Skip to Content

Title IV - Part B - 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC)


On this page...

Beware of Free Grant Writing

There are companies that operate online offering “free” grant writing services that are not free. Some require you sign a contract before receiving an award that ask you to purchase from a third party in exchange for their services if awarded.

However, you cannot use grant funds before you receive the award and any purchases must be allowable. Agreements entered into before you receive a grant award are not payable with 21st Century Community Learning funds. We recommend that you contact your attorney before entering into any agreements.

From Evaluation Guidelines in RFA: No more than 4% of each program's total budget can be used for local evaluation efforts. You may NOT use grant funds to pay for grant writing or make purchases, enter into any contract or incur expenses before you have a signed grant agreement. -pg. 22 of Iowa RFA

Example: If you receive an award of $100,000- You may spend up to $4,000 on local evaluation.

Grant Writing expenses are paid with your funds and are not reimbursable with grant funds.

Peer Review Process

November 10, 2017 - Peer Reviewer and Facilitator Applications Due by Noon (via email)
November 17, 2017 - Peer Reviewer and Facilitator Notice of Acceptance
December 10, 2017 - Reviewer and Facilitator Online Training Webinar (9-10:30 a.m.)
December 10, 2017 - Facilitators (only) must be available for an additional half-hour training following the peer review training (10:30-11 a.m.)
December 21, 2017 - Reviewers Receive Applications to Read and Score
January 22, 2018 - Reviewers submit all individual scores and comments to their assigned facilitator by this date, by Noon
January 25, 2018 - All Day Reviewers Conference (you will be notified of the location via email)

Reviewer Documents:

NOTE: Because the future of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program will be determined this fall by Congress - If this program is eliminated (per the President's budget), this grant competition will be terminated. If the program receives a cut in funding, this could result in a reduction of awards to insure we have sufficient funding for existing grants programs.

FY18 Grant Application Timeline: Technical Assistance Meetings

  • September  2017 - Request for Application (RFA) available on the Iowa Department of Education’s 21CCLC website and informational supporting documents posted. Grant Technical Assistance meetings will be held around the state to provide assistance in the development of grant applications and answer questions.
  • September 15, 2017- Local Evaluator Training Webinar (see evaluation support for details) Call in information: 1-800-444-2801; passcode

  • September 21, 2017 - Davenport Technical Assistance Meeting 8:30-10 a.m., Modern Woodman Park, 209 S Gaines Street, Davenport, IA 52802-This meeting will be combined with an all-day workshop which starts at 10am. Registration is not required for the Technical Assistance meeting, but registration is required for the workshop.
  • Workshop Agenda and registration details- Please register by Sept 14th,
  • New to Grant Writing? Take this online E Course in Proposal Writing (Free):
  • Online Letter of Intent: (Complete by November 10, 2017) Completion of this short survey will serve as the Letter of Intent to apply for 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding. A separate “letter” is not required.
  • October 6, 2017 - Des Moines Technical Assistance Meeting - 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Fair Meadows room- West Des Moines Learning Resource Center 3550 Mills Civic Parkway West Des Moines, Iowa 50265.
  • October 13, 2017 - Atlantic Technical Assistance Meeting - 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Iowa Western, Cass County Center, 705 Walnut Street, Atlantic, IA 50022
  • November 9, 2017 - FAQ Webinar and Virtual Technical Assistance Meeting - 9-10 a.m. Call in information: 1-800-444-2801; passcode 2895301
  • November 10, 2017 - Online Letter of Intent to Apply must be submitted by this date.
  • December 15, 2017 - Grant applications due date. Must be received inside, or delivered to, the Iowa Department of Education by 4:30 P.M. CDT (Hours 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.) No exceptions. Please plan to have mail or packages arrive before the due date.
  • December 18, 2017 - Grant Application Compliance Check
  • December 2017 - January. 2018 - Grant reviewers read and score applications for funding.
  • January. 25, 2018 - Grant reviewers conference in Des Moines area.
  • March 2018 - Grant awards announced.
  • April. - June, 2018 - Grant contracts finalized.
  • July 1, 2018 - Program implementation begins. (Note: The Federal data reporting begins the school year with summer school.).
  • Need more information about Peer Review or Technical Assistance Meetings?

