Sustainability Week – One week that could impact a lifetime 25 – 29 July 2012

Leading environmental media and sustainability company, alive2green, have confirmed that they will be launching Sustainability Week at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 25 – 29 July 2012. Sustainability Week is a week-long trade exhibition and public fair incorporating a series of conferences, seminars, public lectures and related city tours. 

“The main objective of the conference is education,” says Gordon Brown, alive2green director. “A lot is said about being ‘sustainable’ but it is important to let the public understand what this means. During the course of the week we will be focussing on practical, implementable and accessible changes that need to be made across sectors, as well as in our own homes, to bring about a more sustainable South Africa.” Brown indicates.

“Global crises cannot be disconnected from each other. Understanding this interconnectedness is fundamental to understanding the true cost of our actions. We will therefore be running multiple conferences and seminars and are inviting stakeholders including industry representatives, NGOs, scientific and research bodies, government departments, corporations, professionals and members of the public to form part of these discussions.

“We look forward to connecting the dots; to advance dialogue, learning and sharing across sectors and stakeholders on the fundamental changes we need to make to render our communities less vulnerable and more resilient to external shocks,” Brown concludes.

Activities during Sustainability Week will include:

  • Sustainability Week Exhibition 25-29 July
  • Resilient Cities Seminar 27 July
  • The Green Building Conference 25-26 July
  • Social Housing Seminar 27 July
  • Sustainable Transport Seminar 27 July
  • Sustainable Mobility Seminar 27 July
  • Renewable Energy Seminar 27 July
  • Energy Efficiency Seminar 27 July
  • Sustainable Water Resource Seminar 27 July
  • Vision Zero Waste to Landfill Seminar 27 July
  • The Green Business Seminar 27 July
  • The Green Home Fair and Public Lectures 28-29 July
  • City Tours 28 July

For more information on Sustainability Week please visit: www.sustainabilityweek.co.za or contact e-mail: info@alive2green.com  Tel: 021 447 4733

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New research may change the face of dyslexia

Immediate Release                                                                          29 February 2012

What do Richard Branson and Tom Cruise have in common besides being famous? They were diagnosed with Dyslexia and found the strength to overcome the adversities with which they were faced. Most people, however, do not triumph over their Dyslexia and may have to deal with the reading difficulty’s destructive socio-economic consequences and emotional effects. Persistent learning failure may lead to anguish, embarrassment and frustration.

According to popular belief Dyslexia is a neurological disorder in the brain which causes information to be processed and interpreted differently, resulting in reading difficulties. Historically, the Dyslexia label has been assigned to learners who are bright, even verbally articulate, but who struggle with reading; in short, whose high IQs mismatch their low reading scores. When children are not as bright, their reading troubles have been chalked up to their general intellectual limitations.

However, with the advancement in technology and extensive research, this notion has recently been challenged by neuroscientist John D. E. Gabrieli at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The brain imaging scans from the study found that there was no difference between the way children with or without Dyslexia think while reading.

Susan du Plessis, Director of Educational Programs at Edublox, and author of ’The Truth About Learning Disabilities’, indicates, “IQ tests are an invalid method of diagnosing Dyslexia; Dyslexia is not a disability, but an inability; all children, regardless of IQ, can learn to read.

“At Edublox we focus on two basic characteristics: firstly that no one can do anything that they have not learnt to do, and secondly that the learning process is a stratified process, in other words, it proceeds one step at a time. If you miss out on one of the steps, you can’t simply go on to the next step and hope you’ll understand it. You need to retrace your steps and master each step before moving on to the next step.

“A child who hasn’t learnt to count will never be able to add or subtract. In the same way, a child must first acquire certain skills and knowledge before it becomes possible for them to become a good reader. Foundational skills like concentration, visual discrimination, accurate perception and memorizing, skills of association, auditory memory and lateral interpretation are all functions that form the foundation of good reading and spelling.

“At Edublox we have had many success stories of learners overcoming their reading difficulties. Kyle Christie from Witbank is a recent example of a learner that went from a borderline failure pupil to an ‘A’ Achiever after committing to the Edublox program.” Du Plessis commented.

Mike Christie, Kyle’s father indicated, “Not only did Kyle’s academic results and achievements improve remarkably as he overcame his reading difficulty, but his self-esteem and confidence in his extra mural activities were also positively impacted. Kyle’s temperament also changed considerably and he is much more relaxed and able to concentrate a lot better than before.”

