NEWS RELEASE: New 21st CCLC Afterschool Programs Usher in Exciting Opportunities: From K-5 Literacy to Cultural Programs to Wellness Initiatives

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

August 28, 2023
Media Contact: Marc Siegel


New 21st CCLC Afterschool Programs Usher in Exciting Opportunities: From K-5 Literacy to Cultural Programs to Wellness Initiatives

21st Century Community Learning Center grants will help students from 115 different Oregon schools in 37 school districts with over 221 community partnerships!

(Salem, OR) – The Oregon Department of Education is thrilled to announce the organizations who will receive federal grant funds, known as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grant. These funds, from U.S. Department of Education, support afterschool and summer learning opportunities. 

A total of 27 organizations will receive 21st CCLC grant funds each year over a 5-year period. In the first year (2023-24) of this five year grant (2023-28), a total of $11.4 million will be awarded to Oregon communities. Grant award amounts range from $211,250 to $500,000 per year. Grant recipients will receive 100% of the awarded amount for the first three years of the grant. Funding will be reduced to 90% of the original funding level in year four, and 80% of the funding level in year five in order to work toward sustaining the program after the grant funds end. 

These organizations include school districts and local education agencies who will form meaningful partnerships with over 221 community based organizations across 37 school districts, thus reaching 115 different Oregon schools to support students over the five year period. 

Tailored to bolster Governor Kotek’s primary educational objectives, this new group of federally funded community learning centers will be spearheading groundbreaking activities in K-5 literacy, individualized high-dosage tutoring, Career and Technical Education (CTE), and pivotal initiatives focusing on mental health and well-being. 

“Whether in class or afterschool, every hour of every day is a learning opportunity,” said Dr. Charlene Williams, Director of the Oregon Department of Education. “These grant funds serve as an infusion of resources that prioritize key policy initiatives and equity levers. At ODE, we are committed to working alongside each grant recipient to enhance educational opportunities and create a profound impact in the communities served.”

With these after school and summer grants, students across the state will be introduced to a broad array of transformative, deep learning experiences that aim to cultivate joy, connection and curiosity through:

  1. K-5 Literacy: Dive into the world of words! With activities ranging from book clubs, family literacy nights, small group reading instruction and storytelling marathons, 21st CCLC grantees aim to foster a love for reading and writing, ensuring a strong foundation for young minds. In Klamath Falls, the school district is partnering with Jensen Equestrian to develop a “Reading for Riding” horse camp to motivate kids to love reading while learning new skills and having fun.
  2. Tutoring and Mentoring: Every child is unique, and so is their learning journey. Tailored tutoring sessions, mentoring, and literacy focused afterschool programs are on the horizon, all designed to provide personalized academic support, guiding students to overcome challenges and reach their fullest potential. In some 21st CCLC programs, high school students will be trained to tutor younger students using evidence-based practices and under the supervision of a reading-endorsed certified teacher.
  3. Career and Technical Education: Get ready for hands-on experience! New 21st CCLC programs are set for middle and high school students to participate in business competitions, industry expert talks, and even fire science paid internships that allow students to qualify as a firefighter at the end of the session. From robotics to culinary arts, 21st CCLC partnerships with local businesses and industry professionals ensure that students receive real-world insights and mentorships.
  4. Cultural Enrichment: New 21st CCLC programs are preparing to offer enrichment programs designed to affirm students’ strengths, support multilingual learning, and tap into the rich funds of knowledge our students bring with them every day. In the Columbia Gorge, community partners will lead field trips to local cultural points of interest focusing on the Native peoples along the Columbia River and surrounding areas with Native-led lessons.
  5. Mental Health and Well-being: More than just academics, the social, emotional, and physical wellness of our students is of paramount importance. Peer support groups, counseling services, yoga, cycling, juggling, dance, art, and professional learning workshops for staff are some of the activities planned to cultivate a nurturing and joyful environment. 
  6. Innovative Learning Programs: Enhancing the regular school day curriculum, 21st CCLC students are set to explore robotics, digital media production, financial literacy, public speaking, STEM-based activities, mock trials and environmental sciences building essential life skills and knowledge that ignite the imagination and sparks creativity.

The 21st CCLC grant is the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to supporting local afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs. Grants are funded through the federal Title IV-B program, part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. 21st Century Community Learning Center grants are highly competitive. Applications undergo a rigorous peer review process from qualified reviewers across the state and nationally who are knowledgeable in and experienced with quality practices related to achieving student outcomes in the regular school day, after-school, and summer programs.

21st CCLC grants require significant partnerships between school districts, community programs, and business. While each program is built upon the unique attributes, strengths, and needs of the community, 21st CCLC programs have common goals, structures and requirements to ensure high-quality programming during non-school hours.

“The Oregon Department of Education and the Federal Systems team are so excited to partner with the new recipients of the 21st Century CCLC grant for the next five years,” said Liz Ross, Director of Federal Systems at Oregon Department of Education. “This equity-driven program focused on these key areas exemplifies what is possible when we tap into the strengths of our communities through partnership. We understand the importance of this funding and the impact it will have on improving student outcomes in Oregon. The detailed, student focused and high-quality program designs will provide opportunities for increased academic achievement outside of school hours. We highly anticipate student progress and success through this funding stream and look forward to personally connecting and supporting each site.”

For more information on the 21st CCLC program and the new cohort of grantees, please visit our website or contact us at