Michelle Rich
Iowa Afterschool Alliance/SPPG

FY 2017 Request for Applications (RFA)

The items listed below are for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers RFA for Fall 2017.

21st Century Community Learning Centers FY 2018 Request for Applications - (Word)

Application Financial Guidance

Iowa 21st Century Funding Formula (use this spreadsheet to calculate your award)

Student Needs Assessment Template - Iowa 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Appendix A: Required Forms - FY18

Appendix B: Practice Lists

Appendix C: Definitions

Appendix D: Contractual Terms

Appendix E: Iowa Site Monitoring Documentation Form

Appendix F: Comprehensive Site Visit for 21st CCLC

Appendix G: Partnerships for Adult Literacy

Appendix H: Sustainability Plan Template

Appendix I: Local Evaluation Form

Appendix J: Guidance for Completion of the Minority Impact Statement

Appendix K: Children with Disabilities and 21st CCLC Programs

Application Examples from FY14 (all applications from Cohort VIII-XI are posted in the archive section)

About 21st CCLC

The 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant serves as a supplementary program that can enhance State or local reform efforts to improve student academic achievement and to support their overall development. In particular, 21st CCLC funds will create and expand after-school programs that offer extended learning opportunities for children and their families. The 21st CCLC program is a federal title program (Title IV, part B).

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, first authorized as a national program in 1996, provides grants to schools, community-based, faith-based, and/or non-profit organizations as partners for the establishment of community learning centers to keep children safe while providing academic and enrichment activities during after school hours. With the enactment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 the administration of the distribution of funding for the 21st CCLC program has been delegated to the states. The overarching goal of the state administered program is to establish or expand community learning centers during non-school hours to provide students who attend schools eligible for Title I Schoolwide Program funds (i.e., 40% of students are eligible to receive free and reduced lunch) with academic and enrichment opportunities along with supportive services necessary to help them achieve academically and develop socially, emotionally, physically, and behaviorally

Evaluation and Professional Development Support

Evaluation Support

September 15, 2017 (10am-12:00) Local Evaluator Training Webinar (Educational Resource Management Services) ERMS will provide training and review the new local evaluation form.

To join the webinar, use this link:
Then call-in to this phone number to access the audio: 1-800-444-2801 passcode 2895301. Please mute your computer audio.

Local Evaluation Form (required for all local evaluations)

Local Evaluation Form Instructions

Iowa local Evaluator Timeline

The required objectives are now the GPRA measures.

Grantees are encouraged to add local objectives in their evaluations. This data will be considered anecdotal since it will not be consistent with other grantees. However it is still important to your local evaluation.

A GOOD local evaluation should follow this formula:

GPRA measures + Local objectives+ Success Stories+ Pictures + other good date= A well-developed evaluation.

The new APR data system (which replaced the PPICS) does not have the same reporting functions as the previous system. In order to aggregate data and to provide a uniform reporting of local evaluation data, this form is required. Local evaluations may add additional facts and data and append the additional information to this form.

Teacher Survey Student Evaluation Questions (This is a short version of the teacher survey with only the GPRA measures that are required). You should include this in your local evaluation.

Teacher Survey (required for all local evaluations)

Professional Development Support

Iowa requires that no less than 5% be spent on professional development. This is monitored by the SEA (Items 6G and 6H) on the On Site Monitoring Form. In response to numerous visits, a template was created to assist grantees with their Professional Development plans.

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance visits all new grantees to assist them with staff development needs and will assist in developing a professional development plan. The IAA will contact new grantees and arrange a suitable date for their Best Practice visit.

Professional Development Template (a PD plan is required for grantees)

Children with Disabilities and 21st CCLC Programming

Iowa 21 CCLC and Children with Disabilities Guidance-The attached guidance document explains the responsibilities for providing children with disabilities with an equal opportunity for participation in 21st Century Community Learning Centers programming and other before-school and after-school programs operated by school districts.

