The DHR Division of Public Health provides the funding for the program. The GSU Schoolof Nursing coordinates the training. And the March of Dimes provides technical help.Statewide sponsors include the DHR Family Health Branch, Georgia Chapter of the Marchof Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Universityof Georgia College of Family andConsumer Sciences, Georgia StateUniversity School ofNursing, GPCCF and The Family Connection. People say kids are getting smarter all the time. A group of state public healthleaders intends to make sure that’s true.Starting in October, key public health agencies, universities and others will begin astatewide training program called “Better Brains for Babies: Maximizing Georgia’sBrain Power.”The planners are banking on the latest research on early brain development. Thefindings show that babies’ first three years of life greatly affect how they function formany years afterwards.”Governor Miller called attention to this research when he distributed classicalmusic CDs to parents of newborn children in Georgia,” said Brian Ziegler, statedirector and national adviser for the March of Dimes Georgia Chapter.”We’re taking the next step,” Ziegler said. “We will train communityleaders so they can pass the information on to parents and anyone who cares for smallchildren. We want everyone to know what babies need to help their brains develop.”The first groups of professionals and advocates will attend trainings in Tifton Oct. 6,Macon Oct. 7 and Athens Oct. 9. Child-care providers, licensing staff, parents, fosterparents and others will have similar training.The “Making Change for Children” Summit in Atlanta Oct. 15-16 will kick offthe statewide program. Community leaders there will meet trainers, learn about theresearch and arrange presentations in their communities.”Babies’ brains develop fast before age three,” said Dr. Kathleen E. Toomey,director of the GeorgiaDepartment of Human Resources Division of Public Health. “Unlike other organs,the brain acquires much of its capacity after birth, by extending and connecting billionsof neurons.”Toomey said it’s vital to “do everything we can to see that infants are stimulatedat this critical age.”The trainings will help policy makers, too, said Dr. William Sexson of the Georgia PolicyCouncil for Children and Families.”In the past, we’ve paid a lot of attention to school-age children,” Sexsonsaid. “But we haven’t addressed children’s needs in their first three years. Now wecan make better decisions to help families prepare their children to meet the social andeducational challenges of our society.”What can parents do? Here are some tips. Get good prenatal care. Pregnant women should eat a healthy diet, avoid alcohol and other drugs and have regular prenatal checkups. Breast milk provides the ideal nutritional balance. If you don’t breast-feed, give your baby an iron-fortified infant formula. And always hold her when you feed her. Create a safe environment. Are your baby’s surroundings clean? Are there dangers such as sharp objects or things that could choke him? Does he always ride in a car safety seat? Talk to your baby. Make eye contact. Smile. Play rhyming games. Read aloud. As she gets older, ask questions and explain things to her. Find quality child care. Look for care-givers who provide a safe environment and enriching new experiences. Play rich, complex music. Sing songs. Let your child try musical instruments. Limit television. Children need to interact with real, live people. Take care of yourself. Stressed parents tend to stress their babies. So take some time for yourself. Find people who can support you as a parent. Get the information you need. Ask your pediatrician. Your child-care provider or librarian can suggest good books on child development. And the county Extension Service office can give you more information on parenting.
___The Russian anti-doping agency is suspending all tests for 10 days in response to measures implemented by the government to fight the coronavirus.The move comes after President Vladimir Putin told Russians except those working in essential sectors to stay home next week.RUSADA deputy CEO Margarita Pahnotskaya tells The Associated Press the testing suspension covers a longer period because of the risk of staff being stranded away from home. Tests stopped Friday and will resume on April 6.Pakhnotskaya says the World Anti-Doping Agency has been notified. Jae Crowder of the Miami Heat has donated $15,000 to Boston-based custom slide sandal company ISlide. That money will go entirely to the company’s affected workers. Crowder is an ISlide investor and says he felt compelled to give because he knows workers there are in need. Crowder says “to see the potential negative business impact from this outbreak compelled me to help in any way I could.”___ Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Lakers superstar Anthony Davis is getting involved with a pair of community initiatives to help Los Angeles-area hospital employees and Staples Center workers. At Augusta National, kids who qualified for this year’s Drive, Chip and Putt will get to compete on the Sunday before next year’s Masters. They will compete in the same age division for which they qualified. That means there won’t be any qualifying for new participants until next year.