Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We Can’t Wait to See You in Anaheim!!

By Jessica Marlow, National Consultant Team

The 2011 FCCLA National Leadership Conference is just around the corner! We would like to take a minute and let you about some of the amazing opportunities available for advisers this year.
Join us on Sunday, July 10th from 4:00 to 5:30 for Adviser Networking! This is an excellent opportunity to meet with advisers from around the country and share ideas about what has worked best for you throughout the school year and within your chapter.

On Monday, July 11th, there will be three Adviser Professional Learning Sessions available that morning: Creating a Leadership Bootcamp, Taking on the New National Outreach Project, and Teaching Using the Planning Process.

On Tuesday, July 12th, the Adviser Professional Learning Sessions available will be: Integrating Core Academics into the FACS Classroom, Personal Growth for Advisers, and The Future of FACS.

All of these workshops have been created especially for you, the advisers. Check out the program for specific locations and exact times. Most workshops will be offered in back to back sessions to provide you the opportunity to attend several.

We will again be having a Media Center available for Conference Attendees. The Media Center will be located in California Ballroom H Foyer in the Hilton.

Last but not least, we are very excited to be able to provide an Adviser Resource Room at NLC this year. This will be a location for you, the adviser, to receive information that will help you succeed this year. It will have handouts, ideas, and will provide you a place to come and relax. It will be located in the Green Room in the Hilton. The Adviser Resource Room will be available on Sunday, July 10th from 6:00-9:00 pm; Monday, July 11th from 11:30am-3:00pm; and Tuesday, July 12th from 8:00am-1:00pm. The Adviser Room is being sponsored by Goodheart-Wilcox and AAFCS.

Again, we are very excited about everything that is planned for NLC this year! We will see you in Anaheim where we will be putting our Imaginations in Action!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Adviser Professional Development at NLC

FCCLA will welcome over 6,300 members, advisers, and guests to Anaheim, California for the 2011 National Leadership Conference! While there are many things for students to enjoy from Disney tours to STAR Event Competition, FCCLA did not forget about those wonderful advisers who made it possible for their students to attend the National Leadership Conference. This year’s conference will highlight many Adviser Professional Development sessions, trainings, and recognition. Below is a list of Adviser Professional Learning opportunities offered at this year’s National Leadership Conference.


• Future FCCLA Adviser Prep 1

• Adviser Academy Track 1

• Adviser Academy Track 4

• Adviser-to-Adviser


• Creating a Leadership Bootcamp

• Take on the New National Outreach Project

• Teaching Using the Planning Process


• The Future of FACS

• Integrating Core Academics into the FACS Classroom

• Personal Growth for Advisers


• Future FCCLA Adviser Prep 2

Finally, don’t forget to attend the Adviser Recognition Session on Wednesday July 13, 2011 at 8:30 -11:30 a.m. Celebrate advisers receiving special recognition for going above and beyond as master advisers, adviser mentors, spirit of advising, and more. Also hear from speaker, Cheryl Cran, for her keynote address on 3 generations, 1 workplace of choice- 8 ways to keep the generations engaged. Advisers get ready to put your Imagination in Action!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chaperoning 101

by Cathe Felz, National Consultant Team, Montana

Congratulations, your chapter has been selected to attend an event that requires extra adults to accompany your group. Whether it is a local event or the National Leadership Conference every chapter adviser needs additional adults to assist with chaperoning chapter events from time to time. Making the trip fun and educational is important but our top priority should always be safety. One of the key factors in providing both a safe and enjoyable trip for members and adults is to select and train adults to serve as chaperones. These adults will be responsible for the well being of students throughout the trip. Selecting chaperones is a daunting task for many, including myself.

Chaperones should be an authority figure that is fair, firm, and consistent. These adults should also be comfortable with the age and abilities of the students they are traveling with and be familiar with school policies and chapter expectations. Some of the best chaperones come from individuals who are actively involved in the everyday operations of the school and know the students on a personal level. Parents are usually eager to volunteer to chaperone for trips their student may be attending. A good rule of thumb is to select chaperones who have worked with the chapter to complete fundraising events, and chapter projects. These individuals know the students on a different level and have a vested interested in the chapter. When students and adults work together to meet a common goal they establish a relationship based on trust and understanding and learn to appreciate the viewpoint of the other person.

If the goal of the trip is to provide opportunities for students to learn and grow as well has have fun it important for the adult chaperones to work together to meet these goals. Chaperones need to be informed of the itinerary and activities prior to signing up to chaperone the trip. Everyone needs to realize when you travel as a group, the majority decides what activities will be attended and the responsibility of each participant is to follow timelines and schedules in order not to inconvenience the entire group.

