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This State-Of-The-Art Preschool Looks Like The One You Probably Went To. Why Is It Unusual Now?

If you're over 25 and went to preschool, you probably spent that time in the blocks corner or with the dress-up box. You learned to follow directions, share stuff, and wait your turn. There was probably a snack and a nap, and then you went home. If you walked into a 21st-century preschool, you might not recognize it. Preschool has changed, and if you don't have little kids, you might be totally unaware. Free play makes up less of each day every year, and kids spend lots of time working on numbers and letters — stuff previous generations saved for kindergarten.This new "academic" preschool misses the point, and study after study shows that. Kids who go to "high-quality" preschools do better in life than those who don't, but we need to understand what "high quality" means. It's not ABCs and 123s. The opposite, actually. Here's a teacher who's got it down. Take a minute to learn from her. Oh, and check out "sharing time" halfway through. That was always my favorite part of preschool, and it's just as awesome now as it ever was.

This State-Of-The-Art Preschool Looks Like The One You Probably Went To. Why Is It Unusual Now?

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.