WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Bill Owens announced the Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County (CAPC) will receive a $1,469,077.00 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The grant represents 70 percent of the total $2,098,680 HHS has allocated for CAPC’s Head Start program.
“Giving children a chance to be prepared for kindergarten and years beyond is the key to a bright academic future,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “This Head Start grant will bring real results to our young students in Jefferson County by providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed in and out of the classroom. I am proud to support this essential funding and we will continue to fight to see that early child education remains a priority.”
“This is great news for Jefferson County children and families,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said. “These federal dollars will help deliver quality child care, healthy food and other critical services to families who desperately need it in these tough economic times, and help more children get on a path to a bright future.”
“Head Start provides vital support to children at a critical time in their lives,” Representative Bill Owens said. “This is a smart investment in Jefferson County that will pay off for years as children enter school ready to learn the skills they need to compete for good jobs later in life.”
Head Start is a federally-funded preschool program for the 3- and 4-year-old children of low-income families. CAPC operates Head Start centers in Watertown, Carthage, Dexter, Adams Center and Antwerp. The organization also provides Head Start options that combine in-class instruction with home visits. This year, 257 children are enrolled in Head Start through CAPC. On average, CAPC Head Start employs 66 people annually.
While in CAPC’s care, enrolled children receive healthy meals and snacks, go on field trips and learn in literacy- and science-enriched classrooms that are inclusive of bilingual and special needs children.
“Head Start participants need to qualify through income guidelines, and we usually have a sizable waiting list for each option, which demonstrates the need in our area,” Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County Executive Director Melinda Gault said. “We sincerely hope that there will not be another Sequester in the new year that will affect programs like these, as we are already operating with reduced funding that has prevented us from enrolling 18 additional children and employing 3 people.”
CAPC can waive income guidelines for children with disabilities or those living in high-risk environments. The organization provides transportation for Head Start students within center boundaries. The enrolled students are among the more than 10,000 unduplicated people who annually access at least one of CAPC’s programs.
More information about CAPC and Head Start is available at http://www.capcjc.org/.