___Oilers captain Connor McDavid says he elected to stay put in Edmonton rather than risk traveling home to suburban Toronto.McDavid says he didn’t want to take the chance of going through crowded airports and contract the new coronavirus in fear of potentially spreading it to his parents and grandparents. He says the NHL being on hiatus also allows him to break in the new home he built, which also includes a gym.McDavid spoke on a league-hosted video conference call featuring Pacific Division players on Friday. FIFPro says it’s “extremely concerned” that clubs in several countries “have begun to immediately lay off players or unilaterally reduce their salaries” because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.The Netherlands-based union says many players worldwide earn at or below average domestic income “and would be severely affected by salary decreases.”One club in Switzerland, Sion, terminated the contracts of nine players including former Arsenal pair Johan Djourou and Alexandre Song, who declined to accept reduced wages in a federal unemployment insurance program.FIFPro, which represents 65,000 men’s and women’s players, urges “clubs with short-term financial difficulties to meet with national player unions to negotiate fair and proportionate arrangements.”___ Top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic, his wife and their foundation are donating 1 million euros (about $1.1 million) to help buy ventilators and other medical equipment for hospitals in Serbia.Djokovic says his foundation’s staff “will be monitoring everything” to get the equipment in place.His wife, Jelena, is the global director of the Novak Djokovic Foundation. She says ventilators needed to help COVID-19 patients range in price from 10,000 to 50,000 euros ($11,000 to $55,000).The 32-year-old Djokovic won the Australian Open in January for his 17th Grand Slam title. Among men, only Roger Federer, with 20, and Rafael Nadal, with 19, have won more.___ Employers in Spain are allowed to reduce labor costs while guaranteeing that workers will return to their jobs once conditions improve.The club says it has not decided by how much the salaries will be lowered.___A Russia-based basketball league with teams in five countries has abandoned its season without declaring a champion because of the coronavirus outbreak.VTB United League CEO Ilona Korstin says it’s not appropriate to continue the season “in the current situation when borders are closed, teams can’t train at basketball arenas and clubs have to allow foreign players to go home.” Davis says he is teaming up with Lineage Logistics to match up to $250,000 in donations to an organization providing free meals to health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The initiative is a partnership with the World Food Kitchen, led by famed chef José Andrés.Davis and Lineage also announced an initiative to offer jobs with Lineage to Staples Center employees in the upcoming weeks and months while no sports are being played in the Lakers’ home arena, which they share with the Los Angeles Clippers and the NHL’s Kings. Lineage operates refrigerated warehouses in the Los Angeles area and around the world.Davis is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer after his first season with the Lakers, but the Anthony Davis Family Foundation is already involved in numerous charitable ventures in the Los Angeles area. The seven-time NBA All-Star is widely expected to re-sign with the Lakers.___The mountain bike world championships in Albstadt, Germany, from June 25-28 have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The event originally scheduled for July 23-26 will now be held on Aug. 6-9 at the Evian Resort Golf Club.Evian is one of the five majors on the women’s circuit.The decision was made by the LPGA Tour, the Ladies European Tour and Evian organizers.LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan says “this adjustment makes for easier travel for players and assists us as we look to reschedule previously postponed events.”The women’s British Open is scheduled to be held two weeks after Evian. She says “we studied all the consequences and agreed we should follow the order. And it was agreed with WADA. I wrote them a letter yesterday.”___The Diamond League has postponed three more track meets because of the coronavirus outbreak.The events in Stockholm on May 24, Naples and Rome on May 28, and Rabat, Morocco, on May 31 have all been postponed with no new dates set.The first six events of the year have been called off and only the Shanghai meet has been given a new date. The Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on June 7 is now the first scheduled event on the calendar. Smart announced his diagnosis on March 19, seven days after Utah Jazz All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for COVID-19. Boston played the Utah Jazz on March 6.Celtics players and staff were also tested as a precaution and those tests have all come back negative.Stevens said he and team officials have been checking in with Smart and the rest of the team regularly via conference calls.“I’m proud of how he kind of took the initiative to tell people that he had it and that he felt good and that he got online, just continued to ask people to practice social distancing and self-isolation right now,” Stevens said. “It’s just, you know, it’s a really unique, unsettling time for everyone.”