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2017-20 Cohort 9

Request for Applications, Paper Application and Instructions and Grant Attachments

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grant is a competitive grant that provides federal funding to establish community learning centers that provide academic, artistic and cultural enrichment opportunities for students and their families. These opportunities must occur during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session to help students attending high-poverty and low-performing schools to meet state and local standards in core academic subjects. Centers must also offer students a broad array of activities that can complement their regular academic programs, to offer literacy and other educational services to their families.

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program is authorized under Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Act of 2015. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) section 4201 (b) a community learning center means an entity that:

''(A) assists students to meet the challenging State academic standards (in core academic subjects, such as reading and mathematics) by providing the students with academic enrichment activities and a broad array of other activities (such as programs and activities described in subsection (a) (2)) during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session (such as before and after school or during summer recess) that—

(i) reinforce and complement the regular academic programs of the schools attended by the students served; and

(ii) are targeted to the students' academic needs and aligned with the instruction students receive during the school day; and

(B) offers families of students served by such center opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their children's education, including opportunities for literacy and related educational development."

The 21st CCLC grant is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and provides funding for the establishment of community learning centers to provide students with academic enrichment opportunities. In addition to academics, 21st CCLC grantees may also use the funds to carry out a broad array of activities that advance student academic achievement and support student success, including before and afterschool, summer, Saturdays and holiday programming. A minimum of 50 percent of daily programming must directly target reading, math, and science enrichment with the balance of activities occurring on a rotational basis. "Each eligible entity that receives an award under section 4204 may use the award funds to carry out a broad array of activities that advance student academic achievement and support student success, including:

(1) academic enrichment learning programs, mentoring programs, remedial education activities, and tutoring services, that are aligned with—

(A) the challenging state academic standards and any local academic standards; and

(B) local curricula that are designed to improve student academic achievement;

(2) well-rounded education activities, including such activities that enable students to be eligible for credit recovery or attainment; (mathematics and science activities)

(3) literacy education programs, including financial literacy programs and environmental literacy programs;

(4) programs that support a healthy and active lifestyle, including nutritional education and regular, structured physical activity programs;

(5) services for individuals with disabilities;

(6) programs that provide after-school activities for students who are English learners that emphasize language skills and academic achievement;

(7) cultural programs;

(8) telecommunications and technology education programs; and expanded library service hours;

(9) parenting skills programs that promote parental involvement and family literacy;

(10) programs that provide assistance to students who have been truant, suspended, or expelled to allow the students to improve their academic achievement;

(11) drug and violence prevention programs and counseling programs;

(12) programs that build skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (referred to in this paragraph as 'STEM'), including computer science, and that foster innovation in learning by supporting nontraditional STEM education teaching methods; and

(13) programs that partner with in-demand fields of the local workforce or build career competencies and career readiness and ensure that local workforce and career readiness skills are aligned with the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (29 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.)." and

(14) extended learning time (ELT) is the time that a local educational agency (LEA) "extends its normal school day, week, or year to provide additional instruction or educational programs for all students beyond the state-mandated requirements for the minimum to support ELT. This must be expanded at the district level for 300 hours, if selecting this option.

Currently, PDE is administering 21st CCLC grants to two cohorts of awardees. Each grant award is for three consecutive years, contingent on continued availability of funding from the federal government and satisfactory performance. If awardees are found to not be meeting the requirements of the grant or choose to no longer participate in year two or three, subsequent funding will not be provided to those entities.

In the spring of 2017 Cohort 7 grantees were offered a fourth and fifth year of continuation funding. Those grants will end September 30, 2019.

PENN*LINK Announcement (Word)

2017-20 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Application for Funding and Program Implementation Guidance (PDF)

2017-20 21st Century Community Learning Centers Cohort 9 Grant Paper Application and Instructions (PDF)

2017-20 Required Attachments