Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers

School Support and Accountability


Formula Grants

Program Description

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. The program helps students meet state and local academic standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

21st CCLC Announcements and Events

25th Anniversary of 21st CCLC Funding

This year, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program celebrates its 25th Anniversary of funding.  Beginning as a discretionary grant in 1998, the 21st CCLC funding transitioned to a formula grant in 2002, serving afterschool programming in 54 States and territories.  Over the course of 25 years, programs have provided students in high-need, high-poverty communities the opportunity to participate in afterschool programming in which academic enrichment and youth development activities are designed to enhance participants’ well-being and academic success.

The 21st CCLC Program was renamed the Nita M. Lowey 21st CCLC Program in the FY 2020 appropriations bill (PL 116-94, Sec. 310; December 20, 2019) in honor of the former Congresswoman’s advocacy and commitment to afterschool programming.  To date, we have over 10,652 centers serving approximately 965,000 students and over 200,000 adults and families.

The Summer Symposium Registration is Open!

The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is pleased to announce that registration for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) 2023 Summer Symposium is now open! 

This two-day event provides State educational agencies and their grantees with plenary sessions and workshops on successful strategies for implementing and managing all components of their program. It also offers an opportunity for the Department to provide important updates regarding the 21st CCLC program. The Symposium’s sessions are a combination of large-group presentations with nationally recognized speakers and smaller interactive workshops where attendees have the chance to work closely with education experts. This year’s Symposium will be held on July 19-20, 2023 at the Marriott New Orleans, 555 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130.

Please go to to review important information about the Summer Symposium and to register for the event. Feel free to forward this link to your colleagues and others that may be interested in attending.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2023 Summer Symposium in New Orleans!

Featured Resource

In celebration of Financial Literacy Month, the Department’s Y4Y team has gathered resources focused on supporting students learn how to navigate finances by providing real world experiences.  These resources show how to effectively incorporate financial literacy activities with students of all ages. To access these resources, please visit Y4Y Financial Literacy Resources

21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Program Sub-grantee Best Promising Practice Spotlight Submission Process

The U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) program is seeking assistance from State educational agencies (SEAs) in identifying innovative and engaging 21st CCLC subgrantee programs to spotlight.  The Department’s 21st CCLC will select up to two subgrantee programs to spotlight quarterly on its program’s landing page. 

To have programs in your State spotlighted, please provide the Department’s 21st CCLC team with:

  • A description of the 21st CCLC sub-grantee program including the program name and location, and program events, activities, achievements, and/or accomplishments to spotlight; and
  • A description of the positive impact the sub-grantee brings to the overall goals and mission of the 21st CCLC program

Submissions to accompany the program narrative may include videos or photos.

To submit a subgrantee program to spotlight, please email supporting documentation to with the subject Subgrantee Spotlight.

Grantee Spotlight

The Department is pleased to spotlight programs being implemented using 21st CCLC funds. 

Arizona Elementary Students Engaging Participating in NASA Challenge

Elementary students from Salida del Sol Elementary School in Yuma, AZ worked on the NASA Engineering Design Challenge, Astro Socks, during the NASA/21st Century Community Learning Center’s after school program.

Students designed and tested an Astro Sock for astronaut to wear on board the International Space Station (ISS). Students used their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills along with the engineering design process (EDP) to investigate the following question: How can our team develop footwear for the ISS astronauts that will both protect and provide comfort for their feet while they live and work in space? Students stated, “it was great because we got to work with materials we never used before and make new friends.”

Students shared their conversation with NASA engineer, Miss Linda Yoon during a virtual connection. “She made sure our thoughts were correct on the Astro socks, that things were precise and we knew what we were doing. She taught us to have courage in ourselves and she told us to be careful and pushed us towards a NASA career”.

Once their team designed and built the Astro Sock prototype, they conducted pressure point tests using the test rig, sensor sock, and test sled. Using the results from the prototype tests, the team modified and improved the Astro Sock prototype so that the pressure at each pressure sensor is reduced, making astronauts’ feet more comfortable as they secure themselves in the foot restraints.  You can watch the students’ video here.

New York High School Students and Staff: Why Is Afterschool Important to You?

The 21st Century Program run by Fund for the City of New York Inc (Project # 8089) with lead partner Zone 126 serves grades 9 through 12 at Long Island City High School in the Queens area of New York City. The mission of the program is to connect the community, Long Island City High School students, and service providers to provide educational enrichment and overall student supports through intentional programming. Current programming includes activities for students in Graphic Design, Drumming Circle, Dance and more. The program director, Coreen Robledo, comes with many years of experience in after school and the arts. The program staff and students created an awesome submission to Lights on After School highlighting the arts programming at Long Island City High School. The video also helped the program gain more interest from students. The staff and students are off to a great start!

 Please note, no official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service, or enterprise mentioned herein is intended or should be inferred.

Contact Information

  • Dr. La' Shawndra Scroggins
    School Support and Accountability Programs
    U.S. Department of Education, OESE
    400 Maryland Ave. SW,
    Washington D.C. 20202-6132