What is the 21st CCLCs initiative? It is an initiative that provides federal funding to out-of-school time programs. States apply for grants to receive the funding. Programs are aimed at lower performing schools with a high percentage of students from low-income families.
The 21st CCLC initiative is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is currently up for reauthorization. The House of Representatives and Senate are still working on a compromise bill, but it appears that 21st CCLC funding will be here to stay.
Why are 21st CCLC programs so important? Here are five reasons:
1. They provide academic enrichment for students—which can help close the achievement gap.
2. Students also get to participate in non-academic enrichment activities, to assist them with positive development and prevent harmful behaviors.
3. These programs also offers literacy and other related services to families.
4. Working parents get peace of mind that their kids are safe and supervised before/after school/in the summer, while the kids are also engaged in positive development-focused activities.
5. Participation in these programs helps students improve both their academic and behavioral skills inside and outside the classroom.