Americans have been learning skills to help them through the pandemic for over 75 years with FCCLA

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Picture of a woman with glasses, smiling.
Reeca Carver

For many, it has taken a global pandemic to remind them of the importance of basic life skills. With restaurants closed and stay-at-home mandates, a growing number of adults have turned to online tutorials, social media recipes, and family and friends to learn basic life skills. More than 25% of Americans admit they cannot cook and say they now realize it is an essential skill that should be taught in every school in the United States.

When Future Homemakers of America – now known as Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) – was founded 75 years ago, no one thought the skills gained through Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) classes would get families through a pandemic. The country was digging out of the Great Depression and using skills taught at home and in Home Economics (today FCS) classes to rebuild the economy of our country.

In education, Home Economics transitioned to Family and Consumer Sciences in 1994 and some felt these classes were no longer essential. Since 2012, there has been an estimated 40% decline in FCS classes, but the coronavirus pandemic has reinforced how important basic life skills are, as these skills holistically impact our careers and communities.

Since its inception in 1945, FCCLA has promoted the need for FCS education for every student in every state in every school. FCCLA knows the importance of FCS education that provides students with lifelong skills such as nutrition, menu planning, food preparation, clothing care and construction, money management, child development and workforce readiness.

As the state adviser for the Kentucky Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, I am very proud to be a part of the organization for over 34 year of their 75 years of existence. I was a student member in high school, chapter adviser when I was a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and now as the KY FCCLA State Adviser as an employee in the Department of Education. It is amazing to be a part of an organization that is 75 years strong, thanks to the numerous pioneers before us and the alumni and associates.

A large group of students are gathered in a semicircle in front of a flagpole.
Members of Kentucky’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) celebrated the 75th anniversary of the national organization by digging up a time capsule in June 2019. On Nov. 23, 1945, Kentucky became the first FCCLA charter in the nation.
Picture by Reeca Carver

This year, FCCLA celebrates its 75th anniversary by commemorating all 50 state associations that have contributed to student success through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge and career preparation.

On Nov. 23, 1945, Kentucky became the first charter in the nation and has continued to be in the forefront of the organization. Today with over 5,000 members and 120 chapters, KY FCCLA plans to continue to provide the rich tradition of opportunities for members to develop 21st century skills that enhance students’ understanding of community, work, family and their interpersonal relationships. KY FCCLA members apply their FCS/FCCLA knowledge to develop, loving families; a team building workforce in FCS careers; caring community members and strong leaders for our great commonwealth.

This year, KY FCCLA is pleased to have two former KY FCCLA officers to now lead national FCCLA, Hannah Jones, National FCCLA 1st vice president from Powell County High School, and Logan Justice, National FCCLA Vice President of Membership from Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School (Fayette County).

KY FCCLA has amazing leaders across the state and members are making a difference in their families, careers and communities during these trying times. Kentucky FCCLA is 75 years strong and will continue to focus on families and be the ultimate leadership experience.

Through FCS education, FCCLA provides opportunities for members to develop 21st-century skills that enhance students’ understanding of community, work, family and their interpersonal relationships. This year, FCCLA is celebrating its 75th anniversary by commemorating all 50 state associations that have contributed to student success through character development, creative and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, practical knowledge and career preparation.

FCCLA’s 75th anniversary is a major milestone for the organization and FCS education. Whether one is looking to feel confident in the kitchen, make a difference in their community or prepare for career success, FCCLA and FCS is the secret ingredient to succeed in the home and workplace.

For more information, contact your local high school Family and Consumer Sciences teacher or email Reeca Carver. You can also check out the KY Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (KY FCCLA) website at www.ky-fccla.org.

Reeca Carver is a program consultant and KY FCCLA state adviser in the office of Career and Technical Education, Division of Student Transition and Career Readiness, Career and Technical Student Organizations Branch for the Kentucky Department of Education. She has been at KDE in this position for 17 years. Previously she taught Family and Consumer Sciences in middle and high school programs at Bullitt Central High School (Bullitt County), Marion County High School and Caverna Middle and High schools (Caverna Independent) for a total of 13 years.

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