Buzzers, brackets and brains were on display today at the Ocean State LifeSmarts competition finals. Barrington high won the annual competition known as "March Smartness," presented by College Bound fund, Rhode Island's 529 college savings plan.
Beginning this morning, eight teams of teens competed for the Julius C. Michaelson Consumers' Cup and the right to represent Rhode Island at the national LifeSmarts competition to be held in Orlando, Fla., this April. Barrington went undefeated all day and beat East Greenwich in the final match. Mt. Hope placed third and Burrillville rounded out the final four.
Also fielding teams at the state finals were Cumberland, North Providence, North Smithfield, and Tolman, all of which answered hundreds consumer-related questions in five categories: personal finance, technology, environment, health & safety, and consumer rights and responsibilities.
LifeSmarts is a fast-paced, quiz-show format national program of the National Consumers League (NCL) that teaches and rewards teenagers for their consumer savvy.
Secretary of State, A. Ralph Mollis who spoke to the students during half-time is a longtime fan of the program said, "The LifeSmarts program is at the intersection of book-smarts and street-smarts. I am proud of today's teens, learning consumer self-defense."
2014 is the tenth year that the competition has been held in Rhode Island. State Coordinator, Jim Hedemark, said, "Barrington high has proven to be tops over a decade of teen diligence," having won the state consumer competition five times. North Providence has been champion four times and Lincoln School once.
The winning team is comprised of captain Ryan Jerue, Steven Forte, Cassidy Laidlaw, Matthew LaMontagne, Brian McGartoll and Coach Karen Proule. Several members of this team represented Rhode Island last year in Atlanta, Ga, at the national LifeSmarts finals and won second place among thirty-eight states. Ryan Jerue won national technology champion honors in 2013 as awarded by the National Consumers League (NCL).