Iowa Department of Education Guidance

This guidance is found on the 21st CCLC website and the Special Education website.

If you are a community group and working with a district- please share this link with them:

Federal Guidance from the US Department of Education - You4Youth website

Eleven implementation guides focus on helping programs build capacity to meet the needs of all students, including students with disabilities. Experts, advocates and 21st CCLC practitioners and program leaders contributed their knowledge and experience to support your efforts to create and sustain high-quality, inclusive programs.

Implementation Guides

State Coordinators Guide

Topic Guide 1 - Introduction to Inclusion in 21st CCLC Programs

Topic Guide 2 - Legal Foundations of Inclusion: What you need to know

Topic Guide 3 - Establishing Inclusive Spaces, Activities, Materials and Routines

Topic Guide 4 - Training and Developing Staff to Support Inclusion

Topic Guide 5 - Identifying and Developing Partnerships

Topic Guide 6 - Engaging Families and Communities to Support Inclusion

Topic Guide 7 - Working With Schools and Districts to Support Inclusion

Topic Guide 8 - Working with IEPs, Section 504 Plans and Transition Plans

Topic Guide 9 - Addressing Individual Needs and Engaging All Learners

Topic Guide 10 - Supporting Social-Emotional Learning


Quality Before and Afterschool Programs

Before and afterschool programs have the potential to make a significant contribution to the following “Results for Iowa Youth” in the positive development of all the state’s children and youth:

  1. All Iowa children and youth are healthy and socially competent.
  2. All Iowa children and youth succeed in school
  3. All Iowa children and youth are prepared for productive adulthood.
  4. All youth have the benefit of safe and supportive families, schools, and communities.

Quality before and afterschool programs can provide safe, engaging environments that complement the school day by promoting learning to improve student outcomes. While there is no one single formula for success in afterschool programs, both practitioners and researchers have found that effective programs combine academic, enrichment, cultural, and recreational activities to guide learning and engage children and youth in wholesome activities. They also find that the best programs develop activities to meet the particular needs of the communities they serve.

Activities of Before and Afterschool Programs

Each eligible organization that receives an award may use the funds to carry out a broad array of before- and after-school activities (or activities during other times when school is not in session) that advance student achievement.

  • Remedial education activities and academic enrichment learning programs, including providing additional assistance to students to allow the students to improve their academic achievement
  • Literacy activities
  • Tutoring services (including those provided by senior citizen volunteers) and mentoring programs; to reduce achievement gaps for at-risk children
  • Programs that provide after-school activities for limited English proficient students that emphasize language skills and academic achievement
  • Mathematics and science education activities
  • Arts and music and cultural education activities
  • Entrepreneurial education programs, Employment preparation or training
  • Physical Fitness, Nutritional Education and Recreational Activities
  • Drug and violence prevention programs. Counseling, character and behavior education
  • Youth leadership and character building activities
  • Volunteer and community service opportunities
  • College awareness and preparation
  • Homework assistance centers
  • Mentoring and service-learning projects
  • Activities linked to law enforcement
  • Supervised field trips, recreation and enrichment programs and events

Common Elements of Quality Before and Afterschool Programs

In addition to the desired results that focus the work, the Common Elements listed below represent nationally recognized standards on which quality afterschool programs are based. The principles of quality programs should undergird all program design.

  • The program is a combination of academic, enrichment, cultural, and recreational activities that guide learning and engage children and youth in wholesome activities.
  • Goal setting and management
  • Planning for long-term sustainability
  • Quality afterschool staffing and ongoing training and professional development
  • Attention to safety, health, and nutrition issues
  • Effective community partnerships
  • Strong involvement of families (volunteering, family engagement nights, community support)
  • Extended learning opportunities
  • Linkages between school-day and afterschool personnel
  • Evaluation of program progress and effectiveness

Quality Standards for Before and Afterschool Programs

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance (IAA) developed standards of quality for Iowa's afterschool programs in September of 2008.

