Play Africa will be the first children’s museum in South Africa. Like children’s museums elsewhere, it will not be a staid mausoleum to history, but rather a place where children of all ages will be able to play and learn through interacting with a variety of giant exhibits. A museum designed for children, to allow them to learn and have fun doing it. (Image: Play Africa) Priya Pitamber“It was so exciting to go into a space and you could touch anything, that there was nothing off limits to you as a child,” recalled Gretchen Wilson Prangley, the founder and chief executive of Play Africa, of her first visit to a children’s museum. “There was something like a giant bubble maker that made big, square bubbles and I remember seeing something when you’re that small that could create something that big, it’s extremely exhilarating.”The American-born former journalist has been living in South Africa for over a decade. She was inspired when she took her six-month-old son to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in New York City: it would be great to have a facility like this in Johannesburg, she thought. And so the idea of Play Africa was born; once up and running, it will be the first of its kind in South Africa.Gigantic interactive exhibitionThink of the word “museum” and the image that pops into mind is a quiet, still place filled with valuable artefacts and ancient items, where information is given via small plaques by the glass cases or through audio tutorial – and “Do not touch” signs are seen everywhere. A children’s museum is an entirely different concept. It’s more of a gigantic interactive exhibition on a range of topics. Many have indoor and outdoor spaces, and the most family friendly also offer food or picnic facilities.“Kids are immediately transfixed by the site of life sized dinosaurs ‘bursting’ through the museum’s exterior walls, and inside they will find nearly a half million square feet of exhibition space, a staggering amount,” the American business magazine, Forbes, noted of the Children’s Museum Indianapolis.In their research – they spoke to 200 South African families – Prangley and her team found that the term “children’s museum” made people think of a place where you learned about the history of childhood. “We hope people understand these are the places you can go… these places are so exciting and compelling and dynamic, you want to run into them because they’re such vibrant spaces, and the word ‘museum’ tends to make people think of something really different.”According to the Association of Children’s Museums, there are more than 350 of these worldwide. The first, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, opened its doors over a century ago, in 1899. One of its pioneers, Anna Billings Gallup, described the concept in 1925 as “Brooklyn’s gift to the world”.Children’s rightsThe rights of children are enshrined in South Africa’s Constitution. “Children need special protection because they are among the most vulnerable members of society,” reads the Constitutional Court website. “They are dependent on others – their parents and families, or the state when these fail – for care and protection. As a result, the drafters of our Constitution have made children’s rights a priority – and have stated that the best interests of a child are the overriding concern when it comes to any matter affecting him or her.”Prangley said Play Africa would help to empower children. “We’re saying children are worth the investment in our community, to create spaces that are made for them that empower them to touch, feel, explore and discover new things, new areas, to be exposed to new ideas, exposed to the world,” she said. “A child should walk away feeling extremely empowered because they’ve just engaged in a space entirely made for them.”She observed that most urban areas catered for adults predominately; here, children needed to navigate the space in an adult world.“For better or worse, children live in an adult-centred world. When they enter a magical world where this is not the case, it is a truly energising experience.” – John H Falk and Lynn D Dierking, Learning from Museums: Visitor Experiences and the Making of Meaning“A right to a safe child-appropriate space to play is a basic human right but the reality is that only 29% of South Africa’s children have access to safe play areas,” said Prangley.More than a schoolThe first obvious difference between a children’s museum and a school or a crèche is that it is much bigger. For Play Africa specifically, Prangley and her team are searching for the right spot. “What we’re looking at is between 3 000 and 5 000 square metres of indoor space, and 6 000m2 of outdoor space.”There would also be a lot of self-directed learning, where children and their parents or caregivers could entirely immerse themselves in the experience. “You might walk in and find a child is drawn to a science laboratory in which they are invited to experiment with this idea of themselves as a scientist by using materials they will ever be able to find in their own school or crèche,” explained Prangley. “They might sit in the art studio and create a clay sculpture using materials they might never have the chance to access in their own school or crèche. They might spend their time learning about ecology through a water based exhibit.” If a child feels like being a scientist for the day, they can at a children’s museum. (Image: Play Africa) Open to all childrenPeggy Chauke, the director of Leratong Preschool in Alexandra, Joburg, supports a safe area where children can play. She said the only place children played in Alex was on the roads. “They play soccer, cricket, whatever they