For more information please visit the Edublox website www.edublox.co.za or contact the Edublox head office on 012-345-1480. You can also find Edublox on Facebook.

More information about the study:

The study conducted by Dr. Gabrieli involved 131 children, aged 7 to 16, and following a simple reading test and an IQ measure, each child was assigned to one of three groups: typical readers with typical IQs, poor readers with typical IQs, and poor readers with low IQs. During the test, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe the activity in six brain regions identified as being important in connecting print and sound.

The results indicated that poor readers of all IQ levels showed significantly less brain activity in the six observed areas than typical readers. But there was no difference in the brains of the poor readers, regardless of their IQs.

More about Edublox

The Edublox methodology is based on 30 years’ practical experience combined with 50 years of intensive research about reading and learning. Edublox have helped learners in South Africa as well as internationally and certain Edublox products are exported to eight countries worldwide. The latest and best technologies are presented at the Edublox clinics. Edublox sharpens attention and concentration, develops accurate perception, improves memory and promotes logical thinking as well as improving reading, spelling and writing. Even learners who are seriously dyslexic can be helped to overcome their problems completely. Research has shown that IQ can be increased by up to 10 points through Edublox. 

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Save the date! Green Building Conference 25 & 26 July 2012

alive2green are pleased to announce that their Sixth Annual Green Building Conference and Exhibition will be hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre on 25 and 26 July 2012 forming part of Sustainability Week 2012.

Leveraging off the momentum gained from previous Green Building Conferences, dialogue will continue at this year’s conference between industry experts about carbon and other environmental mitigation gains within the built environment.

“The property and construction sectors will be heavily impacted by climate change,” comments Gordon Brown, Director at alive2green.

“We are facing a new high tide line and an increase in the high-sea line attributable to the recent severe weather events and higher flood lines; this will need to be taken into consideration when building along the coastal and riverine banks. Buildings will also have to be built to more rigorous structural standards, similar to countries like Japan.

“It is also predicted that rainfall will occur less frequently but with greater intensity, drastically increasing the need to capture rain water, this however provides a great opportunity for future buildings to be designed as mini reservoirs,” adds Brown.

As has been the tradition at the Green Building Conference, the speaker panel will feature leading international speakers, “We are very pleased to announce that Stefan Zopp from Ateliers Jean Nouvel (AJN), of Switzerland will deliver a presentation, and participate in panel discussions,” indicates Brown.

Many other international, regional and local speakers will be taking part in an innovative quality over quantity format, structured to include interactive multi-disciplinary workshops.

For more information on the Green Building Conference and Exhibition visit www.greenbuilding.co.za   or e-mail:  info@greenbuilding.co.za / Tel: 021 447 4733

Send waste packing over the next five years

Municipal service delivery in terms of domestic household waste collection and disposal currently varies from very poor to good in South African cities and towns. The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) has identified a few key issues which require resolution over the next five years so that significant progress can be achieved within this critical field.

With the New Waste Act (Act 59 of 2008) now in place, as well as a new National Waste Management Strategy, new standards for waste collection have been gazetted for comment, aiming to provide the necessary levels of service delivery required for all citizens. IWMSA President, Stan Jewaskiewitz says, “In terms of the new Waste Act, all relevant waste management facilities will need to be licensed and must appoint waste management officers who will have significant legal responsibilities with regard to compliance.

“These new and improved standards include providing more stringent requirements for landfills, whilst simultaneously reducing and limiting the amount of waste that arrives at landfill, especially hazardous industrial liquid wastes. Many landfill sites are not presently licensed and of those that are, some are poorly run or managed, causing a detrimental impact on the environment and local communities.

“Government recognises that at local government level, there is a significant lack of capacity and expertise. To this end they have initiated a number of interventions such as training and assisting with the financing of various initiatives; all of which entails investing funds into training and capacity building.”

Jewaskiewitz continues, “We, at the IWMSA are proud of our involvement in municipal training workshops and are delighted to now offer accredited basic Waste Management training courses.

