Teachers attached to the Unit: From left: Luanna Boyce, Shellon Swaving, and Amin BrittonThe Linden Resource Unit for Special Needs Children has recorded exemplary results at this year’s National Grade 6 Examinations (NGSA). Three students attached to the unit – which was formerly known as a Unit for the Blind— have secured places at Mackenzie High School owing to their outstanding performances.The students are Shallun Walks, who secured 494 marks, MeQuita Sealey with 470, and Ramprakash Totoram who all hail from Wismar Hill Primary School where the unit is located. Walks has been offered a place at one of the country’s most prestigious high schools—President’s College, owing to his performance. The achievements of the students who are considered visually impaired have been welcomed with great satisfaction from both their parents and teachers.A parent of one of the top performers, Caeron Sealey, said the students would have been excellent performers throughout the years despite the challenges.Sealey, who is also a teacher, noted that the students possessed a high level of competence to cope and would have achieved 87 per cent or more in the examination. Sealey shared his belief that once the students receive necessary attention they can propel even further in the future. He noted that the experience working with the students for the first time would have been challenging, yet, encouraging at the same time.“I want to encourage parents, even though they may have a child with a disability. I mean the disability does not really specify the genetic trait as it relates to the intelligence of a child. What the disability does is that it brings challenges but the child would have that genetic trait of intelligence. You just have to find the solutions so as to help the child to cope with the challenges and they can be successful in their examinations,” he noted.Meanwhile, Teacher in Charge of the Unit Shellon Swaving has expressed gratitude to the Women for Special Needs Children Organisation which she noted has played an integral role in assisting with the monitoring of the vision of the students. The organisation collaborates with Optique Vision to provide quality eye glasses for the students.“Every August we take the children to Georgetown to see if their vision is getting better and with that, we have a close tab on what is going on. So we don’t have children wearing the same glasses for a long time for their eyes to get worse and that kind of thing,” Swaving related.“I call up at the schools and once the schools pinpoint the students, we do a list and they would pay for the bus to take us down (to Georgetown). Sometimes we make three trips during the August holiday with different sets of children, sometimes they have to go back for a follow-up,” Swaving explained.Swaving said over the past few years, the majority of students from the unit would have performed well in the examinations but pointed out that one on one teaching would propel the students even further. Presently, there are four teachers and two volunteer teachers at the unit. Apart from Swaving, the other teachers include Luanna Boyce, Jenella Williams, Tiffanique Fiedtkou, Teshawn Rodney and Amin Britton. Two of the teachers are also visually impaired.Swaving has also extended gratitude to the Education Ministry for providing the students with large print for the examination, Regional Education Officer Rabindra Singh and National Centre of Educational Resources Development (NCERD) for special needs intervention amongst others. The unit, which has operated out of the Wismar Hill Primary school for a number of years, was recently rebranded to cater not only to visually impaired children but autistic children and those with Down syndrome amongst others.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It has been pretty dry here. We are hoping to finish up soybeans today. We haven’t touched any corn yet. We just keep hammering on these beans. We have 130 acres of beans to go and we’ll switch to corn.Yields have been pretty steady with a range of 45 to about 70 bushels depending on the field and the water damage. We are seeing a lot of the water damage on some of our better fields but the yields are still hanging out around 60 or better. We are pretty satisfied with that.I hand shelled some corn last week. It was 109-day maturity and it was around 19% moisture. At the elevator they are saying everything is from 17% to 25% moisture in the last week. Corn yields in the area have been 100 bushels an acre on up to 230 and 240. Corn will have a lot of variation across the field.We have been doing fall herbicide applications the last couple of years and that really helps with the marestail. This year, though, we are more concerned with compaction than weed pressure. We did some deep chiseling and we ran our vertical-till disk on some acres. We have a good start on that and we are going to try to get more tillage done this fall than we normally would. We are definitely ahead of schedule.There have been a lot of combine fires in this area because everything has been so dry and dusty. Everybody needs to stay safe and make sure their fire extinguishers are working. You never know when something like that is going to happen. There have been more fires this year then there have been in the past.