Once the chaperones for the group have been selected it is important for the adviser to meet with them as a group and cover expectations and the itinerary for the trip. Some topics to cover would include:
  1. A review of school policies so the chaperones are familiar with expectations of the school district. All adult chaperones should make every effort to assure the rules will be firmly supported by other adults in the group. 
  2. Review expectations for adult behavior on the trip. Adult chaperones should model the way by being on time for events, being dressed appropriately, and refraining from the use of alcohol and tobacco, stay with the group at all times, and provide a positive role model for students. 
  3. Review trip itinerary pointing out the opportunities for students to learn and grow through educational activities and tips for creating a memorable trip. Chaperones need to remember they are responsible for checking in with students regularly and being aware of where the students are and who they are with at all times. 
  4. Review with chaperones the types of problems that can arise on school trips, emphasizing which ones chaperones have the authority to deal with and which should be referred to school staff. 
  5. Stress the chaperones’ role is to be the authority figure, no a buddy to the students. Let the chaperones know that the adviser will support and guide them throughout the trip. 
  6. Review emergency procedures that could occur during the trip. Provide medical release forms and insurance information for parents prior to departure and secure these materials in a binder which is readily available to the adult chaperones. Exchange cell phone numbers with all chaperones and participants. 
  7. Review nighttime security procedures at the hotel. Chaperones should check student rooms to make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be before retiring for the evening. They should also check in the morning with each room to make sure everyone is accounted for and ready for the events of the day. During room check, chaperones should physically ID each student assigned to that room. 

Selecting and training adult chaperones for chapter travel will prepare them to do their job well, and ensure that the safety and well being of chapter members is a top priority. Safe travels.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When Do I Get Time Off?

by Jean Clarke, National Executive Council Adviser, South Dakota

Many of us are eagerly anticipating the summer break that has arrived or will be here soon. We often make mental lists about what we’ll do when we get that “time off”. Some of us have even made actual to-do lists; others have our lists leftover from last summer!

During the school year, we feel that we are always on call, so that “time off” rejuvenates us and energizes us. But, every adviser has to encourage the heart year-round. We need to take time off throughout the year in creative ways to keep our energy high and our motivation strong. For example, we need to take time off at the end of the day (perhaps have our favorite form of caffeine) and reflect on what went well during that day, focusing on the positive results of our daily work. We need to e-mail or call a fellow FCCLA adviser and give encouragement during the stressful times in our busy years. Even a short message or conversation can renew our determination. We need to plan time off for 15 minutes in our day to walk, read, or take time for ourselves. Most important, we need to encourage ourselves to try something new. We all need to take time off to challenge ourselves to try something different, attempt something new, or tackle opportunites we might even fear.

Time off can be measured in days or months, but time off to encourage our hearts might only be measured in minutes. Both can be the spark that keeps us active and vital in our personal and professional lives.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Summer Activities for FCCLA Members

Contributed by Alana Bergeleen, National Executive Council Adviser, South Dakota

School's out for summer! But it is important as an FCCLA Adviser to keep in mind that school is not out forever and therefore it is a great idea to keep your chapter members involved throughout the summer months. Not only will this further develop their leadership skills, but summer activities will provide an opportunity for more "fun in the sun" than they get during the school year. The opportunities for summer activities are endless. Many of the so called activities can also turn into great fundraising activities as well (I'm not sure about other advisers but my mind is constantly churning on how to turn any activity into a money maker!)

A few ideas for some FCCLA fun in the sun!

  • Town Clean Up - When the snow melts all the winter litter emerges. Arrange for your chapter to do a clean up in your community. Take pictures and turn into the paper for great publicity.
  • Turtle Races - Once a week for a month in summer schedule community turtle races. We received permission from our town to hold the races on main street and then charged a $1.00 entry fee per turtle. Bottles of pop were the prizes. FCCLA members were the judges and also sold concessions. Much fun!
  • -Wild Water Family Fun Night - sell hotdogs in the park or at your local swimming pool and then work with the pool to arrange a family night.
  • FCCLA Movie Night - We are fortunate to have an outdoor movie theater within a 20 mile radius. Plan a night where families and FCCLA Members in your community can caravan to a movie.
  • Bonfire Party - I like to do this right before school starts to get the members excited about FCCLA. Everyone brings their own hot dog and Marshmallows for smores. 
  • Softball Game - It would be fun to have a "FFA vs. FCCLA" Softball Game.
  • Bike Riding Clinic - Bike Safety is often overlooked. Have your FCCLA Chapter host a Bike Clinic. After you could have a bike rodeo and give prizes, etc.
These are just a few ideas and all can be adapted to fit your and your chapters needs. I live in a rural South Dakota Community so things that work here may not work every where but with a little FCCLA Adviser creativity you will think of many things to keep your chapter fired up through the summer months. In the meantime enjoy the fact that SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Team Building and Leadership Retreats

Contributed by Collyn Wright, National Executive Council Adviser, Texas

When working with your local officer team, it seems to work best to give them clear expectations of the role they will play in planning and implementing FCCLA in action for the school year. We like to begin with a meeting of out going officers to review the last year’s action plan and things that went well and things we can improve upon. Then we meet with prospective officer candidates and go over duties for each office so that they can decide what office they would like to run for. After officer candidate interviews, the fun and work begins!

