American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences celebrates 100 years

LAKE PLACID - The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) brought in the new year with an anniversary worth celebrating. Over 200 Family and Consumer Science (FACS) professionals and students from across the United States recently convened at the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid to celebrate their 100th year.

There, in the place where Ellen H. Richards laid the foundation for home economics with a small group of her peers, they celebrated the strides that the AAFCS has taken and explored their options for sustainability in the future. The historical group, deemed Lake Placid Club and sponsored by Annie Godfrey Dewey and Melvil Dewey led to the birth of the American Home Economics Association in 1909, which is today the AAFCS.

There was an air of change at the Centennial Celebration in Lake Placid that acknowledged the places that the AAFCS has been and where the current professional and student members alike hope it can go.

"FACS is a forward thinking profession. We take on challenges and change with proactive strategies. Consumers will always need the applied academics and technical skills to manage their personal, family, career and community lives," said AAFCS member and Centennial chair Shirley Ware.

This exclamation on adapting has led the AAFCS into the 21st century, despite those who think that it no longer holds value in today's school systems. Barbara A. Woods, who holds a Ph.D. in FACS and teaches at East Carolina University acknowledged the challenges her field faces.

"With the focus of education reform and accountability on math and reading, FACS education has been increasingly marginalized and experienced serious decline in schools," she said.

Woods, however, conducted research to prove such doubt to be inaccurate.

"There is strong evidence supporting the need for such education, expressly intended to nurture human development and improve quality of life for individuals, families, and communities," she said.

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