The purpose of Georgia’s Title IV, Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program is to provide federal funds for communities to establish or expand activities in community learning centers that operate during out-of-school hours and serve three specific purposes:
- To provide opportunities for academic enrichment and tutorial services to help students
- To offer students a broad array of additional services, programs, and activities that are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program; and
- To offer families of 21st CCLC students opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their children's education.
The 21st CCLC program is authorized under Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities for academic enrichment activities during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session, such as before and after school or during summer recess. 21st CCLC programs offer students a broad array of additional services, programs and activities that are designed to complement the regular academic program such as youth development activities, counseling programs, arts, music, physical fitness and wellness programs, financial literacy programs, environmental literacy programs, career and technical programs. 21st CCLC programs also offer families opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their child’s education, including opportunities for literacy and related educational development.
The Georgia Department of Education awards 21st CCLC funding through a competitive grant application process that is made available by a Request for Proposal (RFP). Any public or private organization is eligible to apply for a 21st CCLC sub-grant. Examples of agencies and organizations eligible under the 21st CCLC program include, but are not limited to: Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), charter schools, non-profit agencies, city or county government agencies, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, institutes of higher education, for-profit corporations and Indian tribe or tribal organizations. Federal legislation allows States to award grants for not less than 3 years and not more than 5 years. States can determine the appropriate length of the grant period with the statutory parameters, and Georgia currently funds programs for a period of 5 years contingent upon the availability of future funding and evidence of progress.