It’s that wonderful time of year on the Palouse, where warm summer days are beginning to turn into crisp fall evenings. The area is buzzing with the return of the students and the frenzy of harvesting. Youth are picking out their first day of school outfits, and backpacks are being prepped as we prepare for a more structured day-to-day routine that the school year brings. With the bustle of the summer reading program finishing up, we’re excited at Neill Public Library to begin our new season of programming for the school year, including different themes each month and extending our online reading challengesyear-round.

In September, Neill Public Library will provide youth of all ages with a new monthly online reading challenge through Beanstack, with topics focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion. Topics are chosen to allow youth to learn more about the diverse world around them and help support conversations and discussions about the full range of human diversity through activity challenges, online resources and recommendedreading lists.

Our first challenge will focus on self-care, spotlighting mental health awareness. Many of our youth struggle with feeling unsafe and unseen. They face other stressors that affect their mental health. It is vital to have conversations about mental well-being to increase awareness and learn about the importance of self-care. Prioritizing mental health and practicing self-care allows individuals to support all areas of their lives and communities. Self-care knows no boundaries and is something that everyone can benefit from practicing on a daily basis.

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