She started with just 10 minutes a day. 552 miles later, this kid is outrunning adults.
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Nike's Made to Play

When Kelbie Black first found out that her dad was trying to make running "a thing" at her school, she wasn't thrilled.

“I didn’t think running would be fun,” Kelbie says. She was nine years old at the time, and thought that running sounded boring, especially compared to her other interests, like drawing, baking, and most of all, spending time with her friends.  

All images via Nike.


But Coach Black — as her dad was known at school — knew that running, when it's done right, could be rewarding. He had a vision for how all the kids at Taylor Creek Elementary School, including his daughter, could benefit from the activity.

Kyle and Kelbie Black.

He also believed that integrating running into the school day would have a positive impact on the teachers, parents and their Texas community.

“Our school is on the edge of town, so everyone lives kind of out in the country,” says Black. “I was trying to find a way to bring people together.”  

While looking online for healthy community-oriented activities, he came across Marathon Kids, an organization that helps schools create and manage running clubs that are designed to get kids moving.

The program, supported by Nike, has a simple mission: To encourage every kid to go at their own pace and run (or walk) the equivalent of four marathons, or 104.8 miles.

At first, four marathons seemed like a steep goal for Kelbie.

She wasn’t much of a runner and that was a lot of miles. Still, when her dad brought the program to the school, he convinced her to sign up and give it a try.

In fact, with Coach Black's encouragement, 70 students signed up. They all started out by running about 10 minutes every day after school.

Right away, Kelbie realized that running could include one of her favorite activities: “I get to be with my friends.”

She loved the chance to spend time with other kids at school, outside of the classroom. They’d chat, laugh, and encourage each other as they ran, which kept Kelbie moving even after she began to feel tired.

“My friends keep on going [even] when it's hard,” she says. “So I keep going, and I keep pushing.”

Kelbie quickly discovered that she was capable of running more than she thought, and she reached her four-marathon goal before anyone else at her school.

And she didn’t stop there.

Kelbie kept running beyond her goal, reaching the equivalent of more than 21 marathons in one school year — more than any other Marathon Kid in the country.

This newfound perseverance has helped Kelbie in school, too. Her parents say that she used to get frustrated and give up when homework was difficult, but now that she knows she can push through tough moments, she keeps trying.

These days, Kelbie’s running because she likes it.

She does a run-walk every day, aiming for at least three miles each day.

Kelbie has also inspired others to get active by showing them that you don’t have to be a superstar athlete to enjoy running.

Her friends join her a few times a week to run through their neighborhoods, and her family joins her for physical activities like walking, bicycling, and rollerblading in the evenings.

“Kelbie’s kind of inspired her mom to get active,” Coach Black says, “because there's nothing that motivates [you] more than your 10-year-old outdoing you!”

The program continues to be a success overall, motivating kids to not only be active, but to find joy and connection with others while they’re at it.

In addition to running a total of 3,000 miles during their first year as Marathon Kids, Kelbie's class of 20 students also scored higher than other students on their physical endurance exams and showed more confidence than other students, according to Coach Black.

“They know their body better,” he says. “So they know that just because it's difficult, doesn't mean [they] have to quit … They're more self-aware of what their limits are and what they're capable of.”

Experts also say that exercise can actually change children’s brain chemistry to improve their capacity for regulating their moods, which helps them function better in school.

Marathon Kids has now become a school-wide activity. Hallways and classrooms are adorned with celebratory running logs and motivational posters. 10-minute runs or walks are built into the school day. Teachers — some of whom had worried this would distract kids from their schoolwork — are motivated by what they see in their students and have started running too. Even some parents have joined in.

After running more than she ever thought possible, Kelbie hopes that her story can inspire others to give their own goals a shot.

Not everyone will run 21 marathons in one year, but everyone can start small and gradually discover what they're capable of.

“It always starts with baby steps,” says Kelbie. After that, getting active might just help you in ways that you never saw coming.

We all have a part to play in empowering kids through an active lifestyle. That's why Nike and Marathon Kids are teaming up to get kids moving — but we'll need your help.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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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.

Upworthy 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 "Upworthy-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.