Last week, I reflected on Earth Day and how concern for the environment inspired me in school and then [no-glossary]led[/no-glossary] to my focus on renewable energy starting in the mid-1970s. This brought me to Brattleboro in 1980 to work for the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, which I did from 1980 through 1985.To continue:In 1985 I was ready to leave the nonprofit world and see if I could make it focusing on writing as a career — with a continued focus on the environment. I had been writing for a few publications during my stint with the New Mexico Solar Energy Association and NESEA, most notably a monthly column on energy for the Journal of Light Construction, but I didn’t know if I could make a livelihood out of that. Teaming up with NadavOne of my major writing projects during this time was a guide to energy-efficient construction for the Energy Crafted Home Program, a utility-funded initiative in Massachusetts. As work loads increased, I hired support staff to help with specific projects. One of those hires, very significantly, was Nadav Malin, in 1991.As my freelance writing career grew, more and more of my assignments were on mainstream building practices and were driven by magazine advertisers: “Alex, we need an article on ‘exterior insulation and finish systems’ and, by the way, it should mention these four companies…” Whenever I got a chance I would write about the intersections of building practices and the environment — whether relating to ozone depletion, global warming, renewable energy, indoor air quality, or water conservation. But these opportunities weren’t as frequent as I wanted. EBN is bornIn the spring of that year, we sent a letter to a couple thousand members of NESEA announcing a new publication, Environmental Building News, and inviting them to subscribe at a special charter subscriber rate. We didn’t really know anything about publishing or direct-mail. We figured if there was interest, recipients of the letter would send in checks. If not, we wouldn’t have invested too much in the experiment. We could cut our losses and move on to the next contact-writing project.But, lo and behold, we had an amazing 14% response to that mailing! (A rate just one-tenth that would be remarkable for any direct-mail campaign today.) Checks flooded in, and we printed our first issue in July, 1992. Remembering my frustrations with advertiser influence over editorial content in other magazines and knowing that we wanted to be able to say whatever we wanted about particular products and technologies, Nadav and I opted not to carry advertising.Environmental Building News (EBN) grew, filling a need out there for the emerging green building community, and we soon had subscribers in all fifty states and in more than a dozen foreign countries. At the time, our business was called West River Communications, but when we launched our first website (in 1995, I believe) we changed our company name to E Build, Inc., to mirror the name of our ebuild.com website. (Later, we would sell ebuild.com and use the proceeds to put our green products database online).Since launching EBN, we gradually grew the company, renamed it BuildingGreen, Inc. (after selling our ebuild.com domain), and launched other resources relating to green building products and the LEED Rating System. It has been an exciting — even if scary — time to be in publishing. We were an early adopter of desktop publishing and very early to the game with the World Wide Web. We have also bucked publishing trends throughout our history by shirking advertising (the primary revenue for most publications) and charging for Web-delivered content.We have continued a mix of our own publishing and contract work, and we’ve been able to focus our contract work in ways that strengthened our in-house expertise in green building. Over the past two and a half decades, we’ve done work for the U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, HUD, the U.S. General Services Administration, the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and several national energy research laboratories. We even participated in the Greening of the White House project during the Clinton Administration. A few articles on green architectureIn 1990 or ’91 Architecture magazine, for which I was a contributing editor, decided to produce a special issue on “green architecture,” a relatively new concept. I wrote several of the articles for that issue, which was well received, even winning an award as I recall. I began to wonder if there might be a niche for a publication focused specifically on green design and construction.Nadav and I talked about this for a while, and in early 1992, we decided to give it a shot. If we succeeded, we could stabilize our revenue through subscriptions and be less dependent on the whims of other magazine editors and on contract work that took effort to drum up and could not always be counted on. Freelance writing is a tough row to hoeIndeed, when I started out on my own I worked two days a week for a local restoration builder. As my writing picked up I gradually shifted to writing full time. I was doing a mix of freelance writing for six or seven magazines, but learned pretty quickly that freelance writing is a tough row to hoe. I supplemented that writing with various technical writing projects for state energy offices, utility companies, nonprofit organizations, and a few manufacturers.An early project was writing a series of home energy improvement pamphlets for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and this led to writing the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings for the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy in 1989. That little book was very well received, ultimately selling several hundred thousand copies and opening the door to lots of other writing opportunities in the energy field. Partnering with Taunton Press to create GBAFor two years, during most of 2008 through early 2010, we were partnered with Taunton Press and during that time created GreenBuildingAdvisor. GBA is a tremendous resource, but it was launched just when the building industry collapsed, and in the hard realities of the weak building economy since, GBA shifted in ways that challenged with original partnership. Both BuildingGreen and Taunton agreed that parting ways made sense, and we separated very amicably two years ago. BuildingGreen became an independent company again, and Taunton Press took full ownership of GBA — though we continue some level of involvement (including this blog).As always during our two-and-a-half-decade history, BuildingGreen has remained true to our initial vision as a mission-driven company, focused on the environment. Our corporate mission statement reads, in part:“…to facilitate transformation of the North American building industry into a force for local, regional and global environmental protection; for preservation and restoration of the natural environment; and for creation of healthy indoor environments.”We are now a 20-person company serving builders, architects, researchers, educators, and policy makers nationwide and even internationally. We work collaboratively with many partners around the country. While two of our employees work remotely and come into the office only occasionally, most of us are located in one of the historic Estey Organ Buildings on Birge Street in Brattleboro. Nadav took over as president several years ago and is ably leading BuildingGreen into the future as we try to keep making a difference.Readers can learn more about BuildingGreen and our products on our website. Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. He coauthored the just-published BuildingGreen special report, Better Window Decisions, which provides clear guidance on window selection. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.
Not sure which video editing application to use? Check out this video that breaks down the differences between two of the leading contenders in pro editing – Final Cut Pro X vs. Premiere Pro.Whether you’re just now debating a jump from Final Cut Pro 7 or trying your hand at serious video editing for the first time, you may find yourself wondering which video editing application is right for your needs.Ric Lanciotti, a professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, has examined in detail the differences in FCPX vs Premiere Pro and then shared them in the informative video below. Ric comes at his analysis from usage in an educational environment but many of the comparison of FCPX vs Premiere are applicable for the professional editor as well.The video runs at about :45 minutes, but for someone seriously looking at making a switch it’s time well spent. In the end a winner is determined based on cost, features and usability (especially for users that are just getting into editing). See for yourself the FCPX vs Premiere Pro victor… it may not be the one you would have guessed. Thanks for sharing Ric!Best viewed full screen: