21st Century Community Learning Centers is a federally-funded program which supports the creation of community learning centers that operate programs during non-school hours for students, particularly for students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools, and their families. By providing tutoring and other academic enrichment activities along with a broad array of youth development opportunities that complement their regular academic programs, these centers help students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as English language arts and math. In addition, literacy and other educational services are offered to families of students participating in the program.
The 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) initiative is a key component of the “No Child Left Behind” Act. It is an opportunity for students to enhance and reinforce academic lessons of the regular school day, while also allowing them to learn new skills and discover new opportunities after the regular school day has ended.
The focus of this program, re-authorized under Title IV, Part B, of the No Child Left Behind Act, is to provide expanded academic enrichment opportunities for children attending low performing schools. Tutorial services and academic enrichment activities are designed to help students meet local and state academic standards in subjects such as reading and math. In addition 21st CCLC programs provide youth development activities, drug and violence prevention programs, technology education programs, art, music and recreation programs, counseling, and character education to enhance the academic component of the program.