The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Unit of the Childcare and Protection Agency (CCPA) is preparing to launch its back-to-basics toddler reading programme, to develop and foster an early interest in books in children.The reading programme is aimed at encouraging parents to read books with their preschool children, thereby preparing them for formal education, ECD Executive Officer Lavern Thorne explained.Thorne was quoted by the Department of Public Information (DPI) as saying that the programme was developed after it was recognised that a large number of children could not read. She said that reading to your children or simply turning pages and explaining pictures could result in them gaining an interest in reading from an early age.Thorne explained that while the children may not be able to say the words, by listening to their parents/parent read, they would develop their oral skills, and as a result, the CCPA was resolved in promoting this programme.ECD Manager Concheeta Gray explained that the programme would be launched at more than 300 health centres and 360 childcare facilities across the country. The childcare centres will also be required to establish a library or reading corner for the children.“Zero-three is where the foundation years are laid and once a child has an interest in books at an early age, that child will have an interest in books continuously throughout life, so our licensing and registration officers will be going to health centres and will be pushing this reading programme countrywide,” Gray further clarified.The programme will be officially launched by the end of January. Persons are encouraged to support the book drive by donating books to the CCPA’s Broad Street office. The DPI said parents could also call the Agency on telephone number 227-4420 to uplift books.
FiveThirtyEight Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Feb. 28, 2017), we’re joined by New York magazine’s Reeves Wiedeman, who dropped by to discuss his article on recent political activism by athletes. Next, Michael Caley of ESPN FC and “The Double Pivot” podcast helps us break down Claudio Ranieri’s firing from Leicester City — not even a full year after the soccer team’s Premier League title win. Finally, ESPN baseball writer Sam Miller helps us imagine who the best baseball player would be in a world without stats. Plus, a significant digit on women’s basketball.Links to what we discussed this week:Reeves Wiedeman’s article on the rise of athlete activism.Firing Claudio Ranieri won’t fix Leicester City’s problems, writes Tim Wigmore for FiveThirtyEight.Catch more of Michael Caley’s soccer observations over on the “The Double Pivot” podcast.How do you determine baseball’s greatest player in a world without stats? Sam Miller lays out his theories.Significant Digit: 3,397, the number of career points that University of Washington senior Kelsey Plum has scored in her career for the Huskies. She broke the all-time NCAA women’s record on Saturday, with a 57-point game. Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed
3Slovakia34.0– 22Turkey16.0– 28Switzerland14.0– 25Germany14.0– 19Luxembourg16.0– 12Denmark18.0– Randall’s Finnish peer Aino-Kaisa Saarinen had a child around the same time that Randall did, and she told me that her country has a mandatory four-month paid leave for mothers, which she started a month before her due date. After the baby was born, she and her partner received further benefits, including leave that they could split as they chose between the parents. “In our case, the dad took all that,” Saarinen said. (Not to mention the paid leave that fathers are entitled to.)Randall has competed in the predominantly Europe-based World Cup without that kind of paid leave but with Breck in tow for the past two seasons. It hasn’t always been easy. Although she emerged from childbirth without any serious complications (not all women do, as tennis star Serena Williams’s story demonstrates), the snap in her muscles didn’t return right away. And during her time off, the U.S. team “had gotten so strong,” Randall said. She sat out the second World Cup weekend after her return because she wasn’t skiing as well as her teammates.There have been many men who’ve continued competing after adding a child to their family, said Chris Grover, head coach of the U.S. cross-country ski team, but very few women. “Many of these guys are not primary caregivers and tend to come to the races Thursday and head back home on Sunday night or Monday,” Grover said. And while fathers may experience sleepless nights just like mothers do, they don’t need to physically recover after childbirth.Randall and her husband have built their work and family life around her job. Ellis secured a job as a media coordinator for the ski federation, which allowed him to travel the World Cup circuit with her. “He got the job so that we could see each other in the winter,” Randall said.Randall breast-fed her son until about a month into the racing season. Realizing that there would be at least four mothers coming to the World Cup with babies, the ski federation worked with the athlete commission, national ski federations and organizing committees to make formal recommendations encouraging race venues to provide a “baby room” with appropriate provisions so that moms can breast-feed and care for their infants as needed. Randall thinks she used these rooms much more than others in her cohort of new mothers. She said that may be because the others live in Europe, where most of the races take place, and can travel back and forth between home and races on a weekly basis.In Finland, Saarinen benefits from laws that guarantee child care facilities will be available. “The government also pays for most of it,” she said. That’s not all. “We also get child money from the government, which is about 200€ per month, a baby box with 48 items, and free and mandatory monthly health checks for baby and for the mom.”Things are different in the U.S. