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The Surprising Reason Some Teens Don’t Know Enough About Sex Ed

STDs have reached epidemic levels in America. #projectliteracy

This story is part of an ongoing campaign called the Alphabet of Illiteracy. By using letters themselves—the foundation of reading and writing—Project Literacy examines the ways illiteracy underpins some of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Below, we explore the letters A and S, for AIDS and STDs.

Workers at Abay Health Center in Ethiopia explain the information and procedures necessary for an accurate diagnosis. Image via (cc) Flickr user UNICEF Ethiopia. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet

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How Prison Literacy Programs Can Fix America’s Mass Incarceration Problem

"We talk about giving prisoners a second chance—but so many people in prison have never had a first chance.” #projectliteracy

Image via The Petey Greene Program Facebook page

There are times when being ranked number one in the world is no cause for celebration—and that’s the unfortunate case for the United States’ staggering incarceration rate, which is five to ten times higher than incarceration rates in other democratic nations. With only 5 percent of the global population, the United States houses nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners: an estimated 2.2 million people living behind bars.

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School Food Is Healthier Than Ever. Will It Stay That Way?

Out with the beef and cheese nachos; in with the oranges and yogurt.

School staff and students enjoying a lunch menu created to meet new standards at the Yorkshire Elementary School in Manassas, Virginia. U.S. Department of Agriculture photo by Lance Cheung via Flickr.

U.S. school food has earned a bad rep—much of it deserved. For decades, many school cafeterias relied on high-calorie processed foods: think frozen fish sticks, plastic-wrapped cookies, and plates devoid of fresh fruits and veggies. At the same time, budget-strapped administrators allowed vending machines to be stocked with soda and junk food. Many students ate diets packed with fat and sugar, and short on key nutrients like fiber. The consequences have become apparent: experts have speculated that American kids might be the first generation in history to die younger than their parents—and obesity is to blame.

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