— Kyle Hightower reporting from Boston March 27, 2020 The International Ski Federation (FIS) has postponed its presidential election at a biennial congress for at least three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.Hosts for some world championships, including Alpine skiing in 2025, were also due to be voted on at May 17-23 meetings in Thailand.FIS says it hopes to reschedule “in the autumn (fall) of this year,” possibly at a different location.Candidates to succeed 22-year incumbent Gian Franco Kasper as president, and for seats on the FIS ruling council, must be declared 30 days before the rescheduled elections.The three candidates for Alpine worlds in 2025 are: Saalbach, Austria; Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; Crans-Montana, Switzerland. ___The LPGA Tour now has two majors that have been rescheduled because of the new coronavirus.With the Olympics postponed until 2021, the Evian Championship in France will be two weeks later on Aug. 6-9. That was supposed to be the week of women’s golf in the Olympics.Moving back the Evian will create a little room on the LPGA schedule when golf resumes. It also makes travel more practical for the players. The new date for the Evian Championship is one week before the Ladies Scottish Open east of Edinburgh, and two weeks before the Women’s British Open at Royal Troon.The LPGA previously rescheduled the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California, from April 2-5 until Sept. 10-13. ___Atlético Madrid has followed Barcelona’s lead and announced it will reduce its players’ and coaches’ salaries during the stoppage of competition due to the coronavirus crisis. A day after Barcelona had done the same, Atlético said Friday that it will reduce its payroll temporarily “to ensure the future” of the club. Neither Barcelona nor Atlético are saying how much they would slash salaries. The moves will not impact their players’ contracts.___ The Diamond League says “the meeting organizers, the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics remain committed to delivering a structured extensive season in 2020.”___Spanish soccer club Barcelona says it will reduce the salaries of its players amid the coronavirus pandemic.Barcelona says its executive board has decided to temporarily suspend player contracts. That produces a “proportional reduction of the remuneration provided for in the respective contracts.”The players’ contracts will remain intact during the job suspension. Turkish basketball team Fenerbahce says one of its players and three members of the technical and administrative personnel have tested positive for the coronavirus.Fenerbahce says none of the four have been hospitalized. They were being isolated and monitored at home.The player and three staff members were not named.___The Evian Masters women’s golf tournament has been moved to August because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Latest: Lakers star Davis helping raise cash for meals Officials of the city, German federation and cycling governing body UCI will talk next week to try and set new dates.The UCI reiterated world championships have priority in a revised calendar.The worlds follow the postponement or cancellation of 11 World Cups in the cross-country, downhill and eliminator disciplines.___Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens says guard Marcus Smart is doing well and remains in good spirits following his positive test for coronavirus last week. With the season on hold, players have been told to self-isolate until at least April 4. To date, three NHL players have tested positive for the virus: two with Ottawa and the third with Colorado.___Good news for all those who have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics: You’re in for 2021. Olympic officials have confirmed that the 6,200 or so athletes who had already punched their ticket for Tokyo will keep their spots for the rescheduled games next year. It resolves one of the key questions for marathoners, open-water swimmers and hundreds of other athletes whose qualifying process came early in the 2020 sports calendar, before the coronavirus started shutting down sports across the globe. Considered a fourth-tier circuit in the U.S., the NPSL is affiliated with the United States Adult Soccer Association. The NPSL started play in 2003 and had planned to expand from 91 to 94 teams this season.The league was to have entered 14 teams in the U.S. Open Cup, which was suspended because of the pandemic.The NPSL summer season had been set to start in May and end in early August. The league said Friday that many of its venues would be unavailable after that because they are on college and school campuses.___Global players’ union FIFPro has called on soccer clubs to stop firing players or cutting their salaries before talks. Korstin says the league will start preparing for the 2020-21 season.Russian club BC Khimki was leading the league with an 18-1 record when it was suspended.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Still to be determined is how the Isports that make up the Olympics will allocate all the spots at the rescheduled games. Typically, the individual sports determine their qualifying procedures for Olympic events.World Athletics president Seb Coe confirmed that all sports have agreed to the IOC’s proposal that all athletes currently qualified for the Olympics will remain qualified for next year. In track, he said that accounts for about half the places. He said the important next step is to develop a fair process for the rest of the athletes, most of whom have seen their qualifying events postponed.___The National Professional Soccer League has canceled its 2020 summer season because of the new coronavirus outbreak.