want to play, they play in the street, which is very dangerous for them.”Watch:In cities that have them, children’s museums have become tourist destinations, attracting both local and international visitors. Prangley pointed out that Mexico City’s children’s museum was the third most popular stop in the Mexican capital. Forbes magazine said the largest of them, Children’s Museum Indianapolis “is often ranked the single best such museum in the country, and fills five floors with permanent and temporary exhibits”.In addition to tourism, children’s museums help to create a niche business industry. “You’ll find all over the world, small businesses that have been created specifically to create materials, to create exhibits, engaging hands-on learning tools for children and families,” observed Prangley. “We believe there is enormous potential for enterprises.”Flagship destinationPrangley would like Johannesburg’s museum to be a flagship destination, opening in 2018. “We’ve been approached to do satellite projects. We also envision micro sites operating in smaller communities,” she said. “We see beyond Johannesburg. We’ve also been approached by four governments – in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We believe that Johannesburg will be the first of many.”She envisioned it as a place where families of all types, beyond race and class lines, could come together. “We believe in using a very inclusive space to bridge divides in our city,” she said. “We’re saying this is where every child and every family feels like they can come and play together, learn together, and dream together.” Just as she did as a child, when she saw those giant bubbles.For more information, visit Play Africa.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Tickets are now on sale for the Delaware County Farm Bureau’s Benefit in the Barn, A Symphony on the Farm. This celebration of agriculture, food and music happens Saturday, August 19, 2017 with all proceeds benefitting partners of the Delaware County Hunger Alliance. Guests will enjoy a fun, unique concert complete with dinner catered by City BBQ, Ohio beer, Ohio wine and Ohio spirits. The organizers promise special surprises throughout the night. All proceeds from the evening support the Delaware County Hunger Alliance.Last year the event raised over $31,000 to support numerous agencies work in fighting hunger in the community. The year’s event takes place on the Doug Dawson Farm at 2831 Bowtown Road, Delaware. Tickets include a picnic-style dinner (compliments of City BBQ and Performance Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Delaware and Honda Marysville) beginning at 6 p.m. and a performance by the Central Ohio Symphony from 7:30 p.m. until dusk. Guests are encouraged to bring a lawn chair for open seating in the barn or adjacent tents. Handicapped parking will be available.Tickets can be purchased online at BenefitInTheBarn.org. General admission is $30 per ticket and includes the concert and dinner. Farm Bureau members will receive a $5 discount per ticket when entering their Farm Bureau member number. A limited number of tickets will be sold, so be sure to get your tickets early. Please call the United Way of Delaware County at 614-436-8929 for additional assistance regarding ticket purchases or Delaware County Farm Bureau at 740-363-1613 for general questions.All proceeds from the Benefit in the Barn will benefit the Delaware County Hunger Alliance. The members of the Hunger Alliance are committed to increasing access to fresh produce, food pantries, meals for the homebound, and nutrition education. If you cannot attend the Benefit in the Barn but would still like to support the Delaware County Hunger Alliance, visit DelawareCountyHunger.org.The Delaware County Hunger Alliance, facilitated by United Way of Delaware County is a coordinated, community collaboration, representing all sectors and demographics in our county. The Alliance meets monthly to discuss program coordination, gaps in service, and enhanced service delivery.The latest data available states that approximately 16,440 Delaware county residents are food insecure. 17% of that number representing children under 18. To address this need, the Hunger Alliance provides services through fixed and mobile food pantries, community meals, weekend meal backpacks, weekday summer lunch program, Cooking Matters classes, homebound meal delivery, congregate dining sites and produce prescriptions to address chronic diseases.In addition to City BBQ and Performance Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Delaware and Honda Marysville, other major supporters include: the Delaware County Foundation’s Robert Weiler Family Fund and Charles H. and Betty J. Sheets Fund; Safelite Foundation; First Commonwealth Bank; Agee, Clymer, Mitchell and Portman; Trillium Farms; First Citizens National Bank; POET; Champion Feed and Pet Supply; Wright Moore Law Office; Farm Credit Mid America; Kalmbach Feeds and Dawson Farms; Bret Davis Seeds; Maloney and Novotney; Ohio Beef Council; Ohio Pork Council; Ohio Health; Ohio Corn and Wheat; Seed Consultants; Richwood Bank; Beck’s Hybrids; Price Farms Organics; Trimble Insurance; Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio’s Ag Net; Barrett, Easterday and Cunningham Law; JD Equipment; Heritage Co-Op; Powell Village Winery; Restoration Brew Worx; Watershed Distillery.Delaware County Farm Bureau has more than 3,300 members who are farmers, gardeners, food enthusiasts and more. The organization partners with local businesses and organizations to make life better for members and grow communities. To learn more, or to join, follow on Facebook or go to GrowWithFB.org.
