Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Holidays from FCCLA

As 2012 draws to a close, I would like to thank you for your support of and loyalty to FCCLA. It has been a busy year for the national organization but we could not have had the successes that we've had without your support. On behalf of the FCCLA Board of Directors, the National Executive Council and the FCCLA staff, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a very happy and blessed New Year.  

Michael Benjamin, National Executive Director

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Digital Stories for Change

FCCLA advisers, we need YOU! Thanks to our partnership with All State Foundation, your digital story about youth traffic safety could earn you money!  All you have to do is enter the Digital Stories for Change STAR Event and you could be the winner!

We are able to provide the following awards to Level I and Level II entries:

Level I –the top 20 entries in each category (Junior, Senior, and Occupational) will each receive a $100 incentive award.

Level II – the top 3 entries in each category (Junior, Senior and Occupational) will receive the following awards – 

1st place, $1,500; 2nd place, $1,000; and 3rd place, $750. 

Participants can make a positive difference in their communities and help save lives with the theme of the Digital Stories for Change competition “Youth Traffic Safety.”  Download the event rules today at  Entries are due online by February 1, 2012.  

Will you help us make this partnership successful???

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Adult Award Application Reminder

The deadline for some Adult Award applications is quickly approaching. Nominate deserving individuals for the Alumni Achievement Award, Honorary Membership Award, and Distinguished Service Award by December 15. Make sure to follow all instructions carefully and include all letters of recommendation and verifications needed. Don't miss out on this opportunity to recognize dedicated FCCLA supporters, alumni, and partners.

The Alumni Achievement Award recognizes former members who have distinguished themselves in a chosen field of endeavor, whether as a paid professional or volunteer. 

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding contributions and continuing service by individuals whose primary responsibilities are directly related to the organization's programs. Examples of those eligible for the Distinguished Service Award are local and state advisers, city and state supervisors of Family and Consumer Sciences, and teacher educators.

The Honorary Membership Award recognizes persons whose professional responsibilities are not directly related to the organization but who have made outstanding contributions and provide continuing service to the national organization.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cluster Meeting in Review

By Michael L. Benjamin, National Executive Director

On behalf of the FCCLA staff, I appreciate and thank you for your support as we celebrate the beauty of this season and transition from the National Cluster Meetings (NCM) to preparation for our 2013 National Leadership Conference in Nashville. Speaking of the Cluster Meetings, here’s a brief update and I thank all four thousand nine hundred total students who participated at the 2012 National Cluster Meetings: 357 in Reno, 1,895 in Indianapolis and 2,648 in Oklahoma City.

With respect to the Skill Demonstration Events held during the Clusters, students from Colorado, Nevada, Indiana and Oklahoma placed first in Culinary Chicken Fabrication; Nevada, Wisconsin, Ohio and Missouri placed first in Culinary Food Art; Nevada, Ohio and Oklahoma placed first in Culinary Knife Skills; New Jersey, Ohio and Kansas placed first in FCCLA Creed Speaking & Interpretation; Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, placed first in Impromptu Speaking; Washington, Nevada, Ohio, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas placed first in Toys that Teach. Congratulations to all who competed and for a complete list of competitors, go the FCCLA Website.

Regarding the Family and Consumer Sciences Knowledge Bowl, fifteen chapters representing 11 states made it to the National Leadership Conference (Level 3) qualifiers: Idaho, Indiana (2), Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio (2), Oklahoma (3), Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.  Congratulations to these teams and we look forward to the competition in July.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Making Your Mark at the National Cluster Leadership Meetin

