With summer coming to an end and schools back in session, the back-to-school season can be a difficult adjustment for students, parents, and teachers alike. Not to mention, the expenses that come with the beginning of any school year. The supply lists alone can be enough to make your wallets weep, am I right?

Unsplash/Emil Kalibradov
Unsplash/Emil Kalibradov
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You Had Me At "Free"

What if I told you there is a program for Indiana students that offers a plethora of school resources for completely free? Yes, you read that right, FREE.

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INSPIRE
INSPIRE
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INSPIRE, the lifelong learning library for Hoosiers, offers free access to an abundance of online databases, full-text newspapers, pamphlets, images, almanacs, and so much more. The Indiana State Library has provided this easily accessible academic resource that benefits K-12 and college students for over 25 years.

Unsplash/Thomas Park
Unsplash/Thomas Park
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Even as an adult, I remember those dreadful days of finding resources for projects and research papers. No more hours spent searching online, questioning the credibility of a source, or finding out the book you need from the library is already checked out. With INSPIRE, students can access a variety of resources conveniently located in one spot.

There's Something For Everyone

For K-12 students, INSPIRE offers access to Explora, a resource with a large collection of high-quality articles from credible publishers on a variety of topics like science, math, language arts, government, business, and geography.

College and high school students can avoid running into pesky subscription fees and scholarly articles that can only be accessed after purchase. There are over 70 databases with peer-reviewed and academic articles for absolutely no cost.

Unsplash/Annie Spratt
Unsplash/Annie Spratt
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Even better, students can use the LearningExpress Library to take practice tests for college prep exams. For students who are nervous test takers or who just like to feel prepared, this is an incredibly useful resource. This service also offers career prep exams for students interested in the military, cosmetology, nursing, education, law enforcement, and more.

If you aren't a student, there are non-academic resources like access to level one of Rosetta Stone and the latest articles from Consumer Reports and news outlets. If you are a history buff, enjoy historic articles from Hoosier State Chronicles. Indiana residents can also access health and medical information.

Unsplash/Brooke Cagle
Unsplash/Brooke Cagle
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Take Some Time to Relax!

Now parents can relax a little and no longer fret over their children's latest project or research paper. Using INSPIRE will make these daunting school assignments feel like a piece of cake without exhausting your bank accounts.

Relive 1980s Elementary School Gym Class

If you are a Generation X or Millenial like me, you likely have some strong memories of gym class. Either you loved it or hated it. I made some fun memories and built character and muscle, but I'm really glad I never have to go back and face some of these things again! And I know my teachers did their best to make gym enjoyable and teach us life skills. They succeeded - this is all in good fun. And, hopefully, future generations will get to thoroughly enjoy some of these as much as I did!

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