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18 Dec - 1 Jan: Good News roundup of 2020 and the solar railway...

The 6 health breakthroughs from 2020 and 93 other good news stories from 2020.

1: Myanmar became the second country in southeast Asia to completely eliminate trachoma,

⁠2: There was a major breakthrough in 2020 in the fight against AIDS.

3: Africa announced that it is officially free from wild polio.

4: WHO revealed that malaria deaths have reached the lowest level ever recorded.

5: WHO published its annual tuberculosis report showing that between 2015 and 2019, global deaths fell by 14%.

6) Pneumonia numbers have fallen by 50% in less than a decade. (Future Crunch)

The Covid crisis revealed the cracks in the systems of many rich countries but it also showcased the strengths of developing ones. It busted the myth that non-wealthy countries are less functional, have little to teach and are intrinsically reliant on the West. What we call the “developing world” has, in fact, developed spectacularly in its own nimble way. (Reasons to be cheerful)

Early Google employee, Matt Cutts, experimented trying something new for 30 days straight to break a rut he had been in.⁠ 30 days is the right amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a habit from your life.

⁠Why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days? ⁠(

Dayton Children’s Hospital in Ohio started to appraise its patients and their families to check that they are able to get enough nutritious food. Families that aren’t, would then be referred to their ‘Food Pharm’ program which aims to provide about 55 families per month with enough healthy food to feed a family of four for three days. (The Conversation)

⁠A stretch of railway in Sussex will become the first in the UK to be powered by community generated solar energy. Project ‘Riding Sunbeams’ aims to decarbonise the network while allowing communities to be part of the clean energy transition.⁠ What a way to tackle the climate emergency!⁠ (Positive.News)

Britain’s woodland cover has returned to medieval levels thanks to 20th-century forestry and rewilding. The area of woodland is about 3.19M ha, according to the Forestry Commission. This represents 13% of the land area. Landowners have taken part in the efforts to rewilding the territory by removing livestock and planting native trees. (The Times)

Can fungi help fix our planet? Companies are growing light and durable packaging from mycelium that is easy to compost. Another team in Europe is creating a fungal home, which will sense when it’s dark and switch the lights on. And researchers in the UK are developing strains of fungi that won’t just replace plastic, but eat it as well. (BBC)

A love for reading can be hugely valuable for children benefiting general knowledge, academic achievement and vocabulary growth. Why don't you try the below:

  1. Read aloud (and make it exciting)

  2. Ensure access to books

  3. Create a space for reading

  4. Let children choose books

  5. Talk about books

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