This last weekend wrapped up the National Cluster Meetings held in Reno, Indianapolis, and Oklahoma City.  Hopefully your chapter was able to attend one of these fantastic meetings.  So now that you have attended, what do you do with the information?  You can kick off a membership drive using those ideas from the Membership Recruitment workshop.  How about those leadership games to revitalize your students for mid-semester blues or to develop some great communication skills?  Of course, STAR Event competitions are just around the corner and you can incorporate some of those projects in your classroom activities.  But, advisers were not the only ones who made their mark.  The Skill Demonstrations competitors showcased their expertise in Culinary Arts, Impromptu Speaking and the new event, Toys that Teach.  Members learned how to develop a sense of humor and appreciate themselves and others and decrease bullying in their communities.  In addition, students and advisers experienced many networking opportunities, made connections with others and gained more new ideas.  So, take those notes, start thinking outside the box, and integrate those ideas in your daily practices.  Have a great holiday and don’t forget to be thankful!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

10 Tips for National Cluster Meetings

Are you attending a National Cluster Meeting in Indianapolis or Oklahoma City this weekend? Make sure to check out the last minute updates and tips before you make the journey with your FCCLA members!

  1. Download the FCCLA App.  Don't miss out on the schedules, updates, and other great features to make you and your students’ lives easier.
  2. Check out the dress code for all conference sessions.  Make sure students, chaperones, and advisers have packed the necessary clothing and will be dressed appropriately.
  3. Bring all receipts and confirmations for hotels and conference registrations.  It is always best to be prepared.
  4. Do not lose your name tag or FCCLA program while at the National Cluster Meeting.  There is a fee to replace both.
  5. Get some sleep.  The weekend will be full of activities and your students will be excited to be there.  Get some sleep now!
  6. Share your experience.  Encourage your students to share their National Cluster Meeting fun on Twitter and Facebook.  You can share too if you are social media savvy!
  7. Visit the exhibits at your National Cluster Meeting site.  Don’t miss out on the FCCLA Store and other great exhibitors.
  8. Keep a positive FCCLA image.  Remember that you and your students are representing the organization everywhere you go, so be on your best behavior.
  9. Make new friends and connections by checking out the Adviser Networking and Youth Networking sessions.
  10. Make Your Mark by attending as many workshops and sessions as you can.  This is a unique opportunity to learn and grow as an adviser and many of your students will never be a part of something like this again.  Take advantage of the experience!

Enjoy the National Cluster Meetings whether you are in Indianapolis or Oklahoma City.  Travel safely, enjoy your students, and Make Your Mark!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

On the Road with FCCLA

Traveling with students can be a great opportunity to get to know students on a new level. With Cluster meetings right around the corner, many students and advisers are getting ready for their first overnight trip together. For some students this may be their first trip without mom and dad. Traveling with a group is very different than traveling with a family. The rules and expectations are different, it is important to have activities planned ahead, share the schedule with everyone and discuss school policies before leaving on the trip.

For advisers, taking students on overnight trips is an enormous responsibility. The behavior of students reflects on the organization, state association, school and community. Meeting with students and their parents prior to leaving for an overnight trip is an important first step for preparing students for the opportunity and to insure that everyone has the same expectations.

Many states require a code of conduct be signed by members; schools require paperwork as well.. Other forms may include medical releases, school contracts and contact information.  Make copies of these items and carry them with you. Discussing what the code of conduct means and school policies with students and their parents will also ensure that students understand what each item means. Making sure students know the consequences of poor behavior prior to the trip may help discourage poor behavior.

An established schedule is also an important component of preparing everyone for the experience. A schedule of conference events, dress code and activities will help everyone enjoy their trip more. It is also discouraging to wait for people who can’t remember what time the bus is leaving, what they are supposed to wear, where they are going or what they will be doing once they get there.

Having extra adults help chaperone can be a blessing or a nightmare.  A chaperone should be someone who knows and has worked with the students prior to leaving on the trip. Teens love to be active and experience everything on their trip; chaperones need to be able to keep up with the young people and not complain or hold them back.

Having traveled with students to several conferences, the best advice is be proactive, get organized, get their digits and learn to text, learn to like their music, help them plan activities to keep them busy and take a nap before you leave. And if you are traveling by bus, don’t always ride in the front of the bus, move around, visit with student and provide them a treat bag!