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, 62 percent of parents of infant or preschool-age children report difficulty finding affordable, high-quality child care in their community, regardless of their income.Because Randall and Ellis are both working while on the race circuit, their parents and some friends have stepped in to provide child care, but paying travel and accomodations for these helpers isn’t cheap. In part because of the cost, Breck won’t be accompanying his parents to Pyeongchang. After calculating that it would run something like $15,000 to $20,000 for them to bring him and a caretaker along, they decided to send him to his grandparents’ house in Canada instead.As well as things are working out for her now, Randall acknowledges that her current situation is not sustainable. And it probably wouldn’t be scalable to the whole workplace either. Grover acknowledged that it’s difficult to imagine a ski team traveling around Europe with all the coaching staff’s kids, in addition to the team athletes.Randall plans to retire from racing after this season but will remain in the sport. She is president of the U.S. branch of Fast and Female, a group that encourages girls to participate in sports, and she’s running for election as an athlete representative on the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission. After two decades of competition, it feels right, she said. Success in a career like sports requires giving it your all, and that means family life can’t always come first. For a parent who wants to substantially take part in parenting, eventually something must give. 5Ireland26.0– 24Slovenia15.0– 23Belgium15.0– 6Hungary24.0– 16Austria16.0– 10Australia18.0– CountryLength of paid maternity leave, in weeks 20Netherlands16.0– 27Japan14.0– 7Italy21.7– 11Chile18.0– 29Iceland13.0– 2United Kingdom39.0– Source: OECD Family Database 15Canada17.0– 21Spain16.0– 35United States0.0 34Portugal6.0– 4Czech Republic28.0– 8Estonia20.0– 32Sweden12.9– 17France16.0– 13New Zealand18.0– 18Latvia16.0– 30Norway13.0– 1Greece43.0– 31South Korea12.9– Paid maternal leave policies around the worldAmong countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2016 33Mexico12.0– 14Finland17.5– 26Israel14.0– 9Poland20.0– Team USA has sent 20 fathers to Pyeongchang, but only one mother: Kikkan Randall. A three-time winner of cross-country skiing’s World Cup sprint title, Randall was part of a baby boom that happened after the 2014 Sochi Olympics, when four of the sport’s top athletes took time off from racing to give birth.1The others were Marit Bjoergen of Norway (whose silver medal in Saturday’s skiathlon earned her the title of most-decorated woman at the Olympic Winter Games), five-time Olympic medalist Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland and Katja Visnar of Slovenia.These women didn’t just return to work — they came back to the highest level of a demanding sport, and all four are expected to compete in Pyeongchang. But Randall is doing so without the same safety net that her European colleagues have. And that’s left her facing the same challenge that many other American women experience: how to balance a grueling career with the demands of new motherhood. A job as arduous as being a professional athlete (or, say, director of policy planning at the State Department) has little room for compromise or scaling back, and that means that much of the parenting must fall to a spouse or outside help.The 2018 Games will be the fifth Olympic appearance for Randall, a 35-year-old cross-country skier from Alaska.2When I was an elite skier in the 2000s, Randall was an up-and-coming star. I never skied fast enough to make the Olympic team, and the U.S. women’s teams in 2002 and 2006 were unlikely contenders for medals. But since then, thanks in large part to Randall’s performance and leadership, the American women have become a force to reckon with — earning both World Cup and world championship titles. Minnesota native Jessie Diggins won the final World Cup race before Pyeongchang. In 2008, Randall, nicknamed Kikkanimal, made history by becoming the first American woman to win a World Cup in cross-country skiing. And in Pyeongchang, she has a legitimate shot at a medal.Mothers-to-be in most professions take time off after childbirth, but Randall’s situation was different: “I was on my maternity leave while I was pregnant,” she said. Because she remained on the U.S. ski team roster, she retained access to her health insurance, and most of her sponsors continued their support, in exchange for appearances, social media plugs and other publicity. She resumed training about three weeks after her son, Breck, was born in April 2016, with the support of her husband, Jeff Ellis, who parented while she trained. Having a husband who is willing to take on parental duties and, most importantly, to do so “unbegrudgingly” has been “a huge piece of the puzzle,” Randall said.There’s no such thing as a part-time return to work in elite sports, which usually require multiple training sessions each day, along with naps, massages, full nights of sleep and other recovery rituals. Of course, sleepless nights are almost a given for the first years of a child’s life. And Randall said that knowing Ellis will “take care of those night-time wakings before a race really helps.”She noted that her peers in Scandinavian countries have the benefit of paid time off for fathers as well as mothers. (Of the 35 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. is the only one without paid maternal leave.)
