Author Archives: Kayla Groff

Community Action Welcomes New Mascot

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On Friday, May 3rd, Community Action staff and students were greeted by our new Mascot: Cappy, the St. Bernard. Staff members were treated to popcorn to celebrate Cappy’s “Gotcha Day.”

The idea for the mascot was developed by the Marketing Committee last year, and the final conception was realized this week, just in time for Community Action Month!

Cappy was chosen as a St. Bernard after careful consideration of many other animal options to represent the agency. The St. Bernard breed of dog is known to be gentle, loving, loyal and watchful. For Community Action, those qualities speak volumes. Cappy will help encourage the mission and vision of Community Action, and represent the agency at future events. Welcome aboard, Cappy!

Early Childhood Professionals Complete Training Course

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Six early childhood professionals recently completed a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential preparatory course offered by Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project at Community Action Planning Council. The group attended weekly classes from September to April. The CDA training program offers an opportunity for individuals working with young children to expand their knowledge, improve their practices, and grow as professionals. Training topics include child growth and development, program management, and professionalism.

In order to earn the CDA credential, candidates must also demonstrate competency through preparation of a professional portfolio and observation of their work with young children.

The next CDA class is scheduled to begin in September, 2019.

Community Action Planning Council would like to congratulate these dedicated individuals and wish them success as they continue their careers in the early childhood field.

Community Action at work!

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The Annual Report for 2018 is now available. The report highlights outcomes associated with each of the agency’s program areas: Head Start/Pre-K, Housing & Energy Services, Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project and the Family Center.

As noted in the report, Community Action served a total of 5,964 unduplicated individuals – or 2,083 families – during the course of the year. The issues relating to poverty are complex and require a comprehensive approach. Even though many of our customers access multiple services, we count them only once during a given year.

The Annual Report for 2018 provides a brief snapshot of the many services offered at Community Action. For more information, please contact us and schedule a tour…see Community Action at work.

2019 Needs Assessment is now available

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Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County, Inc. recently conducted an agency-wide assessment of community needs.  The assessment document will serve as a foundation for the agency’s strategic planning process, slated to begin in 2021.

The community needs assessment is comprised of data from a variety of sources, such as focus groups and surveys of agency constituencies, as well as statistical data from sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, and NYS Department of Education.   The data was analyzed and a list of community needs was compiled categorized by topic:  Jefferson County Poverty Profile, Transportation, Child Care, Disability Services and Substance Abuse.  The assessment document including the findings including the results of a recent customer satisfaction survey was reviewed by the agency’s Board of Directors in April.  The agency-wide assessment is complemented by program-specific assessment documents compiled by Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project and Head Start.

Community members are welcome to review the assessment materials, all of which are available here.

For more information about Community Action Planning Council or the assessment process, please contact Claudia Whitmire at 315-782-4900, extension 250.

A Perfect Day for Pinwheels

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“All children deserve great childhoods because children are our future,” is the bold line we see when we visit the Prevent Child Abuse America website. Community Action Planning Council strives to do our part in the community to give children a brighter future through our programs. It was a no-brainer that we would come together in support of Pinwheels for Prevention.

With the leadership of the Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project (JLCP) staff, agency members came together today, a perfect sunny and windy day, to initiate our part of the cause by planting our very own Pinwheel Garden. With the assistance of an enthusiastic little girl, multiple Pinwheels have been planted outside of our main entrance to the building to show the community we are in support of the cause to prevent child abuse.

For more information about Pinwheels for Prevention, and how you can help, visit their website at

Sessions To Be Held for Watertown’s Comprehensive Plan

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Community Action Planning Council will be hosting one of six open house sessions to discuss the future of the City of Watertown! Please join us and let your voice be heard! We will be meeting from 10:00am – 2:00pm on Wednesday, January 30th at our main building located at 518 Davidson Street. Our local partner, Urban Mission, will be holding a session the following day from 11:30am-3:00pm. For more information, please visit

Universal Pre-K Expands to Sackets Harbor

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Community Action Planning Council is pleased and excited to announce the growth of our Pre-K program in January 2019.  Joining Watertown and Indian River School Districts, Sackets Harbor Central School will now house our newest Pre-K classroom.

Sackets Harbor Pre-K will run from 8:00am to 1:30pm. Classes are scheduled to start January 14, 2018.  Children must be 4 years of age on or before December 1, 2018 to enroll.  Applications can be submitted online or through the district office of Sackets Harbor.  The first selection will be made Friday, December 21, 2018 and the second on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

As with our other Pre-K classes, students will be taught using a Creative Curriculum through a Comprehensive Preschool Program.  Transportation will be available through the regular bus runs, and parent pick-ups will be at 1:30pm.  Meals will be provided to children.

For more information regarding our newest Pre-K classroom, please call (315) 646-3575.


VITA Gets Ready for Tax Season

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The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less. Each year a dedicated group of volunteers spend countless hours ensuring the success of Community Action’s Volunteer Income Tax Program. Their efforts in identifying eligible tax credits and maximum refunds help to increase the financial capacity of families which, in turn, stimulates the local economy. For more information on the VITA program contact Mary J Mathewson 315-782-4900 ext. 296.

Continued Success for ECP Discount Cards

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It is the 3rd year for the Early Childhood Professionals discount cards. We have had a great response from providers, and they appreciate the recognition and incentives offered by their fellow small business colleagues. This is a wonderful example of local people helping each other on a business to business level.

Community Action’s Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project (JLCP) would like to extend an invitation to any interested local businesses to join us in support of our community’s Early Childhood Professionals. Advertising exposure for your business is a bonus in participating. Check out the information below.…/…/early-childhood-professionals/