New Jersey Department of Education

21st Century Community Learning Centers Program and Out-of-School Time Resources


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The 21st Century Community Learning Center is a federally funded program supported by the New Jersey Department of Education for out-of-school-time programs in New Jersey, which include those before school, after school or in the summer.

What is the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program (21st CCLC)?

Under Title IV, Part B of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), 21st CCLC are defined as centers that provide opportunities for academic enrichment, including providing tutorial services to help students meet the challenging state academic standards. The centers also offer a broad array of additional services, programs, and activities in such areas as the following: youth development activities; service learning, nutrition and health education; drug and violence prevention; counseling; arts, music, physical fitness and wellness education; technology education; financial literacy; environmental literacy; and mathematics, science, career and technical programs. The centers also provide internship or apprenticeship programs and other ties to an in-demand industry sector or occupation for high school students that are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program of participating students and their adult family members when school is not in session.

What is the intent of the legislation?

According to the legislation, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program is intended to: 1) assist students to meet the challenging state academic standards by providing them with academic enrichment; 2) offer a broad array of activities during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session (such as before and after school or during summer recess); and 3) offer families of students served by the centers the opportunity for active and meaningful engagement in their children's education that includes literacy programs.

What are the types of activities offered at a New Jersey 21st CCLC Program?

  • well-rounded education activities, including those that enable students to be eligible for credit recovery or attainment;
  • services for individuals with disabilities;
  • programs that provide afterschool activities for students who are English learners that emphasize language skills and academic achievement;
  • cultural programs;
  • programs that support a healthy and active lifestyle, including nutritional education and regular, structured physical activity programs;
  • telecommunications and technology education programs;
  • expanded library service hours;
  • programs that provide assistance to students who have been truant, suspended, or expelled to allow the students to improve their academic achievement;
  • programs that build skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (referred to in this paragraph as 'STEM'), including computer science, as well as foster innovation in learning by supporting nontraditional STEM education teaching methods; and
  • programs that partner with in-demand fields of the local workforce or build career competencies and career readiness and ensure that local workforce and career readiness skills are aligned with the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (29 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.).

What are the core services of the 21st CCLC Program?

The core services of a 21st CCLC program must be those services and/or activities that advance student achievement using the 12 program categories outlined in the federal guidance that are offered during out-of-school-time hours. Out-of-school-time programs should reflect a commitment to promoting knowledge, skills and understanding through enriching, hands-on, creative learning opportunities that do not extend, but complement the school day. The core services fit into four main categories:

Academic Enrichment: Remedial education activities that provide additional assistance to students to allow them to improve their academic achievement. These include tutoring in core academic subjects such as mathematics and science, as well as activities for students who are limited English proficient that emphasize their language skills and academic achievement.

Enrichment Activities and Recreation: Activities that complement students' academic learning by allowing students to engage in more creative pursuits such as art, music, dance, recreation and cultural activities.

Family Literacy and Enrichment Programs: Literacy and other educational services that assist parents and families of participating children in becoming full partners in the education of their children, These services allow for increased parental involvement and provide family members with the opportunity to engage in interactive literacy activities.

Support Services: Services that target drug, violence, and other youth prevention programs, including character education.  Students and their families are linked to community outreach services that provide opportunities to engage in service learning activities and allow access to adult education resources.

How many 21st CCLC Programs are there in the state of New Jersey?

Currently, there are sixty-four (64) 21st CCLC programs funded through the New Jersey Department of Education.

New Jersey 21st CCLC Reports

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