“The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has been running an annual Waste Khoro for the past two years, aimed at informing and up-skilling municipalities to meet the requirements of the new legislation.  However, many municipalities do not have the necessary skills, capacity or management experience to run effective waste collection and disposal systems. They also do not have any planning processes in place and as a result do not have sufficient financial budgets to implement such systems.  Industrial and commercial wastes are therefore generally handled by private sector waste companies whose service, whilst not excellent, is adequate in respect of both general and hazardous wastes.

“Companies in this sector have already begun a process of looking into and implementing waste recycling and waste treatment systems especially for industry, and are gearing up in anticipation of the implementation of the new standards.” Jewaskiewitz concluded

The IWMSA focuses on providing education and training for its members, as well as other interested parties, whether private individuals or government entities.

The IWMSA is a non-profit organisation comprising a body of dedicated professionals in their respective fields, who give freely and voluntarily of their time and expertise in order to effectively educate, promote and further the science and practice of waste management.  For more information, visit: www.iwmsa.co.za

Beating the odds: Learners’ amazing academic improvements recognised

While learning comes easy for some, children with learning difficulties can find the simplest school activities an insurmountable challenge. In a bid to recognise learners who have overcome the odds and managed to excel despite their difficulties Edublox, a South African company that helps children and adults with learning disabilities, introduced their Learner of the Year awards to reward learners on the Edublox programme for their hard work and achievements at school.

Edublox launched their first learning clinic as pilot project in 2007 and have been recognising learners who excel in their Learner of the Year awards ever since. Parents of learners on the Edublox programme are encouraged to put forward candidates that they feel have shown significant improvements. The criteria when looking for winners include results achieved at school, progress made, level of effort put in and challenges overcome such as poor self-image, doubt in their own abilities and a negative attitude towards reading or learning.

“All the learners who participate are winners,” says Susan du Plessis, Director of Educational Programs at Edublox. “It is an honour and a privilege to be able to reward these children who work so hard to achieve their goals. Over and above their success at school and the lifelong foundation of learning skills now created, they also learn that hard work and dedication will bring them success – a wonderful lesson in life,” du Plessis states.

The four Learner of the Year winners for 2012 are Ameerudeen Kaffoor from Kempton Park, Kyle Christie from Pretoria East, Ongama Duze from Ballito and Troy Benson from the West Rand. Each winner will receive R1000 in prize money, as well as a certificate of achievement. Every child that entered will receive a consolation prize of a R50 voucher sponsored by Romans Pizza.

The success stories of the winning learners are detailed below:

From not being able to read, and doing assisted school exams for the first two terms of the school year, Ameerudeen Kaffoor  from Kempton Park progressed to completing the last two school exams unassisted and passing the year in 2011. Ameerudeen, who has backpacked through remote parts of the world since the age of 3 and skippered a yacht on his own on the open sea, changed from being an illiterate child to a literate child, and is becoming more and more well-rounded mentally, intellectually and emotionally.

 

 

 

 

 

In less than a 12 month period at Edublox, Kyle Christie from Pretoria East progressed from a learner on the brink of failing the year to an “A grade” achiever. Kyle has managed to maintain his improved results and received a certificate and badge for his academic achievements from his school at the end of 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since starting lessons at Edublox, Ongama Duze’s reading ability has improved greatly and he no longer dreads it. Simple changes such as carrying the grocery list during a shopping trip, proudly reading it and ticking off items as they are purchased show his increase in confidence. Ongama showed a marked improvement in his school results at the end of 2011 and received an award for very good progress in all his subjects.

 

 

 

Troy Benson from the West Rand never showed an interest in reading. He battled to understand what he was reading as it took so long to work out each individual word. By the third term of 2011 Troy took to reading the Bible before bed every night and comfortably reads out every signboard he sees along the roadside. Troy has moved from the position of needing to repeat a grade to achieving high results for all reading related topics as well as spelling and phonics activities.

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on Edublox contact Edublox head office on 012 3451480 or visit www.edublox.co.za .

More about Edublox

The Edublox methodology is based on 30 years’ practical experience combined with 50 years of intensive research about reading and learning. Edublox have helped learners in South Africa as well as internationally and certain Edublox products are exported to eight countries worldwide. The latest and best technologies are presented at the Edublox clinics. Edublox sharpens attention and concentration, develops accurate perception, improves memory and promotes logical thinking as well as improving reading, spelling and writing. Even learners who are seriously dyslexic can be helped to overcome their problems completely. Research has shown that IQ can be increased by up to 10 points through Edublox.