Skip to Content

Title IV - Part B - 21st Century Community Learning Centers


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 purchases must be allowable. We recommend that you contact your attorney before entering into any agreements.

From Evaluation: No more than 4% of each site’s total budget should be reserved 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

Peer Review Process

October 23, 2015 - Peer Reviewer and Facilitator Applications Due by Noon
November 2, 2015 - Peer Reviewer and Facilitator Notice of Acceptance
November 11, 2015 - Reviewer and Facilitator Online Training Webinar (9-10:30 a.m.)
November 11, 2015 - Facilitators (only) must be available for an additional half-hour training following the peer review training (10:30-11 a.m.)
December 18, 2015 - Reviewers Receive Applications to Read and Score
January 11, 2016 - Reviewers submit all individual scores and comments to their assigned facilitator by this date, by Noon
January 21, 2016 - Reviewers Conference

Reviewer Documents:

FY16 Grant Application Timeline: Technical Assistance Meetings

  • Sept. 2015 - Request for Application (RFA) available on the Iowa Department of Education’s 21CCLC website and informational letter issued.
  • Sept. - Oct. 2015 - Grant Technical Assistance meetings throughout the state will be offered to provide assistance in the development of grant applications.
  • Sept. 25, 2015 - Davenport Technical Assistance Meeting and Literacy Workshop - 8:30-10 a.m., 209 S Gaines Street, Davenport, IA 52802
  • Online Letter of Intent:  (Complete by October 30)
    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. Although this survey (letter of intent) is required if you are applying for the grant, please consider completing this short survey even if you do not intend to apply for 21CCLC funding this year, because the Iowa Department of Education is seeking to develop a baseline of student need across the state.
  • Oct. 7 - Altlantic Technical Assistance Meeting - 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Iowa Western, Cass County Center, 705 Walnut Street, Atlantic, IA 50022
  • Oct. 22 - Des Moines Technical Assistance Meeting - 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Clive Public Library, 1900 NW 114th St, Clive, IA 50325
  • Oct. 30, 2015 - Letters of Intent to Apply must be submitted via an online application and survey of student needs.
  • Nov. 12, 2015 - FAQ Webinar and Virtual Technical Assistance Meeting - 9-1 a.m. Call in information: 1-800-444-2801;  passcode 2895301
  • Dec. 11, 2015 - New 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.
  • Dec. 2015 - Jan. 2016 - Grant reviewers read and score applications for funding.
  • Jan. 21, 2016 - Grant reviewers conference in Des Moines area.
  • Mar. 2016 - Grant awards announced.
  • Apr. - Jun. 2016 - Grant contracts finalized.
  • Jul. 1, 2016 - Program implementation begins. (Note: The Federal data reporting begins the school year with summer school.).

Need more information? Contact:
Indira Blazevic Karic
Iowa Afterschool Alliance/SPPG

FY 2016 Request for Applications (RFA)

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 - FY16

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

Application Examples from FY14

About 21st Century Community Learning Centers

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.

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 aftershool 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 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


Every year, 21st CCLC grantee 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.

Afterschool Resources

The Wallace Foundation

The Afterschool Alliance

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance

SEDL National Center for Quality Afterschool

American Institutes for Research - Afterschool Programming

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


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on November 26, 2015 at 6:02pm.