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Child Care & After-School Programs

21st Century Community Learning Center

The 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Program is a key component of the President's No Child Left Behind Act. It is an opportunity for students and their families to continue to learn new skills and discover new abilities after the school day has ended. Congress had appropriated $993.5 million for after-school programs in Fiscal Year 2003.

The focus of this program, reauthorized under Title IV, Part B, of the No Child Left Behind Act, is to provide expanded academic enrichment opportunities for children attending low-performing schools. Tutorial services and academic enrichment activities help students meet local and state academic standards in subjects such as reading and math. In addition, 21st CCLC programs provide youth development activities; drug and violence prevention programs; technology education programs; art, music, and recreation programs; counseling; and character education to enhance the academic component of the program.

About 6,800 rural and inner city public schools in 1,420 communities—in collaboration with other public and nonprofit agencies, organizations, local businesses, post-secondary institutions, scientific and cultural and other community entities—are now participating as 21st Century CLCs.

NIFA partners with the Department of Education to provide university faculty and staff to review proposals, educational exhibits at national and regional conferences, and training for grantees. In many states and counties, Cooperative Extension Service (CES) staff partners with local educational associations to prepare grant applications and administer entire after-school programs or part of the program. State and local CES staffs work with the formal school systems to align after-school program goals and outcomes with those of the formal educational system.


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