We plan a joint “retreat” with FFA officers for fun, year planning, and teambuilding. We provide a place to stay, either a lock-in at the school, a hotel, or other lodging and meals for 2 days. Our officers compete with the FFA officers on a ropes course we build, team building games, obstacle courses, minute to win it games, and leadership activities. After all of the fun and silly bonding time, we get down to business and go over expectations and goals for the year. Once we have a clear picture of what we want to accomplish as a chapter, we plan each month including programs and projects, meeting dates, and deadlines for project completions. It is a lot of fun and a lot of work, but our officers meld together during that two days of bonding and competing with FFA and our year is completely planned in the process. What ever avenue you choose to develop a leadership team at your school, just remember to set clear expectations, work hard, and play harder!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Creating a 2011-2012 Program of Work

Contributed by Nicole Ruge, National Consultant Team, Georgia

As this time of each school year, we hold our end of the year banquets and elect officers for next school term- this is also the time we need to start thinking about our Program of Work. The Program of Work is not something that should be a burden for you as the adviser; one way of ensuring this is to sit down with your newly elected officers and come up with an outline or plan for the direction the students would like to see the chapter go next year. If they are having a hard time doing this, you may consider taking a poll of all members to learn about their needs and passions.

Your students, especially those leaders in high school, are very capable of setting up their own outline for what they want to accomplish in the next year. You may want to break it down with a few guidelines to help make the process easier for them. Here is a list of how we work out our Program of Work:

1. I give my students an outline of the year with State and National Meetings and Deadlines. This way we don’t overscheduled the deadline times.

2. Add in any items you already know you will be required to do or activities you always do (examples: Valentine Dance or hosting dinners).

3. Come up with the school’s top concerns for the year. What National Programs help address these concerns? What time of year would it be best to address the concerns?

4. Add in any membership drive and membership retention activities.

This will be a great start to your program of work. Enjoy planning for next year.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Helpful Fundraising

By Nicole Perez, National Executive Council Adviser, New Jersey

Across the USA, FCCLA advisers hit the ground running in an attempt to help students fund raise for various conferences. With the lack of funding from our school districts, it is important for everyone to be active in fundraising efforts. This is where school and home partnerships come in handy. Parents, teachers and students can all work together to create fundraising ideas.  
Here are a few helpful fundraising ideas to try out in your school:
  • The students can organize a bake sale for faculty and staff. It’s more than the experience of fundraising. The students are engaging in a cooperative learning environment, handling a budget and public relations. 
  • Students can also host a car wash. Posting fliers around town will help ensure community involvement.
  • Host a function at your school or community center such as a carnival or family fun night. Students can sell tickets at school as well as to the community members. Students can donate goods to be served at the event.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

FCCLA Fundraising Ideas and Resources

FCCLA offers many options for fundraising ideas and professional development.  Currently, National FCCLA is accepting fundraising ideas on the national website.  Visit the website for free ideas and to share your fundraiser!  

Also, in February, National FCCLA hosted a webinar on Fundraising for Advisers.  Click here to view it free.  The next free adviser webinar is on May 4th at 3 pm on Technology - registration is still open!  

Finally, check out our publication The Handbook to Ultimate Leadership which offers many resources an adviser needs to be successful in FCCLA.  There is a whole chapter on Fundraising and additional resources on the cd that is included in the book.  Visit the FCCLA store to purchase!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Adviser Academy: Accepting Application for 2011-2012

FCCLA is proud to offer the Adviser Academy—a five track certificate program open to any adviser with fewer than five years of experience including recent university graduates. Adviser Academy is divided
into five tracks to be completed in a one- or two- year cycle. Participants are eligible for postbaccalaureate credits through Northwest Missouri State University. Graduates from Adviser Academy are recognized at the National Leadership Conference during the Adviser Recognition Session and will receive an FCCLA certificate of completion.  Please visit for more infomation or download the application.  Applications for the 2011-2012 class are due by May 1.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring into Fundraising!

