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One of the biggest impacts on an adult's life is how they spend 10 minutes a day as a child.

Think when adults aren't successful it's due to the choices they've made in their lives? Not always. It often has to do with how they started out. Doing one thing for 10 minutes every day could change someone's whole future.

One of the biggest impacts on an adult's life is how they spend 10 minutes a day as a child.

Nearly 1 billion people worldwide can't read this sentence.

And it has nothing to do with the language it's written in.

See, in America, some estimates say around 12% of children grow up without basic reading skills.

Meanwhile, Save the Children, over in the UK, estimates over 1.5 million British children will suffer the same fate by 2025.


And things are even worse in many developing countries.

Which is a big problem.

And while it's dangerous to to draw a cause and effect relationship, there is a strong correlation between reading ability by third grade, graduation rates, and ultimately, incarceration rates.

Literacy is an issue right here at home. Here's President Obama working with kids during a literacy project. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

But even when kids who are failed by the reading curriculum don't wind up dropping out of school, or worse, in jail, they're still likely to face enormous challenges throughout their lives.

According to the Literacy Foundation, the problems with illiteracy are vast.

On a personal level, people who can't read have trouble getting and holding down high quality jobs. They're also prone to low self-esteem, or self-efficacy, and more likely to battle depression.

Other issues are more abstract. Those who suffer from illiteracy struggle to understand and keep up with big cultural issues like global warming and equal rights. They're less likely, as a result, to become positively involved in their communities.

But it's not hopeless. There's a lot you can do to help raise the literacy rate.

Getting kids excited about reading in a group is super important. Photo from ThinkStock

For starters, read to your kids often and encourage them to spend time with great books. Even if it's only 10 minutes a day.

If you can, start a book club for your child and her friends, or even for you and yours! Creating a structured environment for reading and discussion can have a big impact.

You can also donate books, whether to your favorite charity or through a local book drive. Just do what you can to help more kids have access to reading materials.

Finally, you can contribute to organizations already fighting illiteracy around the world, like PlanetRead and Books for Africa, and help them get the resources they need to keep going.

Whatever you do, don't overlook the importance of reading proficiency among children.

The stakes are way too high.

And if you're still not convinced, watch this powerful video from Save the Children about the roots and consequences of our worldwide literacy problem.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Wikiimages by Pixabay, Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich/Twitter

The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.