Ohio State headed to Wisconsin with a “live in the moment” approach in one hand and hopes of prolonging its chances at a fourth straight Big Ten championship in the other. But the moment, nearly every second of it, belonged to the No. 20-ranked Badgers in a 71-49 rout at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., Sunday. In the process, Wisconsin handed Thad Matta and the Buckeyes (18-7, 8-5 Big Ten) their worst loss since 2009 and likely eliminated them from the conference’s steeplechase for a league title. Matta, who led OSU to the Final Four less than a year ago, said he had seen enough after calling a timeout down 22-6 with 10:27 to play in the first half. “I, with composure, lost it,” Matta told reporters after the game. Seemingly, so did the Buckeyes. The loss, OSU’s third in four games, drops the Buckeyes to 1-7 against ranked opponents on the season and 3-5 in road games. OSU junior forward Deshaun Thomas, who has not scored less than double figures all season, led the way with 18 points. But in line with the theme of some of OSU’s losses this year, the Big Ten’s leading scorer had little help. Aside from sophomore forward Sam Thompson’s 10 points, starting junior guards Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith Jr. and sophomore center Amir Williams combined for just 10 total points. The Buckeyes, though, came out of the gates firing, as Thomas, Smith Jr. and Craft all connected on each of their first shots within the first three minutes of the game. With the score tied early, 6-6, OSU appeared composed in front of a sold-out crowd at the Kohl Center, a place it had only won once since 2000. Any semblance of that notion, though, evaporated as quickly as the Buckeyes’ poise after junior guard Ben Brust’s 3-pointer gave the Badgers its first lead of the game at the 16:22 mark. They never looked back. Brust’s trey ignited an 18-0 run on 59 percent shooting from the floor and 56 percent from behind the arc that carried the Badgers into halftime with a 39-22 lead in tow. The second half brought more of the same. Wisconsin, which shot 53 percent on the day, still hit 13-of-28 shots and continued to stifle an OSU offense that seemed to only go as far as Thomas could take them. What concerned Matta, though, was not the Buckeyes’ struggles on the offensive end. His worry regarded their defense – the rock on which OSU has appeared to lean on now 25 games into the season. “I don’t know who’s in your jerseys right now in terms of being where you’re supposed to be and doing what you’re supposed to do,” Matta said he told his squad. “We got to get back to that. … We’ve seen the results if we’re not going to play defense. We’re not a good basketball team.” Sunday proved to be an immediate reminder of that. “You know, if we’re going to rely on trying to outscore people, that’s not going to happen, we have to play defense,” Matta said. OSU returns home to play Minnesota Wednesday night at the Schottenstein Center. Tip is at 7 p.m.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer runs with the team back into the locker rooms before the game against Nebraska on Nov. 3. Ohio State won 36-31. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorEvery week, the same thing has been said about Ohio State.Every week since narrowly defeating Penn State, the Buckeyes have come out, underperformed in various areas of the field and didn’t live up to the clear potential that the team has.This week, following an embarrassing loss to Purdue and two whole weeks to prepare for a Nebraska team that sat at 2-6, it was supposed to be different.This week, Ohio State should have come out, showing the country that this team has the pieces to compete for not only a Big Ten title, but a spot in the College Football Playoff.Instead, this week, Ohio State proved one thing: maybe it didn’t have as much potential as people thought.Against Nebraska, the Buckeyes looked less than impressive, squeaking out a 36-31 victory over a team that lost to Michigan by 46.Head coach Urban Meyer seemed complacent after a five-point win over a team Ohio State was favored to beat by more than 20 points.“I thought our team gave great effort, I thought the energy was there,” Meyer said. “I was pleased.”The definition of potential, according to Merriam-Webster, is existing in possibility, capable of development into actuality.The Buckeyes have not once this season proved to be capable of sizable development, never once has proven to turn any of these supposed possibilities into actuality.Ohio State allowed freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez to run up and down the field, and when he decided to throw, the secondary did nothing to stop him either. Martinez threw for 266 yards and a touchdown, and ran for two more, totaling 342 yards on the day.Yes, the Buckeyes can have an excuse there. Both starting sophomores, safety Isaiah Pryor and cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, missed the game due to injury. If that wasn’t enough, junior safety Jordan Fuller was ejected for targeting in the