There's no bus, so these kids climb down a 2,600-foot ladder to school.

The small Chinese village of Atule'er sits upon a mountaintop a half-mile high.

It takes eight hours by car to reach the 200-year-old town from the provincial capital of Sichuan.

Of course, there aren't any actual paved roads in that remote rural area. But the 400 people who live there still try to make the most of the fertile soil, the scenic views among the clouds, and the half-mile climb down a sheer cliff mountainside that the school-age villagers must traverse to get to school.


All photos from Chinatopix via The Associated Press.

The perilous trek to the local Le’er Primary School, which serves the entire Zhaojue County, is the stuff of video game nightmares.

It puts every cliched older-relative anecdote about walking uphill both ways in the rain to shame. And it's the frightening reality of life in an isolated region with a literacy rate of 60%.

To aid in their descent, the children must rely on a haphazard system of 17 wicker ladders and, more recently, an adult chaperone-cum-belayer who secures them all with a rope harness around their waists. At least eight people have fallen to their deaths there, although they haven't seen that kind of tragedy since 2009.

Taking a break.

Children need their exercise, of course. But this is something else entirely.

Unfortunately, the costs of adding in the necessary infrastructure to these kinds of villages is far more than most governments are willing to spend. For example, a proper road into Atule'er would cost an estimated $8 million dollars, or $20,000 per person who lives there. So the government decided it was easier to just give $150,000 worth of sheep and let them fend for themselves.

If there's any silver lining in this hazardous trip, it's that the children remain at their boarding school for two weeks at a time before returning home for a five-day weekend — so at least they're not embarking on a twice-daily risk. That counts for something, right?

Atule'er is hardly the only place in China, or the world, where children face this kind of treacherous journey.

But their story was enough to catch some viral attention in spring 2016 that helped turn their circumstances around.

CNN, The Guardian, and many other publications reported on the kids' treacherous school journey in 2016, and this brief spike in awareness put some public pressure on the Chinese government. Eventually, official representatives were sent to the village to look into solutions.

In May 2016, they announced a plan to install a new steel ladder-staircase with railings down the side of the mountain. And in August of that same year, they actually delivered, with completion of the $150,000 project scheduled for completion in November.

Under construction.

This solution is far from perfect, but it's much better than what the people of Atule'er were forced to endure.

Most importantly, it means that they won't have to risk their lives for education anymore either.

The effects of poverty on remote rural regions is a serious problem across the globe. All too often, people in places like Atule'er are left to fend for themselves, which just perpetuates the cycle. Education is the easiest path to new opportunities, which can lead entire communities toward progress and prosperity.

Is that worth risking your life for? Absolutely. But no one should be forced to make that kind of choice.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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