What is the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant?

Purpose The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative is the only federally funded source dedicated exclusively to out-of-school-time programs.

Arizona’s Title IV, Part B (21st CCLC) program supports student participants in meeting the State’s rigorous academic standards. Funded programs are designed to align with State and school goals and specifically assist targeted students in their school day learning objectives.

Arizona’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers build and sustain comprehensive out-of-school-time programs that provide high-quality academic enrichment opportunities for students attending high-poverty, low-performing schools. These programs meaningfully engage adult family members in helping their children succeed academically.

Focus 21st CCLC programs throughout the state maintain a strong commitment to improving math, reading/language arts/literacy, and science. Complementing this primary focus, 21st CCLC programs in the State supplement the students’ regular academic school day by creating a rich variety of classes and activities outside of the instructional day that help students become proficient and connect with learning through project-based, hands on enrichment that is tied to real-world college and career application, and that build career competencies and readiness. This enrichment includes offerings in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), environmental literacy programs, art, music and physical education, mentoring, technology education including coding, and nutrition and health education.

Learning Environment All of the State’s awarded programs must provide for a safe and healthy learning environment by ensuring that the following components are incorporated in their applications and program implementation:

  • Healthy food. Provide child nutrition programs including after school snack and summer meals. Most of Arizona 21st CCLC programs also offer free breakfast as part of their program and evening meals are increasingly being offered as well.
  • Safe transportation from school or an alternative program site if that is part of the program.
  • Students are served in an easily accessible environment.

 What are the general 21st CCLC requirements?

  • The out of school time 21st CCLC program must complement the regular academic school day.
  • After school programs must be implemented according to the original awarded grant proposal.
  • After school program staff should work in close collaboration with the regular school day staff and community-partners.
  • Partnerships and collaborations are required to provide services outlined in the grant and ensure long-term commitments of resources for sustainability.
  • Program activities are required to be based on scientifically-based practices that provide evidence that the program activity will help students meet achievement standards.
  • All academic enrichment activities are to be aligned to Arizona State Standards, using cross-curricular connections to meet multiple performance objectives.
  • Services to the family members of participating students may include family literacy activities and other educational activities in support of students’ academic success.
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Who is served by the 21st CCLC Grant? Students who attend schools where at least 40% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunches.

  • Family members of participating students are offered educational opportunities as an essential element of the grant.