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21st Century Community Learning Centers Program

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, new competitions and grants in the 2002 21st Century Community Learning Centers ("21stCCLC") program will be administered at the state level by each state's State Education Agency ("SEA"). There is approximately $325 million available for new grants, allotted to each state based on their allocation of Title I, Part A funds. Most SEAs are currently in the process of drafting their application process for approval and individual state competitions will start being held in the summer and fall.

Summary of the status of 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants in each of the states in the NCREL region.

Please see the U.S. Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers Web site for additional news and information about funding for this program or grant awards.

View PowerPoint® slides about the changes in the 21stCCLC grant program for 2002.

NCREL's 21st CCLC and after-school Web site provides valuable information you can use to familiarize yourself with the program and create effective school-based after-school programs. You will find links to regional resources --including information and potential partners--and national resources for after-school programs. NCREL's grant writing tips, a tool from our acclaimed resource, Beyond the Bell: A Toolkit for Creating Effective After-School programs, can help you start preparing for your coming state application.

What is the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program?

  • Under the No Child Left Behind Act, the 21stCCLC program is designed to provide opportunities for academic enrichment in a wide array of activities to help students in low-performing schools meet State and local student academic achievement standards in the core academic subjects of reading, mathematics and science in nonschool hours (such as before-, after-, summer, inservice and Saturday school programs).
  • Programs can also provide help to children and their families during this time through youth development programs, drug and violence prevention and character education programs, counseling programs, art, music, literacy, technology and recreation program that are designed to reinforce and complement the regular school day activities.
  • In 2002, state-administered competitions will be opened to more applicants, including local educational agencies, community-based and faith-based organizations, other public or private entities or a consortia of two or more such entities and/or organizations.
  • States are required to make awards only to applicants that will primarily attend schools with concentrations of poor students. Also, States must provide a priority for projects that will target services to students who attend low-performing schools.
  • The U.S. Department of Education's 21stCCLC web site lists information about state contacts, state grant allocations and the non-regulatory guidance available to the SEAs to help them draft state-based applications.

Strengthening Connections Between Schools and After-School Programs
Research shows that developing comprehensive after-school programs that are integrated into the regular school program and other family support systems within the community can yield positive outcomes for students and their families. A review of the research on effective after-school programs and interviews with active program sites indicate that there are 16 characteristics that lead to comprehensive program planning for integration. This document lists each of these characteristics along with an indicator that describes the characteristic in more detail and samples of policies and programs that indicate if the characteristic is present in the program activities.

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