second quarter.Meyer said in the postgame press conference that Okudah had a groin issue and Pryor has an impingement of the shoulder and should be ready to go next week. But it is not like the secondary was a bright spot prior to Nebraska, and sophomore safety Brendon White jumped into the lineup and made an immediate impact, leading the team with 13 tackles and two for a loss.Redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins had his worst game of the season against the 30th worst passing defense in the nation, completing 18-of-32 passes for 252 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.Those numbers are by no means alarming, but they are a regression from what Haskins has shown he can do. Haskins missed on more throws today than he has all season, even if the redshirt sophomore said the style of the offense changed on Saturday.“We definitely wanted to run the ball today,” Haskins said. “That was our goal for this game, for this Saturday, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.” There were certainly areas in which Ohio State improved in its victory over the Cornhuskers..Sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries, finding space that wasn’t there in recent matchups. This was the first time in five games he averaged more than 3.5 yards per carry for the game.Two of Dobbins’ scores came in the red zone, where Ohio State converted three of its four attempts for touchdowns. But with these improvements, Ohio State still looked far from where it should be, and Meyer knows that.“I thought our defense improved. Obviously nowhere near where we need to be, but they improved,” Meyer said.In Week 10, the bye week gone and the chance to rebound from the loss over, it’s been enough time to say that Ohio State is most likely not going to dramatically improve from this point on.When issues are fixed, other ones pop up. When the team holds Nebraska to only two plays of 30 yards or more, the Buckeyes give up a load of intermediate plays that allowed the Cornhuskers to drive down the field and tally 31 points.When the Ohio State running game earned the most yards they have had since Oregon State, the pass game took a hit.When Ohio State had an opportunity to prove that it has figured out how to fulfill its potential, and had an extra week of practice to do so, the Buckeyes came out flat, barely beat a team at the bottom of the Big Ten and failed to prove the team, as a whole, has improved since the Purdue loss.Last season, after a 55-24 loss to Iowa that ended up eliminating Ohio State’s playoff chances, the Buckeyes came back a week later and defeated a then-No. 12 Michigan State 48-3.This year, with an extra week to prepare and a less impressive team in front of them, the Buckeyes won close, and did not prove to be overly motivated to do anything more.The Buckeyes still have a route to the College Football Playoff — winning the Big Ten most likely will get them in — but it would take some considerable improvements to beat the likes of Michigan and Michigan State.It’s about time to start thinking that won’t happen.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has been left reportedly frustrated over Willian’s continued absence from his return for pre-season training, claims The TimesThe 29-year-old has been away on an extended vacation this summer following his exertions with Brazil at the World Cup.But, amid being strongly linked with moves to both Barcelona and Real Madrid over the past few months, Willian failed to show up at Chelsea’s Cobham training base last Friday and has continued to be absent in the past four days.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…A passport issue was the reported reason as to why the Brazilian winger was unable to return to London.However, Sarri has still been left unimpressed with Willian and had hoped to use him for his first Premier League game against Huddersfield Town next week.Although, Chelsea will be able to welcome back Spanish striker Alvaro Morata and English midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek ahead of their Community Shield showdown with Manchester City this weekend.
Brazilian midfielder Raffael is understood to be edging closer to signing a contract extension at Borussia MonchengladbachThe 33-year-old will be out of the contract come to the end of the season and, due to recurring injury problems, his long-term future at Borussia-Park had been in doubt.Raffael’s long absences in the first half of this season have restricted him to just seven appearances in the Bundesliga.But the Brazilian remains committed to Gladbach and is allegedly prepared to take a pay cut in order to extend his stay.Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“My heart is attached to Gladbach, and my family also feels well here. That’s why. There is no reason for a change,” Raffael told Kicker.After starting out his European football career in Switzerland with FC Chiasso, Raffael has also played for FC Zürich, Hertha BSC, Dynamo Kyiv and Schalke 04.The veteran Brazilian has been at Gladbach since 2013.