What are some tips you have discovered when traveling with students?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

FCCLA Free Publication

National FCCLA is offering one FCCLA publication, FREE OF CHARGE, for all chapters that affiliate before November 1, 2012. To receive the incentive, advisers must be affiliated before November 1 and MUST fill out the Incentive Request Form upon affiliating online. Advisers must indicate their preferred publication by marking their highest preference with 1 followed by their remaining choices. (PLEASE NOTE: that the number of publications is limited and availability is based on first- come first-serve basis).

Additionally, be sure to affiliate early to start receiving issues of Teen Times and The Adviser.  Do not miss out on the opportunity to provide all  that FCCLA membership offers to your students and to you, as the adviser.  For more information about the FCCLA affiliation process, please visit the Join FCCLA page on our national website.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Creative Chapter Meetings

By Kristi Christy and Beth Goforth, National Executive Council Advisers

No one wants to go to a boring meeting and just sit and listen.  No matter when your chapter may meet, before school, after school, or during school, if you want members to be excited to come to chapter meetings, you have to make the meetings fun!  How do you add excitement? Here are eight things you can do. 
  1. Have music playing as students enter the room or the area where the meeting will be held. 
  2. Have food.  Teens love to eat! 
  3. Be prepared! Have an agenda and make sure the officers know what they are responsible for speaking about. 
  4. Don’t be afraid to use technology!  Instead of just having someone talk about an upcoming event, use QRvoice to make multiple QR codes that gives the same information.  Post the QR codes and have the members go on a scavenger hunt to scan each QR code and learn about the upcoming event. You can also have officers make a cheesy video with a flip camera or use the Puppet Pals App to create a funny animated video about an upcoming event that will tell members the information they need to know. 
  5. Have team-building activities or ice breakers so members can get to know each other and work as a team. 
  6. Always let the members vote on something.  Voting lets the members feel that they have a say in chapter activities and feel part of the group. It does not matter if they are voting to do a particular community service project or just voting on the color of a shirt; just give them something to vote on! 
  7. Give out a couple of door prizes at each meeting.  
  8. You and your officers should have a positive attitude about the meeting. You can’t expect your members to want to be at the meeting if you and your officers don’t want to be there.
Also, before school started this year, the FCCLA officers had a planning meeting to develop an annual Program of Work.  In this planning session, officers pick a different FCCLA National Program that relates well to the curriculum for each of the classes being taught.  In the first six weeks, each class uses the FCCLA Planning Process to develop a plan for the chosen project.  Each class then takes the lead to oversee the whole chapter in carrying out the project. All the national posters hang in the FACS room in order to keep each program visible. This also helps to visually keep track of progress. Many great projects help students gain leadership skills by completing these projects.

What are some chapter meeting ideas that have worked well for your organization?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Attending a National Cluster Meeting?

Are you planning to attend one of the 2012 FCCLA National Cluster Meetings?  Then we need YOU!  FCCLA is looking for enthusiastic and energetic chapter advisers, state advisers, alumni, and members to present Adviser Networking Round Tables.  The 15-minute round table presentation topics might include FCCLA Integration, Membership and Recruitment, New Adviser Resources, or STAR Event Hints.  

Advisers can use this opportunity to present chapter ideas or projects that have proven successful.  This is also a great time to utilize student leaders within your FCCLA chapter that may have some ownership of a project or are just really great public speakers.  You know, as an adviser, that learning from each other is one of the best ways to benefit your local chapter and implement new and different ideas.

Please keep in mind that advisers have requested this opportunity in the past, and National FCCLA needs your help to make this idea a reality.  Without presentations and support from chapter advisers, this incredible networking experience will not be possible.

Chapter advisers, state advisers, members, and alumni interested in presenting a round table should complete the proposal form by October 19, 2012.  Don't miss out on this opportunity to showcase what your state or chapter does best!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Integrating Competitive Events

How does an adviser balance it all; developing lesson plans, teaching, grading, advising FCCLA members and coaching competitive events?  There seems to be too many things to complete in a 24 hour day, much less have a family and/or personal life.  So, what if there was a way to accomplish more and still maintain balance?   Balance can be achieved by integrating competitive events in the classroom.  So, where do we begin?

