The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently released the 2019-20 Executive Summary for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant program. The five-year grant administered by the DPI provides schools with resources to operate out-of-school-time services, with a focus on academic enrichment and a wide variety of youth development activities. In partnership with the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, the DPI publishes an annual report on the activities and services provided with grant funds.
The most recent report highlights some of the impact COVID-19 closures had on program services during the spring and early summer of 2020. During this time, 21st CCLC programs were challenged to continue to meet the needs of students and families through a variety of delivery models, such as remote or virtual services, take-home kits, meal distribution, and more.
Much like the school day, the 21st CCLC granted programs had to adapt quickly in an effort to provide a continuity of services and meet the needs of the schools served under the grant. The DPI is proud of the dedication demonstrated by educators, community organizations, parents, and volunteers in carrying out the services under the grant during the 2019-20 grant period. With their assistance, 132 granted schools provided out-of-school time learning opportunities to approximately 20,000 students across Wisconsin during the 2019-20 school year.
As documented in the 2019-20 Executive Summary, grantees reported many positive results in student participation, achievement, and behavior. These programs provide some of our neediest students access to additional academic support and the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities and learning experiences that may not be otherwise available to them without the support of the 21st CCLC grant program. Given the grant program targets schools having high concentrations of students with economic disadvantage and academic achievement challenges, the program is viewed as an important strategy in closing the achievement and opportunity gap among students in our state.
Subscriber Submission: DPI School Administration Consultant, Alison Wineberg