The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program is authorized under Title IV, Part B, of the No Child Left Behind Act. The program is designed to provide academic enrichment opportunities, art, music, recreation, sports, drug and violence prevention and youth development activities to students during non-school hours. The program also offers families of students served by community learning centers opportunities for educational development. Federal money to state for this program is determined by population.
"The 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs have demonstrated powerful outcomes in deterring delinquency and improving academic performance," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. "This is a great opportunity for Idaho communities to provide quality, structured programming for youth during the time of day when they need it most."
The State Department of Education conducts grant competition as funding allows. Successful applicants receive funding for up to five years. Eligible applicants include school districts, municipalities, community based organizations, faith based organizations and private corporations.
The purpose of this program is to support the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.
“After-school programs, like the ones funded through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, provide great opportunities for Idaho educators, parents and community partners to work together to raise student achievement,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna.
The competitive grant awards range from $130,000 to $280,000 and are renewable for up to five years. Awards are determined by a statewide review community and based on school and community needs, as well as the overall merit of the program proposed.
The Caldwell School District originally received the 21st Century Grant for the 2002-2003 school year. The grant was written again in 2007 and the Caldwell School District was once again awarded the 21st Century grant.
The Caldwell School District’s 21st Century after-school program serves approximately two hundred fifty (250) elementary and middle school students. There are after-school programs in all six (6) of Caldwell’s elementary schools and in both of Caldwell’s middle schools.
Caldwell students who participated in the 21st Century after-school program were involved in many different academic and enrichment activities. The academic activities included daily homework help and tutoring, reading instruction, math instruction, special projects about animals, exchanging letters with pen pals in Turkey, and lessons on character development. The enrichment activities included weekly trips to the Caldwell YMCA and weekly training from SideKicks Martial Arts. The students who participated in 21st Century also received art enrichment through an art teacher who engaged the students in projects in painting, sculpting, drawing and tracing. Physical fitness and health education is also incorporated through an integrated curriculum called FAB 5. Field trips were also a common place in our 21st Century After-school programs. Students visited the Boise Zoo, a local retirement home, different culturally diverse eating establishments, and gone bowling.
Another important component of Caldwell School District’s 21st Century after-school program was a service-learning project. The 21st Century students provided support to the local food bank, planned and planted flowers and plants at Autumn Winds retirement community, wrote letters and baked cookies for military personnel, adopted families to provide food and presents during the Christmas break, designed flower beds, and planted trees.
Community and family involvement was an essential part of Caldwell’s 21st Century after-school program. There were many volunteers who supported the programs and the students. High school students gave many volunteer hours to the after-school programs, helping students with homework and speaking with them about their futures growing up in Caldwell schools. Each program across the Caldwell School District invited parents to special events to speak with them about what their children were working on and learning and to show them the importance of the after-school program.
Caldwell School District’s 21st Century after-school program provides a safe environment for student to learn and grow beyond the school bell. This program has had great impact on Caldwell’s youth and has enriched lives through providing opportunities and experiences that some may not have ever had.
If you have specific questions, please contact the 21st Century director.
21st Century director: Kathleen Vadapalli - firstname.lastname@example.org