21st Century Learning Program Guidance

The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Program provides opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities in community learning centers. These centers:

  1. Provide opportunities for academic enrichment, including tutorial services to help students meet state academic standards;
  2. Offer students additional services, programs, and activities that are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program of participating students;
  3. Offer families of students served by CCLC opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their children’s education, including opportunities for literacy and related educational development.

Program Evaluations

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) evaluates the effectiveness of 21st CCLC programs and activities on an annual basis to support continuous program improvement and measure progress in meeting WA state Performance Indicators.


Evaluations & Reporting

State Evaluation Reports

Local Evaluation

Each grantee must conduct an annual independent local program evaluation to assess its progress toward achieving its goal of providing high-quality opportunities for academic enrichment, and positive student learning outcomes. The evaluation must be based on the factors included in the measures of effectiveness ESSA (SEC. 4205 (b) and the results must be used to refine, improve, and strengthen the program and to refine local performance indicators.

Federal Data Reporting

Grantees are required to report a variety of data elements each year to support statewide evaluation efforts and to comply with federal reporting requirements. These data elements include topics such as center operations, staffing, partnerships, program activities, student and family member participation in programming, student surveys, and site coordinator and staff surveys. These data will be entered into the Washington 21st CCLC Data Portal, an online data system created by the statewide evaluator, American Institutes for Research. Subgrantees are expected to submit data in a timely fashion, in accordance with state and federal reporting deadlines. This system is a live and dynamic system, meaning that users can login at any time to submit or update data.

Resources & Partners


School’s Out Washington is an intermediary organization dedicated to building community systems to support quality afterschool and youth development (AYD) programs for Washington's 5-18-year-olds through training, advocacy, and leadership. Through a range of training and professional development services, we promote quality standards and offer opportunities for AYD program providers to develop skills, receive support, and network with peers. We disseminate research on the benefits of programs and mobilize children's advocates to take action on issues impacting the AYD field. Our grant programs support quality programs in a variety of ways. We also facilitate communication among AYD professionals, schools, law enforcement officials, policymakers, civic leaders, foundations, and other partners to establish accountability and a system of support for Washington's young people.


Research from the University of Arkansas shows that field trips to cultural institutions produce notable benefits for students, particularly those from less-advantaged backgrounds. Students from rural areas and high-poverty schools, as well as minority students, typically show gains that are two to three times larger than the average gains for all students in critical thinking, historical empathy, tolerance, and becoming art consumers.

Washington Alliance for Bilingual Education
Does your site have significant numbers of English Language Learners? You might be interested in attending the WABE Conference (What’s academic language got to do with it?), April 19-20 in Yakima.

Afterschool Alliance
The Afterschool Alliance is the only organization dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of afterschool programs and advocating for more afterschool investments. The Afterschool Alliance works with the Administration, the U.S. Congress, governors, mayors, and advocates across the country.

You For Youth // About Y4Y (ed.gov) You for Youth (Y4Y) focuses on learning for every staff member at every level of a 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, and for every young person you work with. Research tells us that students who attend high-quality afterschool programs are likely to do better in school, make positive choices about their health and well-being, and show improved communication and social skills with peers and adults.

Child Nutrition
Child Nutrition assists school districts and other program sponsors in providing quality nutrition programs that promote life-long healthful living while providing nutritious meals each day that prepare children for learning.

Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR)
Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 74-86 and 97-99, December 2008 edition

National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST)
For nearly 30 years NIOST at Wellesley College has moved the afterschool field forward through its research, education and training, consultation, and field-building. Much of NIOST's work has encompassed projects of national scope and influence, several representing “firsts” for the field and many focusing on building out-of-school time systems.

Resources On Afterschool
Resources On Afterschool is an online tool featuring selected resources in the areas of research and evaluation, promising practices, professional development, public awareness and communications, policy, and financing in afterschool.

Forum for Youth Investment
The Forum for Youth Investment is a nonprofit, nonpartisan "action tank" dedicated to helping communities and the nation make sure all young people are Ready by 21: ready for college, work, and life. Informed by rigorous research and practical experience, the Forum forges innovative ideas, strategies, and partners to strengthen solutions for young people and those who care about them. A trusted resource for policymakers, advocates, researchers, and program professionals, the Forum provides youth and adult leaders with the information, connections, and tools they need to create greater opportunities and outcomes for young people.

SEDL is a private, nonprofit education research, development, and dissemination (RD&D) corporation that specializes in afterschool programming.

The David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality
The core mission of the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality is to position the point of service quality as a powerful public idea that drives the out-of-school time field towards higher levels of understanding, expectation, and action about the quality of experiences available to youth.

Harvard Family Research Project
HFRP focuses on three areas that support children's learning and development: early childhood education, out-of-school time programming, and family and community support in education. Underpinning all of their work is a commitment to evaluation for strategic decision-making, learning, and accountability. They have a particular interest in complementary learning, which is the idea that a systemic approach, which integrates school and nonschool supports, can better ensure that all children have the skills they need to succeed.

National Summer Learning Association
The National Summer Learning Association serves as a network hub for thousands of summer learning program providers and stakeholders across the country, providing tools, resources, and expertise to improve program quality, generate support, and increase youth access and participation. They offer professional development, quality assessment and evaluation, best practices dissemination and collaboration, and other resources.

Learning Points
Grantee data will be reported annually via the 21st CCLC Information Collections System (PPICS), an online performance reporting system developed.

U.S. Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers
This program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools.

Private School Participation

The students, parent/guardians, and educators of non-profit, private schools–approved by the Washington State Board of Education–may be eligible for services provided through some Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) federal education programs. These services can provide a valuable supplement to the core programming and professional development of participating private schools.

External Organizations

The listed external organizations have a record of success in program quality, partnership history, positive training participant feedback, and organizations self-selected by 21st CCLC grantees.

The term ‘‘external organization’’ means— (A) a nonprofit organization with a record of success in running or working with before and after school (or summer recess) programs and activities; or (B) in the case of a community where there is no such organization, a nonprofit organization in the community that enters into a written agreement or partnership with an organization described in subparagraph (A) to receive mentoring and guidance in running or working with before and after school (or summer recess) programs and activities.