Tuesday, August 1, 2023
DPI awards $4.3M in grant funds to 43 community learning center sites
ContactDPI Media Line, (608) 266-3559
MADISON — Wisconsin students will receive additional academic support and youth development opportunities during out-of-school time hours thanks to five-year grant awards announced by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
The DPI will award a total of $4.3 million to 43 sites across the state through the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Grant Program, which aims to improve student achievement, attendance, and engagement by providing enriching academic activities for youth during out-of-school time hours. Sites receiving funds through the competitive grant program were among 75 that applied, bringing the total number of sites awarded grants to 155.
21st CCLC program activities are aligned with state academic standards and school day learning goals to provide comprehensive and well-rounded support for student learning. Students in programs also participate in a wide range of youth development activities designed to provide experiences and learning opportunities that otherwise may not be available. Activities include tutoring, service learning, arts and music, drug and violence prevention, financial literacy, credit recovery, apprenticeships, environmental literacy, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), with social-emotional learning integrated across all areas of programs. In addition to offering services to students, 21st CCLC sites provide adult family members with activities that promote engagement in their children’s education and individual skill development through adult learning and parental skill building.
During the 2021-22 school year, more than 14,000 students received services through 21st CCLC programs. On average, students spent 19 hours per week at a 21st CCLC funded program, operating for an average of 148 days during the school year. A student who attended a 21st CCLC program every day during the 2021-22 school year received access to a wide range of engaging activities, including hands-on STEM activities, nutrition education, mentoring programs, yoga, counseling services, and much more.
The 21st CCLC’s serve as a bridge between schools and communities and actively engage a variety of community partners, ranging from local law enforcement and businesses to other youth serving agencies or government entities, all working in collaboration with schools to bring diverse and meaningful opportunities to students. These partnerships provide valuable resources and opportunities for participants that are often inaccessible under ordinary circumstances.
To be considered for the federal grant funds administered by the DPI, schools targeted for services must be Title I eligible, meaning they serve a significant number of children identified as economically disadvantaged. Applicants must also demonstrate that they will target 21st CCLC grant services and supports to those students in need of academic support and lacking access to diverse opportunities that support youth development.