More

This 11-year-old nails why so many kids get bored of reading in school.

“White boys and their dogs” have had a good run. But it's time for something new.

This 11-year-old nails why so many kids get bored of reading in school.

What sorts of books did you read in elementary school?

I remember a few: "Maniac Magee," "The Phantom Tollbooth," "Old Yeller." Great books, to be sure, but they all have something sorta disappointing in common: They revolve around white boys and the occasional canine companion.

For New Jersey fifth-grader Marley Dias, that just wasn’t going to work.


Photo via Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, used with permission.

“I was sick of reading about white boys and dogs,” she told the Philly Voice. Marley wanted to read about characters she could relate to instead, characters who looked like her and acted like her.

So she decided to do something about it. And that something has gotten pretty big.

After brainstorming with her mom, Janice, Marley launched a book drive asking people to send her children’s stories about female characters of color. The drive started trending on Twitter with #1000BlackGirlBooks, and the momentum just keeps growing.

By Jan. 19, 2016, Marley had collected 400 books. By Feb. 1, that number was up to 700. She says she’ll donate all additional contributions to St. Cloud Elementary School in West Orange, New Jersey. Not too shabby for just over a month of campaigning. And Marley’s cause is still starting dialogues and gaining attention, especially online.

#1000BlackGirlBooks has sparked awesome conversations about diversity in publishing on Twitter.

Plus, you know your cause is a big deal when you end up on "Ellen."

Ellen couldn’t help but contribute $10,000 to Marley’s book drive, and she gave Marley a personal laptop to help her brainstorm her next big move, too.

Marley, may I suggest a Twitter account? I can think of a few hundred thousand people who’d love to hear your daily thoughts. Image via Fox 29's "Good Day Philadelphia."

Marley is upbeat and eloquent (plus, her glasses game is seriously on point).

And let’s not forget that Marley is 11. ELEVEN. When I was 11, I couldn’t even put a pair of tights on straight without assistance. (To be honest, this is something I still struggle with. Those seams.) But this kid is spearheading an impressive campaign and grabbing much-deserved national attention for her mission.

With diversity in America on the rise — 50.4% of children in the U.S. age 1 or younger were minorities as of July 2011 — Marley’s mission is becoming more important than ever.

As of July 2011, 50.4% of children in the U.S. (age 1 or younger) were minorities. That representation isn’t really present in most children’s books.

Marley is well past her original goal of 1,000 books, so what could be next for this rockstar?

Student-body president? Space camp? Whatever it is, Marley’s sure to succeed.

Photo via Mark Wills, used with permission.

She’s not afraid to be — or in this case, read — the change she wants to see in the world.

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

More

7 secrets to raising awesome, functional teenagers.

One mom gets real about parenting teens.

I occasionally get asked by mothers of young children what the secret is to raising great teenagers.

My initial response is that I have absolutely no clue. My kids are who they are IN SPITE of having me as a mother. (The young moms don't find that answer too helpful.)

Really, the first thing that I will tell you is to disbelieve the myth that teenagers are sullen, angry creatures who slam doors and hate their parents. Some do that, but the overwhelming majority do not. Every one of my kids' friends are just as happy and fun as my kids are, so I know it's not just us.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

Keep Reading Show less