Contributed by Cathe Felz, National Consultant Team, Montana

Fundraising seems to be an important topic for FCCLA advisers all year round but by spring our energy level for fundraising may be waning a bit.  The question on all our minds is: how do I keep my enthusiasm and hold the interest of my students?   

Many chapters are raising money to attend the national leadership conference.  If your chapter raises their own funds for students to attend national conference this may be a daunting task after a year of hard work and competitions. Those attending may be very motivated to raise money because of the opportunity to attend NLC. Community backing is one of the most important things you can get when doing a big Fundraising push. Be sure to inform your community of the great leadership opportunities students will have while attending the national leadership conference and the benefits the community will see.  One way to let the community know what the chapter has accomplished is to showcase the students and their projects a community event, set up displays in local business, or write an article for the local paper, contact local media outlets such as radio and television about successful projects. When preparing for a fundraiser put student projects on display. If you school has a spring election set up a display of student projects and sell pie and coffee.

THINK SPRING! Everyone loves to get out and be active after a long (and sometimes cold) winter trapped in doors. Host a community carnival, a picnic in the park or family water games. Spring is also the season for proms and school formals. Many students like to class up their rides for the night with a limo. Ask a local car dealership to donate a car and driver for a raffle for the ultimate prom date include dinner for two, a photo shoot, and flowers. Sell tickets to students for the ultimate worry free prom date.

As the weather warms, snow melts, roads become muddy and cars become dirty. Use this as an opportunity to raise some money and get the word out about FCCLA by hosting a car wash.  Be sure members have lots of sun screen, snacks, and water.

 For those of us in the north getting out helps relieve cabin fever, sponsor a golf or Frisbee golf tournament at a local course or park. If you are still waiting for the weather to clear how about an indoor event such as dodge ball, volleyball, or basket tournament and don’t forget there is always donkey basketball complete with thrills and spills. Be sure to provide concessions!

It seems facebook is everywhere people are taking about what they posted on facebook. Use this media to invite friends and community members to your event using social media. It is surprising how many people are connected these days and the goal of any fundraiser is to draw a crowd and make a profit.

Happy money making!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Adviser Academy: A Graduate's Perspective

Contributed by Jenny Demczyk, Adviser, Ohio

My experience in the FCCLA Adviser Academy was a rewarding one. Not only did I network and make friends with many advisers from across the country (many of which I see at national FCCLA events), but I also learned many skills to help my FCCLA chapter succeed at school and in the community.  By completing the activities in the program, I was challenged to put into action my job and responsibilities as an adviser for my students. Actually building a program of work, filling out a national award application, and working with the other adviser academy candidate from my state helped me to become a more well-rounded adviser and teacher. 

Attending national events for the first time through adviser academy helped me to see the meaning behind the steps in the program, and helped me to get a birds eye view of the organization without the responsibility of chaperoning students. I attended my first national conference by myself for adviser academy, and fortunately had a great state adviser (Paulette Farago) that let me tag along with her and her state officers.  By looking at what the state officers accomplished at national events, I was able to see that I too, could actively pursue a job at the state level.

The year I graduated from the adviser academy, I had a student interested in running for state office, so I took the next step to support a student with this wonderful organization.  I also seen an improvement in my class numbers, FCCLA membership numbers (up 15 students in membership from the year before), and noticed that I was less stressed after acquiring the skills learned in Adviser Academy. Overall, it was a rewarding experience and really helped me to grow professionally.

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Information About FCCLA Lesson Plans

The Lesson Plans and Activities webpage is now only accessible to affiliated chapters. To obtain the login information, please email  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Other CTSO: Connecting Teachers and Students to Operate

Contributed by Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team, 

For most of us, in just a few short weeks we will be sending our students out for another summer.  Even though we’re teachers, I don’t think you can find another teacher, especially a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher who really believes they have the summer “off”.  Summer is filled with National Leadership Conference, cleaning up from this year, and preparing for another year.

Most likely, part of that preparation is getting a Program of Work started with your chapter leadership.  Now It is also the perfect time to connect with other Career and Technical Student Organizations.  We all know that FCCLA is one of the most dynamic student organizations but we also know that not every student is going to join FCCLA.  By connecting with other CTSOs we can encourage more students to get involved in larger activities, have a united front when it comes to the importance of CTE education, and get great ideas from each other.  Instead of seeing FBLA, FFA, or DECA as our enemy, we should see them as another resource to build our chapter by recruiting new members and involve our members in more activities.

