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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.

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.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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