Call Head Start to complete the application for the 2020-2021 school Year!

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Head Start is recruiting for the 2020-2021 School Year

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Head Start is recruiting for the 2020-2021 School Year! If you have a child who turns 3 or 4 by December 1st this year give us a call and see if they quality for our free program!


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Experienced volunteer tax preparers are busy at Community Action Planning Council filing federal and state income tax forms! All tax preparers undergo rigorous training and are certified by the Internal Revenue Service. Tax preparation is a free service available to residents of Jefferson County with household incomes less than $56,000.


We will be available for appointments Monday – Wednesday – Friday February 3, 2020 through April 15, 2020 from 8:30 am – 2:30pm. We will NOT be available on Monday, February 17, 2020

Tax Preparation will be available by appointment only. Please call for appointments at 315-782-4900 ext. 271


  1. You must make under $56,000.00
  2. You will need to bring all income statements (W-2, unemployment forms, 1099 etc)
  3. You will need original Social Security Cards for yourself and all persons listed on your taxes.
  4. You will need a picture ID and bank routing numbers if you file electronically.
  5. You will need to bring form 1095-A if you pay for insurance through the Marketplace

We will only be able to prepare simple tax returns, no self-employment, capital gains, etc.   










Generous grant received from Northern NY Community Foundation

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Thanks to the generosity of donors devoted to helping to enhance the quality of life in our community, we received a grant in the amount of $1,500 from Northern New York Community Foundation. Thanks to this donation our selves continue to be stocked with nutritious food, including a variety of canned vegetables, pasta, protein and soup. 

Our pantry at Community Action Planning Council receives financial support from a variety of sources, including the Food Bank of Central New York, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and the Northern New York Community Foundation, as well as donations and food drives coordinated by area businesses and individuals.

The Food Pantry at Community Action Planning Council has been able to provide food packages equivalent to 153,416 meals from October 2018 to Sept 2019.

Visitors to the food pantry are provided with a five-day supply of food (three meals per day) for each member of the household. Food packages contain a variety of food items in keeping with nutrition guidelines from the Food Bank of Central New York. For more information about the food pantry or other Community Action services, please contact 315.782.4900, extension 222.

Small business owners step up to support Early Childhood Professionals

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Now in its 4th year, the Early Childhood Professionals (ECP) program has released the 2020 list of participating businesses. Each one of these partners has offered incentives like discounts and specials, to any person working in Registered or Licensed child care with an ECP card. They recognize that everyone in a community benefits from a strong early care and learning system.

This year, cards are also available to teachers in school district-funded PreK classrooms. The youngest learners are the most affected by high quality settings and qualified staff.

ECP program is an initiative of Community Action Planning Council and supports the work of the North Country Alliance for Early Childhood Education B-8 to ensure all children are supported and are ready for school, career, and community life.

For more information, please call 315-782-4900 ext. 237

Community Action Planning Council and the Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project are proud and excited to announce our partnership with Vroom!

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Vroom is a non-profit initiative with the goal of connecting parents with activities they can use with their children to foster brain development.

Scientists have learned a lot about brain development and learning.  People are born with the most brain cells, called neurons, that they are ever going to have.  Learning takes place when connections between these neurons are formed.  The connections are created and strengthened over time through experiences and interactions.  Vroom’s team of child developmental experts, psychologists, and neurologists have taken this knowledge and developed activities and tips to encourage interactions and experiences that strengthen the neural connections critical to learning and brain development. 

Science has also shown that a child’s brain develops more rapidly during the first five years of life than at any other time.  In fact, by the age of 5 the brain has grown to about 90% of adult size and their patterns for learning are established.  So a critical time for a child’s brain building occurs between birth and 5 years old.  Vroom Tips specifically target this age range.  

Vroom Tips are based around three core science principles:
1.  Positive Adult-Child Relationships – Positive and supportive interactions with adults help brain development by creating a strong and resilient brain.
2.  Back and Forth Interactions – Back and forth interactions between adults and children create millions of neural connections.  
3.  Strengthening Executive Functions – Skills like focusing, problem-solving, self control, attempting challenges are all skills that lead to strong executive functioning, an important part of school readiness and success.

Click here to learn more about the science behind Vroom.

Get Vroom…FREE!

Access to Vroom Tips are free and there are many ways to receive them!
The Vroom app – You can access the Tips through the Vroom app.  You can search various Tips or have them delivered to you at a time that is convenient for you!  Search for Vroom in your device’s app store.
The Vroom website – Learn more about the science behind Vroom, Brain-Building Basics, explore Vroom Tips, and more at
Vroom by text – receive Vroom Tips without downloading the app or using your data.  Sign up on the website at
Vroom Newsletter – Learn more about Vroom and how to use the Vroom Tips.  Sign up on the website at

Bridges out of Poverty Workshop September 11 & 12, 2019

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Community Action Planning Council is pleased to offer Bridges out of Poverty Workshop delivered by Jodi Pfarr, National trainer and subject expert on September 11 & 12, 2019, 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM each day.
Registration begins at 8:30 AM.

Cost to attend – Free (includes lunch & workbook) 

This workshop is a comprehensive approach to understanding the dynamics that cause and maintain poverty from the individual to the systemic level. Participants will receive specific strategies for improving outcomes for people living in poverty.

For more information and to register for this amazing opportunity call 315-782-4900 ext 257.

Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ By World

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Living in poverty is no easy trick.  One must be masterful at juggling multiple challenges with limited resources.  Juggling requires careful concentration; it requires living in the moment, leaving little room to think about or plan for the future.  When we live in poverty, getting by takes every ounce of energy.

“Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World,” an innovative workshop series, built from the “Bridges out of Poverty” framework, can help by providing those living in poverty with a safe environment in which to step outside of the problems of everyday life … and look to the future.  Over the course of 16 weeks, groups of 12 to 14 participants—referred to as investigators—come together, along with one to two facilitators, to investigate poverty in their own lives and in their communities.  Getting Ahead provides the tools to encourage investigators to write their own future story, and come to grips with the environmental, circumstantial, and psychological challenges they face, along with the resources they have – or lack.

Pictured: Getting Ahead graduates and supporters  (May 2019).

Based on a national model, Getting Ahead was launched in the North Country in 2017 with overwhelming support from the community, most notably the Race Against Poverty, hosted by Jefferson Leadership Institute Class of 2017. 

To date, ten groups totaling 88 individuals have graduated from Getting Ahead.  These graduates come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, each one having battled their way through adversity to come to where they are today.  Individuals from both graduating classes have found themselves successful in continuing their journey to staying ahead.  Goals obtained vary to fit each individual’s needs. Some of the graduates have found full-time jobs with benefits and can now comfortably care for their families.  Some are pursuing educational accomplishments by completing their high school equivalency, enrolling at Jefferson Community College, and even choosing a new career path by attending tractor trailer school.  Others have simply learned to come out of their shell to be more involved in the community, with a few stepping up to actually become Getting Ahead Facilitators themselves.  Whether it’s bettering themselves financially through new career pursuits, taking back control of their lives by finding courage to leave an abusive relationship,  becoming an asset to the community by volunteering at different organizations, or teaching others to save money through couponing and simply spreading the word of Getting Ahead, we can without a doubt say this program has produced successful graduates. 

Because the Getting Ahead process continues well beyond participants’ graduation, it needs to be championed by the entire community in order to be truly successful.  Employers must be aware and give pause when they see “Getting Ahead graduate” on an applicant’s resume.  Employers would do well to learn about Bridges out of Poverty constructs in order to better understand and maximize the potential of their under-resourced staff.  In fact, nationwide, several employers have sponsored the cost of Getting Ahead workshops or have otherwise promoted Getting Ahead, because they recognize the investment it brings to their own business as well as their entire community. The possibilities for employers, business people, and other community leaders to get involved are endless – from sponsoring the workshops to raising awareness about the series in the community to assisting with job coaching, mentoring, or pairing graduates with employment opportunities. 

The next Getting Ahead workshop will be offered September 18, 2019 to January 8, 2020 at Community Action Planning Council, funded in part by Watertown’s Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI).  Click here for more information.  Workshops are offered in partnership with Community Action Planning Council, Watertown Urban Mission and the Volunteer Transportation Center. 

Look for an additional session Fall/Winter of 2019.

For more information or to find out how you can help others “get ahead,” call 315.782.4900, extension 257.

Local Non-Profits Team Up to Help Recruit Foster Parents Educational Lunch & Learn Session Offered

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The Children’s Home of Jefferson County (CHJC) and Community Action Planning Council (CAPC) are joining forces to raise awareness of North Country children in need of Foster Homes. CHJC’s Fostering Futures Program will provide a Lunch-and-Learn Informational session on Monday, June 24, 2019, at CAPC. The session begins at 11:30am. A light lunch will be provided for all attendees.


The need for new Foster Parents is extremely great, especially for older children, teens and sibling groups. Foster Parents provide temporary care for children unable to live with their birth families or guardians, or to those who have been abused or neglected and/or have behavioral challenges and special needs. Foster Families provide an opportunity for the child to live in a family setting, attend school, and be active members of the community, while awaiting to be returned to their biological families or for adoption.


All prospective Foster Parents are required to complete a 10-week certification program, provided through CHJC’s Fostering Futures Program. This training helps prospective Foster Parents make informed decisions about continuing on in the Program. It also helps them learn how to provide structure and supervision for children in their care, and to work with them at various levels of care. To assist in times of crisis, prospective Foster Parents are also trained in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention. The overall design of the Program’s training model promotes growth in both the Foster Family and the children in care. To ensure a continuum of learning, once certified, Foster Parents are required to attend ongoing trainings.


For more information or if you are interested in attending the luncheon, please contact Rebecca Fern, CHJC Fostering Futures Program Manager, at or (315) 777-9652.

Summer Food Program for Kids

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When school is out, children lose access to free and reduced meal programs, putting a strain on the family grocery bill.  That’s where the Summer Food Service Program comes in!  Beginning July 1 through August 16, children have access to free, nutritious meals at 29 sites in Jefferson County.  Free meals are available to all children 18 years old and under (up to age 21 if disabled).  Click on the links below for meal sites in your community.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), administers the Summer Food Service Program at the federal level, while the New York State Education Department (NYSED) administers the program at the state level.  Locally, the program is operated by Community Action Planning Council and Watertown City School District.  As a program sponsor, Community Action Planning Council is coordinating meal preparation and delivery to 24 sites; the remaining five sites are operated by Watertown City School District.

boys eating outside

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Form, found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request a form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities, may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

For more information about the Summer Food Service Program, call 315.782.4900, extension 255.