Consider some of the following ideas to start you on the road to Connecting Teachers and Students to Operate:
·         Plan a back-to-school night for all CTSO members.  By diving the cost between multiple organizations you can save money and begin recruitment right there
·         Plan a “friendly” challenge during CTE week.  Challenge other CTSOs with fun games during CTE week.  For the extra creative, connect the games with something that each organization does.
·         Work together to knock a community service project out of the park.  Using the power of word-of-mouth and the power of sheer numbers can be valuable when you are trying to do a community service project.  Getting more than one organization involved during a Habitat for Humanity build or to help clean the highway can make a task more fun for students as they interact and will help you get more accomplished in less time.

Let’s team up with other CTSOs this year and get going!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Building an Advisory Board

Contributed by Lori Henry, National Executive Council Advisers, Minnesota

Advisory boards are so vital to Family and Consumer Sciences and our FCCLA chapters.  But how do you start or build a local advisory board?  
When I recruited members to serve on my local advisory board, I began with people I have connections and networks with already. The members who have served on my advisory board have been from our food service department at  my high school, local grocery manager that I do business with, parents of students in my classes, parents of FCCLA members, 1 administrator, 2 student members, county extension person, restaurant manager and community  youth service director.   I have found that a good number for an advisory board is about ten members, more than that it gets difficult to manage and may not be a productive as you need it to be.   They are asked to serve two years, except the student members, some of them have only served one year. 
When deciding how often to meet, I have found that two times a year is adequate.  Once you have your advisory board set up, connect with them and tell them why they are so important to your program.   The local advisory is important for many reasons:  
  • they help provide excellent feedback of your courses that you offer or may wish to offer 
  • they will look over curriculum and curriculum materials and provide input 
  • they provide valuable resources (material, networks and connections with other services, businesses, etc.) to enhance your program
  • they have current information in regards to the workforce and areas that relate to Family and Consumer Sciences that are helpful to share with your classes
  • they support your program and when you need a positive voice for what you have done or what you plan to do
  • they are there to support you in your efforts.   
The advisory board serves as your Family and Consumer Sciences foundation of support and your cheering partner.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Being Active in FCCLA

Contributed by Jean Clarke, National Executive Council Advisers, South Dakota

Becoming active in your state and region is one of the best personal and professional development steps an adviser—whether a “newbie” or “seasoned” adviser--can take. How do you become more involved in the organization beyond your local chapter? The first step is to find a mentor. This can be either a structured or an informal contact, but there are always advisers around that you look up to and can use role models. As a beginning teacher I admired a seasoned adviser who encouraged me to volunteer for this committee, go to that meeting, apply for this award—it seemed like she had an endless supply of activities she was sure were necessary for my professional growth and development! That encouragement and advice helped me look at the bigger picture of involvement in my state and region.

The second step to foster involvement is to set personal goals. Look at the positions and opportunities available to members at the state, region and national levels. Talk to state officer advisers and your state adviser. They all have connections and insight to help you find ways to help and become involved. Start small and choose one activity or position to get involved in or volunteer for each year. As you gain experience and confidence, you realize how you’ve grown and matured as an adviser.

One of the biggest benefits of FCCLA for advisers is the positive networking opportunities we have. Make use of those connections to search out ways to challenge yourself to become involved at all levels of our organization. It’s a great way to grow as a person and professional!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mentoring New Advisers in FCCLA

Contributed by Nicole Ruge, National Consultant Team, Georgia

What is a mentor?

If you think back to the path you have taken to get to this point with FCCLA, is there a person or a few people who were there for you along the way? A mentor is someone who is there to guide you, give advice, listen and encourage you.

As we close in on this year and look forward to next year, be on the look out for the new adviser who is in need of someone to take him/her under your wing. Perhaps you are one of those advisers who are looking for a mentor. Please contact your region, district or state advisers and, they will connect you with someone who can guide you along the way.

As an organization we need to stand together to keep FCCLA going strong! So, do you have what it takes?

House Passes H.R. 1, Action Shifts to Senate

On February 19, the House passed its FY 2011 appropriations bill, H.R. 1, by a vote of 235-189. The bill cuts the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act by $102.9 million by completely eliminating the Tech Prep program, and makes deep cuts to other education and workforce development programs as well. However, there is still hope for stopping these cuts!

The Senate is expected to begin working on the bill this week, and Senate leaders are in the process of developing their own funding proposal for the rest of the fiscal year. While the Senate proposal will contain spending cuts, the cuts will likely not be as deep as those proposed by the House in H.R. 1. Negotiations will then be required to work out differences between the House and Senate FY 2011 funding bills. Continued advocacy is needed to ensure the Senate bill does not include a cut to Perkins.
The debate around the short-term extension has the potential to cloud work on a year-long bill, but we must remain vigilant on the broader legislation. It is crucial that you continue to fight for a restoration of funds to Perkins! Although the process has moved to the Senate, the House will still be involved because both chambers have to agree on the final bill.  Please continue to contact your congressman.  Visit for more information about what you can do and encourage others to join your advocacy efforts!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More on Service Learning

Contributed by Nicole Ruge, National Consultant Team, Georgia

Service learning often gets confused with community service so let’s define it further. Service Learning is a multi-step process; students will have the opportunities to engage in problem-solving while they are gaining knowledge of a specific topic related to their service learning project and the challenges that the community face.

