NEWTON – In collaboration with Catawba Valley Community College’s interdisciplinary read, the Catawba County Library is offering programs related to themes in Tara Westover’s memoir, "Educated." One of those themes is the importance of being a self-reliant survivalist who uses natural remedies and recipes.

The library invites people to explore and learn how to make their own homemade soap. The program takes place at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11, at the Southwest Branch Library (2944 N.C. 127 South, Hickory). Registration is required; call 828-466-6818.

Local artisan Renee Biggs will lead the class in making goats’ milk soap. Not only will participants have the opportunity to learn about the ingredients and the general process involved, but they’ll also get hands-on experience as they’re shown the basics of molding soap so that it can be used, shared and stored.

Goats’ milk is favored as an ingredient in soap due to its high cream content, which ensures that the end product is a great moisturizer. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help promote a better complexion, and contains vitamin D for skin repair and alpha hydroxy acid to help slough off dead skin cells.

Westover’s family in "Educated" also trusts in the therapeutic power of herbs and essential oils made with them. The class will indicate how these items can be incorporated into goats’ milk soap to boost fragrance and a sense of well-being.

The Catawba County Library and CVCC will be offering programs that tie into specific narrative points of the community read on a monthly basis through March of 2020. For more details, visit, call 828-465-8664, email, or visit them on Facebook.

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