YOUTH

Tenth-grader Sarah Fisher's take on Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night," at a recent night of "bad art" in Belchertown, Massachusetts.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

For many middle and high school students, the bar is set high for getting good grades, making the team, and landing the lead role in a play. Recognizing that, a library in western Massachusetts recently set the bar really low, offering a carefree event of making bad art.

Nearly 9,000 children and teens have died from opioid poisonings since the epidemic began in the late 1990s, according to Yale epidemiologist Dr. Julie Gaither. An earlier Yale study found that about 30 kids a year died in hospitals, but this time her team analyzed data on deaths in all settings.

Writer Grace Lin recommends some multicultural kids' books families might enjoy this winter season.
NEPR

It's that time of year again: when we turn to author and illustrator Grace Lin for her list of the year's best children's books. 

Chicopee Academy at James C. Selser School in Chicopee, Masscahusetts.
Dave Roback / The Republican/ Masslive.com / photos

Three of the 10 schools with the highest rates of student suspensions in Massachusetts are in Hampden County.

When Jessica Freeman found herself with no place to call home, the 25-year-old wasn’t sure where she could go.

“I was not in school. I did seasonal jobs or I was unemployed,” she said, “so I was basically not doing much really with myself.” It took her a little while to figure out what she wanted to do and where she wanted to be in life, she said — and homelessness made that harder.

Pages