Service Learning should be cooperative not competitive. We, as teachers, should promote the use of their teamwork and citizenship skills. The students will have more immediate results which will promote deeper learning. There will be no “right” answers and everyone will feel success from this type of project.

Furthermore, service learning is a way for students to take the knowledge they learn from the textbook and apply it to the needs of the community. Service learning is a great way to build bridges between students and their local community.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Service Learning or Community Service: What is the difference?

Contributed by Brenda Wuebker, National Consultant Team, Ohio

Service Learning and Community Service are very important to our communities but what is the difference?

Community service is typically a service project that is completed one time.  It usually doesn’t involve learning objectives.  On the other hand, Service Learning is a culminating project.  The project lasts for at least 1 full semester or even an entire school year.  It has specific learning objects and usually involves core academic learning.  In addition, it requires the student to reflect throughout the project so continuous learning evolves. 
Service Learning has become part of today’s education because of its comprehensive learning.  In order for it to be true Service Learning it must contain the following stages:

1. Investigation
2. Preparation and Planning
3. Action
4. Reflection
5. Demonstration/Celebration

Not only are these projects important to our communities they are important to our students.  Students want to address and solve real life problems involving our communities but too often they lack the opportunities to participate.  As Family and Consumer Science teachers and FCCLA advisers we can provide those opportunities for our students through service learning by participating in FCCLA National Programs.  Together we can make a difference.

Legislative Alert! House Slashes CTE Funding

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee released an appropriations bill, H.R. 1., for the 2011 fiscal year.  The legislation completely eliminates funding for the Perkins Tech Prep program for the 2011-2012 school year, an 8 percent reduction in overall Perkins funds, and makes drastic cuts across other education and workforce development programs. This bill is separate from the president's budget proposal, released today for the following year, FY 2012, which suggests even deeper cuts to Perkins.

This cut will be felt in all states, regardless of whether your state has consolidated Tech Prep funding with Basic State Grants. In short, this bill slashes funding across many education and labor programs and poses the most serious threat to our funding in years! It is extremely important that you notify as many advocates as possible - FCCLA members and advisers, ACTE members, CTSO advisers, business leaders and anyone else who will contact their Member of Congress to oppose this bill. In addition to the elimination of Tech Prep and the other cuts included in the legislation, we expect an open rule on the House floor as the bill is debated. This means that other amendments are expected to be offered with additional cuts to non-defense discretionary programs. Basic State grants, labor programs and any other discretionary program used by CTE are at risk. 

Act now and call your legislator! Visit for more information, and resources.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Celebrate FCCLA Week!

Contributed by Jessica Marlow, National Consultant Team, Oklahoma

February 7th-13th, 2011 is National FCCLA Week. National FCCLA Week gives each chapter an opportunity to showcase their organization to their school and community. Use this as a time to show off projects your students have been working on and to show the community what you’re all about!  It is your time to shine!

There are many things that your chapter can do to celebrate National FCCLA Week.
  • Create a Theme for the Week or use the National Theme “To Be Continued…”
  • Have a small activity planned for each day for the members to participate in.
    • Community Service Project After School
    • Donuts and Juice with Teachers
    • Wear your FCCLA T-shirt Day
    • Pizza for lunch for all members
  • Utilize the Proclamation from the National FCCLA Website and have your Mayor or Elected Official proclaim National FCCLA Week in your town.
  • Make Bulletin Boards to highlight your members.
  • Have members set up an information booth during lunch to give students more information about your organization.
  • Get your local newspaper involved to highlight all of your activities.
The activities do not have to be extravagant or cost a lot of money. This is a special week to celebrate your members and their accomplishments and to show everyone how great FCCLA is in your school and community!

After FCCLA week is over, don’t forget to share your pictures and activities with Teen Times,

Have fun celebrating with your members and HAPPY FCCLA WEEK!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Working with Community Leaders

By:  Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team

Many times, community leaders are the forgotten component of the stakeholders of our organization and classroom.  However, when thinking about the needs of our chapters, community members can be a valuable asset for both ideas and finances.  Many times our community and business leaders will be willing to help the school but are unsure of how to do so.  Here are a few ideas on how to connect with and approach community members.
  • Know what you want.  If you have an end goal in mind, it will be more clear to community leaders how they can help.  It also makes your chapter look more organized and responsible.
  • Make it applicable.  After you know what you want, connect those needs to specific community leaders.  By making it applicable to a specific group they would be more willing to assist.  For example, if you have a student completing an Entrepreneurship STAR Event, connect them with your local Chamber of Commerce.  Since the entire purpose of a Chamber of Commerce is to support local business and community growth, assisting a youth with business development skills only makes sense for them.
  • Invite them to be on your Advisory Board.  Rather than just asking every time you need money, get community members involved with sharing ideas.  If the leaders of your community can contribute ideas to your chapter and department you can have a better, more complete, picture of what you and your students need.  And, you never know what resources they may have as well.  For example, banks get rid of old computers relatively often.  For the price of a new hard drive or memory chip, you can get a gently used system for a fraction of the cost.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Learning by Heart...

by Lori Henry, National Executive Council Adviser, Minnesota
         This is the time of year when all of “us” (FCCLA Advisers) are really busy, maybe just a little stressed, and trying to find some “free” time for ourselves.  Amidst all the things going on in our home and school lives, we need to take time to reflect.  As we look back it’s probably easy to pick out the people who have made a positive impact on our lives and the lives of others, just like our FCCLA members.  
It always amazes me the growth I see in my FCCLA members.   It’s such a great feeling to see this shy, timid member, come up and tell you that their STAR event is going well, they are going to run for office or they can’t wait to go and help out in the community.   What has made this member come out of their shell?  It’s you, the local FCCLA adviser!   You’ve taken the extra time to help someone after school.  You’ve helped be there just to listen when something isn’t going to well.  Your few kind words make a big difference to so many members.  
As you take time to reflect, also think about your past members and where they are today.   I have a former student that took all my foods classes, was a region and state FCCLA officer and now is in her second year at the Culinary Arts Institute in Hyde Park, New York.  Every time she writes me or sees me she always tells me of how FCCLA has helped her in so many aspects of her life.  She tells me that if I hadn’t encouraged her to join FCCLA she wouldn’t have had so many wonderful experiences.  I know all of you have similar stories to share. Take this unique opportunity and post your stories.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recognition: It isn’t just an Award Ceremony Thing

By:  Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team

If you’re like most teachers you can’t believe that we’re already underway with the second half of the year.  Before you know it, the end of the year will be creeping up and many of you will be planning end of the year recognition ceremonies and events.

While these events are great, we need to take time out to recognize those that help our organization throughout the year.  Parents, administrators, faculty, staff, and members all play a vital role in the success of the organization and should be recognized more than just once.  Here are a few ideas for recognizing individuals throughout the year:
1     Piggy-back on important holidays to show appreciation to staff, faculty, and administration by offering goodie bags put together by your members.  Or even, go simpler and celebrate the first day back from a snow-day with hot chocolate mixes and a note that says “FCCLA hopes you stay warm today!  Thanks for always being there for your students”
2    Writing a thank-you note to the parents who help your students is always valuable but what about writing a thank you note to their boss?  Consider writing a note thanking their employer for allowing them to take time off and to help with FCCLA activities.  Be sure to let them know what FCCLA does and how that individual makes the organization possible with their contributions.  Chances are your parent will not only be recognized but will appreciate the extra mile you went in recognizing them.
3     All across America, seniors will be graduating soon and the yearbook of another year will be ending.  One of those common rites of passage is the voting of “Most Likely To.”  Now while these awards are often for fun, they still have a way to recognize many different individuals with different talents and futures.  We all know what every member is valuable so why not make them feel that way.  Have some fun awards for your members as well.  Examples could include, “Best Packer,” “Most Energetic,” “Most Likely to Return as an Excellent Member,” or “Best Professional Dress.”  Keep it light and fun but include EVERY member.

Hopefully, you've gotten a few more ideas on how you can recognize these vital components of your chapters.  Best wishes and don't wait too long - we will be ushering in summer vacation in the blink of an eye.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Looking for a Name

Please read a special post from FCCLA Executive Director Michael Benjamin.

Welcome to 2011 and Happy New Year to all!  So what’s new on the education front for 2011?  From a legislative perspective, it appears that the Obama Administration will be moving to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or as we have known it since 2002 as the No Child Left Behind Act.  According to The Washington Post, both the Administration and the Congress is ready to deal with reauthorization.  One of the problems at this point in the process according to the Post and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan “no one has come up with a better idea than the formal name since 1965: the Elementary and Secondary Education Act” other than the No Child Left Behind and few like that name.  So Secretary Duncan is asking for “suggestions. We’re wide open.”

