You are here

Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Program

21st century community learning centers

Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Program

Title IV, Part B, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)


What Is the Purpose of Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Program?

A 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) is an program that assists students in meeting challenging academic standards, provides students with academic enrichment activities, and offers a broad array of other activities that enrich students’ lives and skills during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session (such as before and after school, weekends, or during school breaks) that:

  • reinforce and complement the regular academic programs of the schools attended by participating students; and
  • are targeted to students’ academic needs and align with the instruction students receive during the school day.

21st Century Community Learning Center Programs also offer adult family members of participating students opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their children’s education, including opportunities for their own educational and skill development.

A 21st Century Community Learning Center program strives to meet the needs of the students served, by addressing their academic, social, creative, emotional, and curiosity needs. 21st CCLC programs offer students a chance to explore new topics and deepen their understanding and knowledge of others. They invite community partners to engage with students through real world learning opportunities, collaborative partnerships, mentoring, apprenticeships, workforce development, and more. 21st CCLC programs encourage students to become active participants in their communities through service learning projects, project-based learning experiences, environmental literacy and citizen science projects.

Learn more by reading the 21st Century Community Learning Center 2021-22 Annual Report or by watching an Introduction to Wisconsin 21st Community Learning Centers:


new A list of current Wisconsin 21st CCLC Grantees may be found here.

What Student Populations Are the Priorities for 21st CCLCs?

The 21st Century Community Learning Center Program targets elementary, middle and high schools that have high concentrations of students with economic and academic needs. A local education agency (LEA), community-based organization, Indian tribe or tribal organization (as such terms are defined in section 4 of the Indian Self Determination and Education Act (25 U.S.C. 450b)), another public or private entity, or a consortium of two or more such agencies, organizations, or entities may be eligible to apply as long as they target a qualifying school.

For more information about the 21st CCLC Grant Application process, visit the 21st CCLC Competition webpage.

Guiding Principles for 21st CCLC Programs in Wisconsin

21st CCLC programs across Wisconsin are dynamic and complex environments that require innovative approaches to achieving the most impact for youth. No one setting is the same and there are many ways for programs to achieve excellence. DPI has developed a set of principles to help guide programs in that work. These guiding principles can both serve as a foundation and be adapted to local situations. It is the DPI's hope that the principles will inspire and provide direction to Wisconsin 21st CCLC programs as they strive to provide high quality out-of-school time experiences to students across the state.

Download the Guiding Principles for WI 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs At-a-Glance here.

Download the Guiding Principles for WI 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs here

Email Distribution List

To participate in an electronic email distribution list for Wisconsin 21st CCLC programs, contact Jake Wilson at 608-264-9327.

For questions about this information, contact Alison Wineberg (608) 267-3751