The first step that an adviser needs to look at is which events match up with the course standards.  Every course has certain requirements that need to be met, whether these are state requirements or the national standards.  When these standards are studied, it is clear that they match up with the objectives of different competitive events, whether these are STAR Events, Online Events, Skills Demonstrations or even the FACS Knowledge Bowl.  Some examples of these are: 

  • The STAR Event Nutrition and Wellness can be matched up with the national standard:  demonstrate nutrition & wellness practices that enhance individual & family well being.
  • The FCS Knowledge Bowl can be matched up with several national standards, like evaluate management practices related to the human, economic, & environmental resources. 
Once you match up your standards to the events, you can look at how to integrate these into your curriculum.  Most of the FACS classes are project based classes.  As a FACS teacher, I require all my students to complete a STAR Event project for every class.  Although not every student will be competing with it, the students learn time management, organization & planning skills, communication and presentation skills.  In addition, the grading for the projects has already been set up with the rubrics that are provided in the guidebook.  I even invite parents and community members to come in and listen to the presentations.  This is a great marketing tool that not only promotes the FACS Department, but also the students and school. 

The FACS Knowledge Bowl is a great way to recruit members to join FCCLA.  You can set it up where different classes compete against each other to win an ultimate prize, like a special field trip, class party, gifts cards, and/or attending the National Leadership Conference.  The winning team could attend the National Cluster Meeting, representing their school, to compete for eligibility to move on to competition at the National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. 

As a FACS teacher, I am required to teach the National and State Standards for all of my classes.  I can spend hours planning the activities to meet these standards or I can utilize the resources provided by FCCLA Competitive Events, which will provide my students better opportunities and training than I can create myself.  Integrating Competitive Events in the classroom was one of the best suggestions that has made my job easier and more fulfilling.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spotlight on Washington DC and Beyond

By Michael Benjamin, Executive Director

On the eighth and final day of his Education Drives America back-to-school tour, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan held a rally in Washington, DC where he talked about meeting thousands of students, parents, teachers and getting new ideas about what was working and what things weren’t working.  For more information, go to .

At the same time, the United States Congress recessed, left Washington, DC and its members are now back home focusing on the upcoming elections. Thus this is an ideal time for each of you to meet with your Members of Congress and voice your concerns about Perkins funding and to let them know about the good work that you and your students are doing with the assistance of Perkins funding. Significantly, the September /October issue of Teen Time provides detailed information about steps you and your student members can take to show your support for continued funding of Perkins at very high decision-making levels.  For additional information, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) has considerable and meaningful information that will be helpful as well:  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Competitive Events Webinar

Interested in knowing more about the changes to the 2012-2013 Competitive Events Guide? Have a question of Skill Demonstration Events, Knowledge Bowl, or STAR Events that you would like answered? Join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, October 10, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Register at

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Promoting FCCLA to Government Officials

By:  Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team

In case you hadn’t heard right now we are in the home stretches of an election year.  While you may be tired of the constant string of political commercials and signs in your neighbor’s yards, this year, more than most, provides a great opportunity to market FCCLA. The chance to meet and/or speak with a receptive political incumbent or candidate is better now than at any other time.

So here are a few things to keep in mind as you communicate with government officials:
  • Keep it succinct! (In the fashion of this point, this is really all I have to say)
  • Let your students and their stories do the talking.  You do what you do for the kids, so let your elected official see that as well.
  • Know your officials.  Make sure that you research your official and their voting record as well as outside interests.  These can make starting a conversation much easier and you may find out some surprising facts about your official.  Always remember they are YOUR official, so you want to know as much as you can about them as well.
  • Think ahead about what you are going to say.  In the same way we tell students to prepare for a job interview, think about the questions your official may ask and prepare answers in advance.
  • Keep in contact.  Don’t be afraid to communicate often with your officials through email, phone calls, or mail, depending on the method of communication they prefer.  With each opportunity you have to talk to them you are able to share a little bit more about your passion and why your official should care about it as well.  Take a chance to follow them on social networking sites when available as it is a way to get up-to-the-minute information about your official and their work.  Finally, never miss a chance to send a thank-you note.
  •  Invite them in.  Officials enjoy coming to schools for many reasons so why not make it your classroom that they visit?  Invite them for a day in your classroom or for an FCCLA event.  It’s a great way to showcase your students as well as your official to spend time getting to see what’s important to you.

So enjoy this election year and use it as a chance to promote a positive image of what FCCLA is all about.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

FCCLA Needs You!

FCCLA needs you!  AT&T and National FCCLA have partnered in their efforts to end texting and driving with the “It Can Wait” campaign and No Text on Board Pledge day on September 19, 2012.  Your support is needed to continue the partnership and we cannot make this campaign successful without the efforts of all FCCLA chapters across the nation.  So far, FCCLA has reached over 200,000 people with our “It Can Wait” youth panel and social media efforts. 

National FCCLA wants to know what the members have planned for the No Text on Board Pledge Day.  Please submit all project and activity ideas to for a chance to be part of the FCCLA in Action portion of the November/December Teen Times.  Also, you can click here for more information about the “It Can Wait” campaign and to find great resources for your chapter and state.  Encourage your FCCLA members to sign the pledge because no text is worth losing a loved one.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

FCCLA Elevator Speech

By: Donna Corder, National Consultant Team

“What is FCCLA?”

FCCLA stands for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.  We are the only student organization that has the family as its central focus.  We not only teach students how to strengthen the family, but also teach them how to serve and improve their communities and develop career and leadership skills.  FCCLA has over 200,000 members, across the nation, serving and learning how to develop our nation into a better place to live.  FCCLA is the Ultimate Leadership Experience.

Teaching students how to explain what FCCLA is in 30 seconds like this description is a skill that needs to be practiced.  This is referred to as the “Elevator” Speech because you often see people in elevators and have a short amount of time before they reach their floor to describe all the awesome aspects of our organization.

The first time I heard about the elevator speech, I questioned how we would train students to be eloquent, while accurate in a short amount of time? After approximately 6 years, I can honestly say that the elevator speech is one of our most valuable public relations tools.  I have lost count of how many times I have heard officers give this speech to people, not only in elevators, but in airports, amusement parks, and school events.  The results:  AMAZEMENT!!!  People are truly impressed that HIGH SCHOOL students are able to explain their organization in a professional and accurate manner. 

So, how do you teach a student to create an elevator speech? 
  1. Have the students write down what FCCLA is.  They will definitely need to explain what the letters stand for, but they can also incorporate some of the mission, purposes and other facts.
  2. Next, have them write down what they personally enjoy about FCCLA.  This is a brainstorming session, where they write down ALL their ideas. 
  3. Lastly, have them think about what impressed their parents/grandparents about FCCLA. 

Require that the students write out their speech, word for word, at this point.  Give them some time to practice their speech on their own, and then have them role play with each other.  Bring in adult guests: parents, administrators, other teachers, alumni, to help them.  Students are often nervous to speak to adults and the only way to overcome that fear is to have them practice in a safe environment. 

The “Elevator” Speech is one of the most valuable tools we can use to showcase our most impressive asset:  our members.  When students talk, adults listen, especially when the students speak professionally.  Teach your students how to develop an elevator speech, and you give them a skill they will use for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

FCCLA Advocacy in the Classroom and Community

By: Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team

Advocacy is, simply put, support for a specific cause or policy.  When thinking about what is worth advocating for, everyone has different opinions, but if you’re reading this blog then you and I share something.  We both agree that FCCLA is worth advocating for.  You may be wondering where to begin so here are some things that might help you begin your advocacy efforts.

First, find out why students are taking your class and what they learn.  It’s a great idea at the beginning and end of a class to survey students about these topics.  The words of your students are the most valuable component.