On behalf of FCCLA, I would like to present suggested names to the Secretary for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  So please send me your suggestions and I’ll forward them to the Secretary.  I will need your ideas by Monday, January 31, 2011.  My email is  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Recruiting New (and Keeping) Members

Today's entry is from Alana Bergeleen, National Executive Council Adviser, South Dakota.

We work so hard to “get” new members in our chapters, but it is often important for us to stop and think of new ways to retain the members that we already have. This is my fourth year advising the Highmore FCCLA Chapter. I started with approximately 40 members and this year we are up to about 72 (give or take a few seniors who can’t seem to make up their minds. ;)

I stopped to think about what it is that we do that seems to be working to keep the membership up. I believe that for anything, (school, work, sports,) there must be a certain level of FUN. We try to incorporate fun through the activities in which we participate. For example, the kids have a blast planning our Halloween Carnival/Haunted House and Trick or Treating for a Cause (local food Pantry). It gives them the opportunity to have fun with their friends while at the same time doing something that makes them feel good about themselves. I continuously look for ways to involve and recognize current members. We have a welcome party for all new junior high members, make locker signs for all members with their names on them, we have a member of the month, and I make it a priority to put our accomplishments in the paper.

It is so great that FCCLA allows the opportunity to recognize those students who don’t always make the paper for their athletic or academic abilities. I have also found that being a member of FCCLA has a trickle effect. Usually if you can get one member of a “clique” interested, you can get the rest of them. Furthermore, I have to admit that I feel there is no shame in bribery. Bribing the students with the great experience of attending a district, state, or national meeting in order for them to get their STAR Event completed well and on time is sometimes just what it takes

Finally, YOU are one of the best ways to retain members in your chapter. Students will know by all of the hours that you put in how much you care and they will want to give back. Good luck retaining those members and go FCCLA!

Below are three ideas from Nicole Perez, National Executive Council Adviser, New Jersey

1.  Ice cream social
Chapter officers provide icebreaker activities for members to mingle and become friendly with others.  Officers set up an ice cream bar for students.  Icebreaker activities can include finding a partner with the same birth month and then sharing 2 interesting facts.  Officers should discuss FCCLA’s purpose, upcoming activities and ways to be active in the organization. 

2.  Recognize outstanding efforts
Recognize current members for outstanding efforts such as volunteering for chair and leading a committee.  At a chapter meeting provide the outstanding member with a certificate, post name and picture (if allowed) on the chapter website or provide member with an FCCLA give-a-way such as a travel mug or tee shirt.  Have the chapter president explain to the chapter why this member received an “Outstanding Efforts Award”. 

3.  Hold a summer get together
If someone is willing to host, holding a summer get together for either the officer team or active members is a great way for the students to make better connections with each other.  Each student can bring something to contribute to the gathering or they can bring a canned food item, which can be donated to a local food pantry.  At the gathering students can discuss plans for the upcoming school year regarding community service, activities and fundraising.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

CTE: Making the Difference

Happy New Year! We begin 2011 with an entry from the CTE State Directors.

As we in the CTE community know, CTE is making a positive impact all across the nation. Our job is to share that important message and encourage others to join us in our mission to prepare all students for college and career. NASDCTEc recently has created a video, CTE: Making the Difference, which underscores CTE’s achievements and potential to help our nation in this global economy. 

We hope that you will:
  • Use the video in your presentations
  • Share it with your members
  • Feature it on your website 
We truly feel that this is a tool that everyone in the CTE community could find use to share the great happenings about CTE. Attached is a brief video fact sheet, which includes references for the facts featured in the video.

Check out the video and great resources at now!

The CTE Video: Get the Word Out!
Whatever outlet you use, tell people why they should watch this video. Also, let them know that not only is there a video, there are also important fact sheets and issue briefs exploring the principles of the vision for CTE on our website.
  • Share the video during your presentations by using it as an introductory piece. It’s a great way to kick off discussions.
  • Post a link or embed the video on your home page.
  • Do you have a blog? Write a post about the video, or a topic in the video and link to it.
  • You have e-mail. E-mail the link to the video to your colleagues and friends. 
  • Do you have/are you part of a listserv? Send an e-mail out about the video and include the link. 
  • Use your voice. Tell people about the video. It’s easy to visit
  • Do you have Facebook? Say something about the video and post the link as your status and post the link on your profile. 
  • Do you have Twitter? Tweet: Check out the CTE video:
Download the video and a Vision Toolkit created for the CTE community at

Questions, comments, suggestions? Please contact Erin Uy, NASDCTEc Communications & Marketing Manager, at or 301-588-9630.