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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Screen Time in the Early Years

ExchangeEveryday - Repost

September 25, 2012

"Many kids use and understand media devices and platforms better than we do.  But their technological abilities are often ahead of their emotional maturity and judgment," advises James Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, in Work & Family Life (September 2012;  Steyer shares research results the impact of screen time on preschool children:
  • A landmark study at the University of Washington showed that for every hour per day that preschool boys spent watching violent TV shows, they had three times the risk of developing behavioral problems at age 7.  This was true even when they were watching cartoons on commercial channels, which often have more violence than adult shows.
  • For each hour of TV young kids watch, they have a 10 percent higher chance of attention problems at age 7, including restlessness, trouble concentrating, and impulsive behavior.
  • Visual images may over stimulate and rewire preschoolers' developing brains.  Learning to read and write takes time and patience. Kids who are used to the fast pace and instant gratification of screen media may easily get bored.
  • More than two hours daily of screen time also increases the odds that kids will be overweight.  They are exposed to a barrage of ads for high-caloric, sugary foods — and when they are sitting in front of a screen, they are not running, jumping, and moving around.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

ExchangeEveryDay - RePost on Nature

The Importance of Nature
September 19, 2012

The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.
-Lou Holtz
"A growing body of research attests to the importance of access to nature -- even if only a small patch of trees on marginal urban land -- for human health and well-being,"writes Louise Chawla in the Bernard van Leer publication, Living Conditions:  The Influence on Young Children's Health (  Some research findings cited by Chawla:
  • Studies show links between access to nature and ability to sustain concentration, delay gratification and cope with stressors.
  • Ethnographic observations of children's play show that games are more imaginative and creative in natural habitats.
  • Play in nature has been found to promote physical agility and social confidence.
  • Natural environments tend to encourage play that is gender-neutral or that brings boys and girls together.
  • Natural play fosters a deep sense of connectedness to the larger universe of living things.

Friday, 7 September 2012

First Geothermally heated and cooled child care in Richmond

City unveils new $4.8-million geothermal system

City officials cut the ribbon Thursday on Richmond's first district energy utility, which will harness geothermal energy to heat and cool more than 500 homes in its first phase.
The new $4.8-million utility is powering apartments in the city's redeveloping West Cambie neighbourhood of Alexandra.
“Richmond is committed to being a sustainable community and that requires finding new ways to meet our energy needs, while also reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie, in a news release.
The city owns and operates the Odlin Road facility, which is set to offer energy to three major new housing developments in the area.
The utility is already supplying the energy that will be needed to heat and cool the new Remy and Mayfair developments, which, when occupied, will include more than 500 new homes and a major new daycare.
Construction is expected to begin soon on the new Omega development, which will also be a client of the new utility. The utility is designed to be expanded as needed to service other clients in the neighbourhood.
The facility costs $80,000 to operate annually at full capacity. According to the city, this cost—along with the construction cost—will be recovered over time through user rates, making the utility self-financing.
This utility uses technology to extract heat from the ground through an underground network of vertical pipe loops and more than 350 wells. Water is pumped though this network where it's naturally heated by the earth. The water is then re-circulated into the utility, where pumps distribute it to heat exchangers inside the residential buildings.
At full capacity, the utility will avoid the production of 200 to 600 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the city.
Officials are now looking at developing more district energy utilities for redeveloping areas of City Centre. Such projects aim to make a dent in city council's goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020, and by 80 per cent by 2050 from 2007 levels.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Art Auction 2012

After many delays and venue challenges the 2012 Art Auction is now confirmed for October 27th at the Signature Sandman Hotel on St.Edwards Drive in Richmond. We are excited about this new venue and the art projects are in full swing..... we are also planning a little surprise so make sure you bring your chequebooks or credit cards!!  

Tickets will be available next week at $15/ticket - only 200 available so get yours soon!

Some previous Art Auction Items: