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There’s something about the approach of September that opens the door to fresh starts, whether it’s the first day of kindergarten, starting online college courses after work, or just an excuse to go out and buy a box of colored pencils and an adult coloring book to enjoy during long Skype meetings.

Here’s a collection of stories to help get you in the mood to learn something new, try something unexpected, and encourage those around you, young and old, to do the same.

For back to school or back to work, pick up one of these fresh new lunch boxes.

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We’re consuming more information than ever before, but we’re not learning more.

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Skip the penny loafers. These days, kids want a closet of sneakers.

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Colleen O’Bryant (center), who started her own business as an herbalist after working at an insurance firm, gives an herbal plant identification walking tour near her shop in Sperryville, Virginia. Career shifts like O’Bryant’s typically require a skill boost and a sizable tuition tab that can be tough to fund, and an increasing number of workers are facing that reality whether they’re heading back to school to follow a passion or out of necessity. (Matt Eich / The New York Times)

When Colleen O’Bryant pivoted from her insurance job to start her own business as an herbalist, her training came with a steep price tag.

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Soften the blow of heading back to school with great tech gadgets and a hot new tablet.

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Trackers, power banks, phone cases and more, for students on the move.

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Useful study aids that make late-night study sessions a little easier.

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Free eligibility website connects current and potential students with services, employment and training programs available in Washington state.

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Cutness alert! Now your kids can have the same cool specs as you.

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Fresh student-grown foods augment public school menus, contribute to healthier nutritional habits and food safety, teach record keeping and marketing and build a life-long appreciation for the environment.

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Cool backpacks and handy pouches that will keep them organized in style.

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Sporty back-to-school clothes aren't just on-trend — they're also all-day comfy.

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