.

Katrina Lewis, Konawa High School, Oklahoma

It has been sooo long since I first started that I really don't remember who my first mentor was. But, the most important thing that I have learned from other advisers is not to try to do it all.

The second most important thing is to adapt to the members you have in any given year. Sometimes you have real go getters and they can take the lead in large projects and just astound you with what they do. And some years the smallest completed project is a victory.

Cathy Kloch, Alliance High School, Nebraska

Monday, March 1, 2010

Southern Charm

As the state meeting season amps up, FCCLA national staff and National Executive Council will be traveling throughout the country to visit over 40 state meetings. Each of us take away something new from these visits. We are thrilled to be part of your state meeting and happy to help you create a positive experience for members and advisers.

This week we visited Mississippi’s State Leadership Conference. We were able to visit with advisers and members about their interests and goals for as leaders in the organization. The students were enthusiastic and led by a fabulous team of officers. Many participated in STAR Events and other state competitions. Advisers were always there to show support and learn more about FCCLA through their students’ involvement.

We’d like to thank Valerie Taylor and the rest of the state staff at the Mississippi Department of Education for hosting us with their famous Southern hospitality.

What’s special about your state meeting? Write your responses in the comments section.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fiscal Responsibility

This week’s blog is a call to action from the U.S. Treasury

We’re writing to ask for your help.

In December 2009, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the National Financial Capability Challenge. They said that along with getting the economy back on track and getting smarter about financial regulation, we also need to make sure all Americans – but especially our youth – get the financial education they need to help them take responsibility for their financial futures. Treasury and Education are committed to working together on this issue.

The Challenge – an awards program for educators and high schools students that aims to encourage the teaching of personal finance – is our first step in a new partnership. An earlier version of the Challenge was organized by Treasury under the previous administration, and this expanded effort builds on that success. Our goal is to get one million high school students to take the Challenge, which includes a voluntary online exam, by April 9, 2010. To make that happen, we’ll need thousands of educators from across the country to register and get their students prepared. Two thousand educators have already signed up. It’s a good start, but we have a long way to go.

Will you please support our effort to reach out to high school teachers and leaders – and other educators working with high school students age 13-19, such as librarians, youth group leaders, and after-school program staff – to encourage them to sign up for the Challenge at by March 14.

We’re encouraging educators to take these steps:

1. View the video message from Secretary Duncan
2. Register for the Challenge by March 14th
3. Recruit their colleagues to participate (flier available here)
4. Prepare their students (using the free educator toolkit or their own resources)
5. Administer the online exam one day between March 15th and April 9th
6. Present official (printable) awards certificates to high-scoring students

All participating educators will receive personalized awards certificates, and educators in states with the highest participation rates will earn special distinction.