San Mateo County Libraries has joined the national movement to offer free period supplies in all libraries. We are turning the page on period poverty by making these products easily available for our communities.
Period supplies like pads and tampons are necessary basic supplies, just like toilet paper and soap. However, they’re not often readily available, accessible or affordable. A growing number of public organizations are beginning to offer free period supplies in their restrooms, including public libraries and schools. Studies have shown that one in five teens struggle to afford period supplies, and 86% of women surveyed said they started their period unexpectedly in a public space.
Like some of our neighboring schools, we’re offering free period supplies to address this equity issue. A teen from San Mateo County, Amanda Safi, shed light on this issue by passing a pilot project that provided free period supplies to two low-income high schools during the pandemic. She also helped pass statewide legislation that requires California public schools (grades 6-12), California State University and community colleges to offer free period supplies in their restrooms starting in the 2022-23 school year.
On Monday, March 27 at 3:30 PM, join our special Power Up Afternoon virtual event with the authors of Go with the Flow, Karen Schneemann and Lily Williams. They’ll discuss their graphic novel, which is an empowering story about friendship and advocating for women’s health issues. Youth in grades 5th-12th are encouraged to celebrate body positivity and period equity during this Women’s History Month program.
Learn more about period poverty and menstrual equity with these books.
A heart-warming and hilarious story for middle graders about the awkward adventures of getting your first period.
A collection of essays continuing the documentary work of The Pad Project to address the global stigma of periods and how people rise up to fight for menstrual justice.
Rachel Kauder Nalebuff weaves together oral histories, essays and art about periods from her family to people from around the world.
A body-positive, inclusive and empowering book for youth to understand and manage periods.
A gender-neutral, inclusive book eradicating the stigma of periods with an unapologetic and humorous guide to menstruation.
Parents and caregivers may be interested in these online resources to talk about periods with youth.
- AMAZE, opens a new window takes the awkwardness out of growing up. They provide medically accurate and age-appropriate videos and resources for youth, parents and educators from around the world.
- Kaiser’s Talking to Your Daughter About Puberty and Menstruation, opens a new window offers simple straightforward and accurate information. (Spanish, opens a new window)
- Talking to Your Child About Periods, opens a new window from Nemours Children’s Health offers parents talking points at different ages for their child. (Spanish, opens a new window)
- An Inclusive Guide to Puberty and Periods, opens a new window from Cedars-Sinai is a straightforward and inclusive guide to support parents.
- Here are Tips for Talking About Sexuality for Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities, opens a new window from Elevatus Training.
- Talking to Your Child, opens a new window from Health Connected has great questions to consider and ask their child.
- Tip Sheet for Parents, Caregivers, and Youth, opens a new window by the Oregon Department of Human Services Teen Advisory Groups offers tips to support conversations around tough topics.
*Some of these resources include references to menstruating “girls” or other gender binary language.
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