The IAA Quality Work Group has developed a set of 10 standards and 88 corresponding indicators of quality afterschool programming and administration that can be immediately implemented by programs of all types, locations, and funding streams. More information can be found on the IAA Afterschool Quality webpage.

Iowa's Blueprint for Afterschool

The Iowa's Blueprint for Afterschool document outlines five strategies for ensuring access to affordable high-quality afterschool in Iowa for children and youth ages 5-17. It is designed to serve as a tool for policymakers to use in partnership with local stakeholders to identify the core elements of effective delivery of quality afterschool programs in Iowa so all youth and families have access to such opportunities in their community.

Grant Program and Awards

Cohorts VII-X: Iowa has changed the grant cycle to a period of three (3) years for all new awards, starting in 2012. An additional 2 years of funding at 75% is available after a comprehensive site visit by the Iowa Department of Education.

Cohorts I-VI: Entities eligible to receive Iowa’s grant funds for a period of five (5) years has been expanded to include local educational agencies (LEAs), cities, counties, community-based organizations (CBOs), faith-based organizations (FBOs), non-profit organizations (NPOs), or a consortium of two or more such agencies, organizations or entities. Applicants are required to plan their programs through a collaborative process that includes parents, youth, and representatives of participating schools or local educational agencies, governmental agencies (e.g, cities, counties, parks and recreation departments), community organizations, and the private sector.

Grant Award - Cohort XII 2017-2019

Grant Awards - Cohort XI 2016-2019

Grant Awards - Cohort X 2015-2018

Grant Awards - Cohort IX 2014-2017

Grant Awards - Cohort VIII 2013-2016

Grant Awards - Cohort VII 2012-2015

Grant Awards - Cohort VI 2010-2015

Grant Awards - Cohort V 2009-2014

Grant Awards - Cohort IV 2008-2013

Grant Awards - Cohort III 2007-2012

State Evaluation

Every year, 21st CCLC grantees are required to submit basic information about the characteristics associated with their programs and the outcomes they were able to achieve as a result of providing services to the students and adult family members attending their programs. This data includes activities, attendance, partners/subcontractors, staffing, and regular attendees’ math and reading proficiency levels. This data is collected by the Iowa Department of Education, submitted to a federal data collection system and publically posted on the program website.

Iowa Afterschool Report 2012 - Evaluation data from grantees, site visits, surveys and PPICS.

Iowa Afterschool Report 2013 - Evaluation data from grantees, site visits, surveys and PPICS.

Iowa Afterschool Report 2014 - Evaluation data from grantees, site visits, surveys and PPICS.

Iowa Afterschool Report 2015 - Evaluation data from grantees, site visits and the federal APR data system

Iowa Afterschool Report 2016 - Evaluation data from grantees, site visits and the federal APR data system

Iowa Afterschool Report 2017 - Evaluation data from grantees, site visits and the federal APR data system

Afterschool Resources

The Wallace Foundation

Afterschool Alliance

Iowa Afterschool Alliance

SEDL National Center for Quality Afterschool

American Institutes for Research - Afterschool and Expanded Learning

US Dept. of Education - 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Iowa Kids Count

FY 2016 RFA Documents (Archive - Do Not Use)

The items listed below are for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers RFA for September 2015-June 2016.

21st Century Community Learning Centers FY 2016 Request for Applications

Iowa 21st Century Funding Formula

Student Needs Assessment Template - Iowa 21st Century Community Learning Centers

What is New in this Application - FY16

Appendix A: Required Forms - FY16

Appendix B: Practice Lists - FY16

Appendix C: Definitions - FY16

Appendix D: Contractual Terms - FY16

Appendix E: Iowa Site Monitoring Documentation Form - FY16

Appendix F: Adult Literacy Map

Appendix G: Comprehensive Site Visit for 21st Century Community Learning Centers - FY16

Application Examples from FY14

How to Write Measurable Goals and Objectives

Submitted Applications


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on May 28, 2018 at 4:40am.