With a bold plan to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon footprint, the International Code Council (ICC) has launched a Green Construction Code. This is a first!Having written building code for almost a century, members of the ICC are now entering the world of environmental protection and building sustainability…and in a big way! A recent press release acknowledged that buildings consume about 40% of energy used and produce about the same in carbon emissions. Richard Weiland, CEO of ICC, said, “We believe the time has come for us to develop a code that will stand as a useful and credible regulatory framework for creating a greener commercial building stock.”ICC will not be alone in this effort. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ASTM International will have visible participation in the development of this code as well. In fact, during the announcement, representatives from all three organizations were present. In addition, Weiland made a point of comparing the AIA’s 2030 carbon neutrality goals with the green code initiative.The new code will be called International Green Construction Code (IGCC): Safe and Sustainable by the Book. In fact, it already has a website. This code will be developed by a newly created Sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC) appointed by the Board of Directors of ICC. The 28-member committee represents interests across the green building landscape. It has a target date of 2010 for a first draft and will focus mostly on traditional commercial buildings, additions, and alterations. It will address residential construction by referencing the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard. It will be coordinated with the other I codes, and will provide criteria to measure compliance.It will use the model code approach that will allow jurisdictions to adopt and will cover energy-use efficiency, water-use efficiency, building materials, indoor air quality, environmental impact, site design, and owner education. It will set minimum and advanced levels of performance written in mandatory language, while still providing both prescriptive and performance solutions. It will account for local conditions such as weather or geographical considerations. It will comply with local, state and federal laws.The committee’s work begins on July 28-30 at the Wyndham O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill. Visit the SBTC website for meeting dates and times.
If you’re looking to stay on top of the video production industry, get your fix weekly with the NeedCreative Podcast.An audio podcast might seem like an odd choice to learn about a very visual medium like video or filmmaking, but the guys behind the NeedCreative Podcast have got it down! Each week hosts Paul Antico and Ben Consoli showcase the latest news in the industry and bring on guests that are leaders in the video production field.Past guests have included well known directors of photography and creative pros like Philip Bloom, Shane Hurbut, Nino Leitner, Joe Simon and Rodney Charters (DP for Fox’s “24”) .Started in June of 2012, the NeedCreative Podcast now boasts listenership in over 140 countries, and the show’s focus maintains this global focus.The hosts are both working professionals and skilled in all things related to production: cameras, lighting, video editing, etc., so their commentary and insight comes from a real-world perspective. And just in case you’re skeptical, this isn’t dry tech-only chit chat. There’s a big entertainment factor here – the hosts (and guests) are extremely personable and funny.Check out the podcast 1 of 3 ways:Subscribe via iTunes and get new episodes deliveredSubscribe via Stitcher and access through the free Stitcher appVisit AnticipateMedia and stream episodes online.The video production industry changes rapidly. Stay up to date with the latest happenings AND get a healthy dose of creative inspiration – give the NeedCreative Podcast a spin.Premiumbeat is a big fan of the podcast & recently signed on as a sponsor.
Rafael Nadal made quick work of Roger Federer in their first French Open meeting since 2011, beating his rival 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 Friday in strong wind to reach his 12th final at Roland Garros.Nadal has never lost a semifinal at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament. Never lost a final, either.And he’s never lost to Federer in Paris, improving to 6-0. Overall, Nadal leads their series 24-15. Federer had won their past five meetings, but those were all on hard courts.It’s a whole different task to take on Nadal on clay, in general, and at the French Open, in particular, where his one victory away from a 12th championship, which would be more than any man or woman has won at any of the Grand Slam tournaments.In Sunday’s final, the No. 2-seeded Nadal will take on either No. 1 Novak Djokovic or No. 4 Dominic Thiem.This was the first time since 2011 the four top-seeded men were in the semifinals at Roland Garros.Like so many times before, it was Nadal’s topspin-heavy lefty forehand, his relentless ball-chasing and his return game that gave Federer fits.Frustrated the guy so much that the generally stoic Federer smacked a tennis ball toward the stands after getting broken to trail 2-1 in the third set.It would soon be over.Federer, who was playing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, hadn’t lost a set through five victories over the past two weeks. With an aggressive, head-to-the-net style, he had been broken a total of only four times by those opponents.advertisementNadal easily exceeded that in a span of three sets across less than 2½ hours, winning 6 of 13 return games.The 37-year-old Federer, whose 20 Grand Slam titles are a record for a man, was serenaded off the court by spectators’ chants of his first name. He raised his right arm for a quick wave as he walked away perhaps for the final time. He missed the tournament in 2016 with a bad back, then skipped it the next two years to prepare for grass and hard courts.He looked quite good in his return, until running into his old nemesis.Also Read | French Open 2019: Teenager Vondrousova beats Konta to reach finalAlso Read | French Open 2019: Noavk Djokovic sets semi-final clash with Dominic ThiemAlso See