Second, use FCCLA materials in the classroom.  Students want and need to find a practical tie between what they learn in the classroom and their real life.  FCCLA provides that tie through its programs, competitions, and leadership development opportunities.  This will help educate your students about FCCLA as well and provide them with the basis of what may become an extremely valuable FCCLA experience for your student.

Third, expand your students’ leadership potential by encouraging them to advocate for their interests, including FCCLA.  For example, through the FCCLA Power of One unit, Speak out for FCCLA, students could address an issue related to FCCLA and advocate for that issue in the school and community.

Finally, to enhance your FCCLA advocacy efforts, look for new opportunities for you and your students to talk about FCCLA.  Consider speaking at the Chamber of Commerce about the future leaders that FCCLA develops, or visit the Lion’s Club to feature some young community service volunteers.  These can provide great opportunities to expand your students’ speaking skills as well as advocate for FCCLA in a smaller setting.

Always remember that there are very few ineffective ways to advocate for FCCLA.  The only sure way of failing is never trying!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Making the Academic and Membership Case for FCCLA!

By Michael L. Benjamin, M.P.H., CAE, Executive Director 

As students move through their academic career, many are looking for that competitive edge of not only being better leaders but at times of just being a better student.  In our most recent research of students taking Family and Consumer Sciences courses, we found that over 67% of students indicated that FCCLA and Family and Consumer Sciences have had a positive impact on their academic performances.  In fact high school seniors are more likely than students at other grade levels to report a positive effect from FCCLA on their academic performances.  So if you’re looking to expand your chapter’s membership this year, let your students know that being involved in FCCLA will give them that competitive edge!  Also, get involved with our 2012-2013 Membership Campaign.  Our national goal for 2013: 213,000 members.  For more information on the iRecruit Campaign, go to

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Social Networking Strategies

By Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team

When you hear the word “wall” do you think about part of a room or your Facebook page?  When you hear the word “tweet” do you think about an update from an organization you care about or a sound that birds make?  Whether you are a seasoned pro with everything the Internet has to offer or are just beginning to explore social networking, here are some tips to keep you productive and your audience involved in what you have to say.

First, don’t be afraid to be repetitive.  It is okay to publish something a week ahead followed with another notice a few hours beforehand.  When people see your information posted once they will think about it, but, your success rate is higher if it ends up being seen closer to the time of the event.

Second, engage your audience.  Rather than your social networking just being a place to share information, get your readers involved by asking trivia questions, offering prizes, or getting suggestions for various projects.

Finally, try sending updates during live events.  Now I’m not suggesting that you get your phone out and send updates in the middle of someone’s wedding.   However, while you’re at an FCCLA chapter meeting or completing a service project, snap a picture and upload it to your social networking site.  It’s a great chance to not only advertise your students at their best but also to catalog your chapter’s accomplishments and activities throughout the year.

For additional ideas on using social networking, check out articles online, or even better, ask your students!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How to Train Your Officers

By Cathe Felz, National Consultant Team

Successful chapters have student leaders who are capable of accepting a variety of leadership roles. The big question is how do we prepare our students for the roles of leaders in our chapters? Honestly there is not just one answer to this question and the best teachers are time and action.

Officer training begins well before elections take place. Planning activities, working on projects, or participating on national program teams afford students the opportunity to develop skills in communication, collaboration, and commitment while providing a service to their community. Leadership development during chapter activities is important to allow students to practice new skills in a safe environment.  Establishing a committee for a project consisting of older more experienced members and younger less experienced members allows older members to take on a mentor role.

Many states offer a leadership retreat for state and district officers to assist with leadership training. If your state doesn’t, consider planning your own with other chapter advisers within your district, area or region. There are countless leadership activity resources available online or from libraries. Make the retreat interactive with games and activities which get them up and moving. If you haven’t seen the show Minute to Win It, watch it, they have great activities which could be done by teams in a relay format.

If you are looking for a great way for your local officers to bond as a team, have them prepare a meal. Student officers are given a budget, they have to plan the menu, shop for supplies and actually prepare the meal together in one kitchen.  If the conversation at the meal seems strained, have a couple of table games prepared ahead of time.  For instance, have each person jot down an interesting fact about themselves that they don’t think the others know about them. Fold the slips of paper and redistribute them.  One at a time each person reads the statement and everyone tries to decide who the statement is about.

Set up a time for officers to meet outside of class to work together to manage chapter meetings, develop agendas, and discuss goals for their officer team. Provide opportunities for officers to communicate outside of established meeting times as well by providing mail boxes, exchanging phone numbers, establishing a private Facebook group or using email.

Establish clear expectations for officers at the beginning of their term of office. Provide information in whatever format works best for your team and use a combination of methods. During the early months, check with officers daily or weekly to provide assistance with managing projects and activities then as the year progresses pull back and allow them to explore their potential as leaders.

I look forward to hearing other ideas on training chapter officers.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Please Welcome to the Stage. . . .DONNA

By Allison Kreifels, National Consultant Team

Perhaps you talked with Donna Corder in the Adviser Resource Room or maybe you got some great ideas in one of her sessions.  No matter when you saw her, once you got through her thick Texas accent, you learned very quickly that Donna Corder loves FCCLA.

Donna Corder is the newest member of the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America National Consultant Team and comes from Lubbock, Texas.  Donna enters the team with a wide variety of experiences in education including teaching Kindergarten for 5 years.  However, since 2004, she has been a high school teacher and FCCLA Adviser and has “loved every minute of it.”  One might say that being in this field is in her blood as her own grandmother was a FACS teacher and FCCLA adviser. 

Donna has had some great opportunities in FCCLA but of everything FCCLA has to offer, her favorite is thing is watching the growth and development of her students.    Donna says, “I cannot even begin with the many stories of students that have had drastic life changes from being involved in FCCLA.  The opportunities that FCCLA provides separate these students from their classmates.  People ask me why I give so much to FCCLA and the answer is clear.  FCCLA changes peoples’ lives and develops strong leaders for our future.” 

In addition to everything Donna does in the classroom and chapter, she also enjoys many hobbies.  Her favorite, most relaxing hobby, is to design and sew formal dresses.    In addition to making most of her own daughters’ formals, she alters and makes formals on her own time for students as well. Donna also enjoys reading Christian fiction and self-help books as well as watching movies.

So the next time you hear someone speaking passionately about FCCLA followed by the word, “ya’ll,” look for Donna’s smiling face and make sure you have materials to take some notes, because she has lots of great ideas to share.  Welcome to the NCT, Donna Corder! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Join FCCLA!!!

With the beginning of a new school year approaching, we once again turn our focus and efforts toward membership.  FCCLA ended on a positive note with membership numbers last year as we soared past the 200,000 mark!  Final affiliation counts showed FCCLA increasing membership and we are now striving to reach even more students in the 2012-2013 school year.  

Our first effort to increase membership is the release of the new 2012-2013 Join FCCLA membership kit.  The membership kit CD is divided in five sections: New Advisers, Returning Advisers, Occupational Advisers, Youth Leaders, and Resources. On this CD, you will find many new and updated resources, including help to integrate FCCLA into the classroom, FCCLA lesson plans, project and recruitment ideas, and much more!  Also included is a new FCCLA Membership Video to help promote FCCLA in your chapter! We hope you will find the CD beneficial when planning for the year and that you will use these materials to encourage your members to recruit, retain, and be recognized.  Membership kits will be mailed August 1, 2012 so be on the lookout for this great resource!

FCCLA is also launching a brand new "iRecruit" membership campaign for the 2012-2013 school year!!! Members will have the opportunity to showcase their recruiting skills on the individual, chapter, and state levels to help reach our goal of 213,000 members. The incentives offered this year are incredible and give some great opportunities for friendly competition. Prizes for winners include an iPod Touch, VIP Pass to NLC, Chapter Highlight in Teen Times, and much more!  So go to for more information, find some enthusiastic FCCLA members , and start RECRUITING! 

