Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education 2024-2025 Arkansas Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Application

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Federal Programs
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
Assistant Superintendent; CTE Coordinator (COOPs and regular school districts); Curriculum Coordinators; Federal Programs; Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators; Principals; School Counselors; Superintendents; Teachers

Primary Contact Information

Memo Text

The Nita M. Lowey Arkansas 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local standards in core academic subjects, such as reading, literacy, math, and science; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

  1. An Intent to Apply must be completed via the online platform from December 11, 2023, through  January 31, 2024.
  2. DESE will communicate acceptance or denial of the Intent to Apply.
  3. If the Intent to Apply is accepted by DESE, a link will be shared to the application.
  4. Grant Applications must be submitted via the online platform to be considered for eligibility by February 29, 2024.
  5. All applicants will be required to achieve an overall grant rating of “Meets Standard” in all sections to be considered for funding.
  6. All sections of the grant must be completed to achieve funding eligibility.

Applicants will need to reference and, in some cases, fill out and upload files from the Resources Section below. We ask that you please fully review the Arkansas 21st CCLC Grant Guidance document before applying for the 21st CCLC grant. For additional technical assistance with the grant guidance, DESE 21st CCLC Program Office will provide virtual meeting(s) to allow potential applicants the opportunity to fully understand the guidance and the expectations of 21st CCLC programs in Arkansas. The virtual meeting date(s) and time(s) will be located on the Nita M. Lowey Arkansas 21st CCLC website listed below.

Arkansas 21st CCLC Website

Resources and Forms Required for Application Completion:

Applicants who achieve an overall grant rating of “Meets Standard” (click here for the rubric) will move to the priority round for review. Priority percentage points (2% for each criteria met) will be given for the following areas below if the information is provided within the application.

  1. Applicant is writing for a site that has never been awarded a 21st CCLC grant.
  2. Applicant is writing for a site where there is no other 21st CCLC program within a 30-mile radius.
  3. Applicant describes how evidence-based practices will be used for increasing student attendance and engagement, reducing rates of chronic absenteeism, and enhancing connections between students in middle grades and high school and their school, family, and program partners.
  4. Applicant is writing for a Comprehensive or Targeted Support School site.
  5. Applicant is a previously awarded applicant but did not meet monthly and yearly required fiscal, programmatic, and program data requirements on time and in an accurate manner (A negative 2 percentage points will be given to the applicant that meets this criteria)

All applicants must provide documentation of a Public Notice given to the community regarding the targeted site this grant will serve. Previously awarded applicants must complete Section 13 accurately to continue in the review process. These two items will not receive a score, but they will be documented as MET or NOT MET within the review process. Due to these items being required, items marked NOT MET will not continue in the review process. All applicants receiving the grant must begin programming by October 1, 2024, however, programs may start programming as early as May 1, 2024.

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