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Lifesmarts competition gets teens consumer savvy

           February 6, 2009 (Olympia, WA) –  Given the state of the economy, a little-known competition called Lifesmarts might just be the smartest way a student could spend a day. Adults watching from the sidelines may learn a thing or two as well.

            Lifesmarts is an educational competition and program that develops the consumer and marketplace skills of teenagers in a fun way. The state LifeSmarts competition will be held on Feb. 9, 2009, in Tumwater.

At least eight teams from around the state are participating. Washington State Employees Credit Union is a sponsor.

Run in a game show style the competition is open to all teens in the United States in grades nine through 12. Teams of compete online and in state matches, with the state winners going to the national competition to vie for the LifeSmarts championship title in St. Louis, MO later this year.

            The students will compete against other school teams from around the state on a range of consumer knowledge that teens need to know to function effectively in today’s marketplace. These include:

• Personal Finance

• Health and Safety

• The Environment

• Technology

• Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

          “I think we’re in a national situation where we can clearly see how important – and neglected -- financial and consumer education is,” said Ann Flannigan, WSECU’s Vice President of Public Relations. “The Lifesmarts competition is a great way to get young people engaged in very important issues in a fun way. It’s a perfect fit for WSECU to support the program.”

Nationally recognized consumer expert Herb Weisbaum is the “Quizmaster” for the competition.  As part of the Problem Solvers Team at KOMO 4 News in Seattle, his consumer reports can be seen every weekday on KOMO TV’s “First News@ 4” and “KOMO 4 News 6:00 Report.” Additionally his reports can be heard weekdays on KOMO 1000 News Radio. Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna will make a special presentation to the participants.

 Sponsors of the state Lifesmarts competition in addition to WSECU include:  JumpStart, Consumer Jungle, the Attorney General of Washington, and the Washington State Dept. of Financial Institutions.

The competition will be held at the Tumwater Conference and Training Center at 7141 Clearwater Dr. SW from 9am to 3pm in Tumwater.

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