Will you help us reach our goal???


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

National Executive Director NLC and Membership Update

By Michael L. Benjamin, , M.P.H., CAE, National Executive Director

As this is my first blog of the year, I’d start by saying thank you to the more than 6,800 FCCLA members, advisers, alumni, and guests who attended the 67th National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida, July 8-12.  The NLC had the highest attendance to date with over 3800 participating in competitive activities. Kudos to all the participants in those events and a special thank you to the volunteers and FCCLA staff who helped to make this conference a success!

With this year’s conference theme “#realitycheck,” participants examined and discussed several critical issues, including family, school and community violence prevention, physical as well as financial fitness, the changing roles of men and women in the home and workplace, future career exploration, and countless community service projects.  We received positive feedback on the brand new FCCLA app which gave attendees the ability to upload on their smartphones conference information, speaker and workshop descriptions and real-time conferences updates and feedback.  And attendees created their own conference schedules. We plan to use this app throughout the year at all FCCLA meetings. 

In moving forward, we’re looking for a great membership year. With the 2012 FCCLA member affiliation ending at 202,189, we have established our 2012-13 student membership goal at 213,000. So be on the lookout for the new membership kit.  The kit will be in the mail by the first of August. 

Have a safe rest of the summer!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

FCCLA NLC Attendees Get a #realitycheck

By Donna Corder, National Consultant Team

The National Executive Council (NEC), along with almost 7,000 attendees, got a "#realitycheck" at the National Leadership Conference (NLC) in Orlando, Florida, July 8-12, 2012.  Members and advisers alike were offered many different opportunities to build stronger chapters through networking and workshops.

The National Consultant Team (NCT) kicked off the NLC by offering Adviser Academy, FCCLA 101, Adviser to Adviser, and Adviser Networking.  Advisers learned chapter management, the basics of FCCLA, and connected with other advisers to share their many ideas.  The learning opportunities continued through Tuesday, training advisers how to incorporate service learning, leadership skills, and current events, while learning how to take time to rejuvenate and reduce stress. 

In addition, advisers across the nation were recognized for their service to FCCLA and attained Adviser Mentor, Master Adviser and Spirit of Advising awards.  Congratulations to these advisers for all of their hard work!  Don’t forget to submit your applications for these awards next year. 

Throughout the NLC, many advisers made connections with other professionals nationwide.  The NCT would like to challenge you to continue these connections.  This year, the FCCLA blog will be updated every week on Wednesdays, with Executive Director, Michael Benjamin, posting once a month.  This is your opportunity to share your ideas, suggestions, and strengthen your support system.  We want to hear from you, so check out those blogs weekly and let us hear from you.  Keep on blogging!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Introducing the NEW official FCCLA app!!!

The new FREE FCCLA app available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry users is coming soon!!!  The FCCLA app will debut at the 2012 National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida!  Members and advisers who download the app will have access to conference schedules, social networking, speaker information, attendee photos, and push notifications for the most up-to-date conference information.  Stay tuned to the national FCCLA website and FCCLA social media sites for the most up-to-date app download information!

Not coming to NLC this summer?  You can still download the app and follow along with social updates, pictures, and news about the conference!  The app is a great way for parents, advisers, and members not attending the conference to be part of the experience!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Follow the FCCLA Blog!

Make sure to follow the FCCLA Adviser Blog to get all the current updates from chapter advisers and national staff!  To follow the blog, click on the "Join this site" button under the Followers section on the right side of the screen.  Once you have clicked on this link, you will be able to enter your email address and begin following the FCCLA Adviser Blog!  Join and follow today!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Coming soon to FCCLA Adviser Blog!!!!

Beginning this summer, the FCCLA Adviser Blog will have a posting every Wednesday with new and up-to-date material regarding curriculum integration, FCCLA National Meetings, advocacy information, and chapter project ideas. Additionally, once a month, the blog will feature a post from National Executive Director, Michael Benjamin! Make sure to check the blog frequently so get all the up-to-date adviser information!