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In Reach's Executive Director, Toni A. Smith reflects on its Lights On Afterschool! celebrations through the years. The Afterschool Alliance organizes the 22nd annual Lights On Afterschool! to celebrate and rally for afterschool programs. This nationwide event takes place annually in October to call attention to the importance of afterschool programs and the resources required to keep the lights on and the doors open, especially as programs step up to help students, families, and communities in the pandemic.

10 inspiring books about women and girls.

Did you know?

~ The average debt of students when they graduated from college rose from $18,550 (in 2004) to $28,950 (in 2014), an increase of 56 percent. (1)
~ From 2004 to 2009, the median credit card debt among college students increased 74 percent. (1)
~ A survey of 15-year-olds in the United States found that 18 percent of respondents did not learn fundamental financial skills that are often applied in everyday situations, such as building a simple budget, comparison shopping, and understanding an invoice. (1)
~ A report on the results of a financial literacy exam found that high school seniors scored on average 48 percent correct, showing a strong need for more comprehensive financial education for youth in high school. (1)
~ Only 24% of Millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy. (2)
~ The lack of financial literacy cost Americans $415 billion in 2020. (2)
~ The average credit card debt in America is $6,270. (2)
~ Around 40% of Americans have less than $300 in savings. (2)
~ The average US household’s median income was $78,500 in 2020. (2)
~ A staggering 63% of Americans had their personal finances affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. (2)

Learn how to do better by becoming more financially ready. Small steps can lead to big results. Watch this episode of #TeensTalkTV on managing money and then review all of the related resources on https://www.inreachinc.org/media-center/teens-talk-tv---the-show.html.

This is an episode you do not want to miss.

(1) Data from https://youth.gov/youth-topics/financial-capability-literacy/facts
(2) Data from https://spendmenot.com/blog/personal-finance-statistics/

Demand Social Justice.

When guests David, Ally, Mira, and our cohosts for Teens Talk Television were asked, "Where do we go from here?" and "What do you hope the impact will be from your activism?" they shared the following:

• Media staying focused on what really is happening.
• More privileged learning how to contribute.
• Reallocate funds from the Metropolitan Police Department budget into communities, schools, etc.
• Bring awareness to legislation that actually benefits Black people.
• Continue discussion from where you are.

In addition, learn about and sign Travis Washington's Hands-Up Act petition, https://www.change.org/p/us-senate-hands-up-act.

So much to celebrate and bring attention to this month. Just in time for the annual National African American Read-In, a groundbreaking effort established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English to encourage communities to read together and focused on African American books and authors, we have launched our Spark Reading Club and Writing Lab to engage middle school students, grades 6-8, who enjoy reading fantasy, sci-fi, and mystery in an exciting virtual space to share, discuss, discover and create.

Encourage a middle school student to read with In Reach and check out Read-In recommendations on https://bookshop.org/lists/african-american-read-in-2021-staff-recommendations. Commit to reading. It's a wonderful pastime.

It's World Read Aloud Day! And In Reach has something to say about it. Read all about why we are supporting this initiative.

LitWorld founded World Read Aloud Day in 2010 in celebration of the power of reading aloud to create community, to amplify new stories, and to advocate for literacy as a foundational human right.

Check out what guest licensed therapist Pamela Little discussed with Teens Talk TV host Solange Muller on the Teens Mental Health and Self-Care episode. Ms. Little shared many helpful tips on how to stay present and manage mental health and self-care during this unprecedented time. Watch the episode to learn how S.A.F.E.T.Y. can help you center, step by step.

S – Sleep
A – Activity
F – Food
E – Evaluate
T – Try Again
Y – Yield

Please share this post with others who may find this information useful particularly teens and young adults.

Featuring Clap When You Land, a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love by National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo.

Learn more about the contributions and struggles of Black American Veterans.

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