This 2-time U.S. poet laureate wants your help telling an amazing story.

Art can provide hope, community and a sense of purpose.

Illustration by Juana Medina via The Library of Congress

As the son of migrant farmers, Juan Felipe Herrera leaned on that hope as his family struggled to make a living. Constantly chasing the seasons through the unforgiving desert, scalding sun, and suffocating heat, the Herrera family found themselves living in trailers and tents more times than not. This life taught Herrera the value of hard work, and now he's made giving hope, community, and a sense of purpose through his words and his new job.  


Herrera is a second-term U.S. poet laureate and the first Latino to ever receive the honor.  

Photo by The Press-Enterprise via AP.

He has penned 30 books of poetry, novels, and collections. A small sampling of his highlights include "Half the World in Light: New and Selected Poems," which won a National Book Critics Circle Award and the International Latino Book Award. He's been recognized by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the (still-alive) National Endowment for the Arts.

And he wants your help.

Currently, he is writing an illustrated book with the help of all second- and third-graders around the country in order to promote literacy, creativity, and diversity in our all-of-a-sudden tenuous educational system.

Illustration by Juana Medina via Library of Congress.

"The Technicolor Adventures of Catalina Neon" is an illustrated book Herrera is writing and artist Juana Medina is illustrating.

In his words: "Hello! I’m Juan Felipe Herrera, the 21st U.S. Poet Laureate. Welcome to 'The Technicolor Adventures of Catalina Neon,' a bilingual, illustrated poem created with the help of artist Juana Medina ... and you. Teachers and librarians, get your second and third grade students 'neonized' and help us tell Catalina’s story to the world!"

What makes this such a special project is that direct input from grade-school children are shaping the story in real time. The first three chapters have come out, and the book has been crafted with help from kids from Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, California, and Massachusetts.

Illustration via Juana Medina via Library of Congress.

What happens next? That's up to you.

Each month, Herrera posts the book so far in visual and audio form and provides a prompt for the upcoming chapter. The February 2017 prompt reads, "Write an enchanted poem — with some Spanish words — that will change the fate of Catalina, her parents, and Tortilla."

Illustration vis Juana Medina via Library of Congress.

But why undertake a challenge like this? "It's always been about reaching as many people as possible, and putting writing on the table of as many families and schools as possible," Herrera told the Dallas Observer last year. "I write for different audiences which could be young adults, toddlers, adults, experimental poets or performance poets. I do all these things because I love writing and because I love people, and not just one group, but all groups."

The timing for fighting for literacy, creativity, and diversity couldn't be better.

With our educational system on an apparent collision course, people like Herrera are part of the solution and the optimism that we can rely on in these times. We don't know how this current administration and its appointees' stories will end, but we can dive into the fictional world of Catalina Neon and, with the help of our children, hopefully find a happy ending for her adventure.

If you're a second- or third-grader: Thank you for reading Upworthy! If you or someone you know would like to contribute to the next installment, submit your ideas here.

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.




Others found this to be very relatable content.








And then things took a brief turn...


...when Carli revealed that her dad had been stood up by his date.



And people were NOT happy about it.





However, things did work out in the end. According to Yahoo Lifestyle, Carli told her dad about all of the attention the tweet was getting, and it gave him hope.

Carli's dad, Jeff, told Yahoo Lifestyle that he didn't even know what Twitter was before now, but that he has made an account and is receiving date offers from all over the world. “I'm being asked out a lot," said Jeff. “But I'm very private about that."



We stan Jeff, the viral Twitter dad. Go give him a follow!

This article originally appeared on SomeeCards. You can read it here.

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Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

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Disney recently spoke on the Yahoo News show "Through Her Eyes," and shared a story of how a Magic Kingdom employee reached out to her about the poor working conditions at the theme park. So, Disney went to see for herself, and she did not like what she found.

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