A forum to develop strategies to help the north country better serve students who live in poverty will be held Jan. 19 at Jefferson Community College.

Donald Mesibov of the Institute for Learning Centered Education, will conduct the forum, which will include New York Board of Regents member Beverly Ouderkirk, Assemblywoman Addie Jenne and Watertown City Manager Sharon Addison. The event is part of Watertown's $1 million Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) grant, which is being administered by the United Way of NNY.

"By combining the energies of local educators, representatives of community agencies, and caring citizens we can together devise strategies to help combat the negative effects of poverty and trauma on our children and our neighbors," said Stephen Todd, Jefferson-Lewis BOCES Superintendent.

The forum will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm in the Jules Center, and is open to educators and the public. The event is also being sponsored by the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, Jefferson-Lewis Teacher Center, Watertown City School District and the Watertown NYS United Teachers Office. To register, email name and contact information to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The $25 registration fee covers the cost of lunch and a booklet on poverty.

"Educators who attend this day of dialogue and professional development will leave with a heightened sensitivity and awareness to those who live their lives immersed in poverty," said Stacey J. Eger, Watertown City School District Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.

The forum will include:

  • A question-answer session with people raised in poverty
  • An opportunity for community organizations to share resources.
  • A discussion of the impact of trauma on the brain, and practical strategies for improving student success.

"Participating in this poverty immersion program will deepen individual awareness and understanding of factors that play a role in classroom behavior and performance as well as provide the foundation for the development of strategies and solutions to address the effects of poverty and trauma," said Fred C. Monaco II, Regional Staff Director for NYSUT.

Poverty Education Forum
05 January 2018