Federal Programs

Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Program

Published: 1/16/2024 9:13 AM

​​​​​​​​​Title IV, Part B, Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Program, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (20 U.S.C.7171-7176) recognizes that improved student achievement occurs when communities implement programs and strategies scientifically proven to be effective.

Program Description

This program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects such as reading and math; 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.


Who May Apply: Awards are made to state education agencies. Local education agencies (LEAs) and nonprofit organizations may apply to states for sub grants.

Formula grants are awarded to State educational agencies, which in turn manage statewide competitions and award grants to eligible entities. For this program, eligible entity means a local educational agency, community-based organization, another public or private entity, or a consortium of two or more of such agencies, organizations, or entities. States must give priority to applications that are jointly submitted by a local educational agency and a community-based organization or other public or private entity.

Consistent with this definition of eligible entities, faith-based organizations are eligible to participate in the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Program. Regulations are available governing the participation of faith-based organizations in Federal programs for which they are eligible to participate.

Types of Projects

Each eligible entity that receives an award from the state may use the funds to carry out a broad array of before- and after-school activities (including those held during summer recess periods) to advance student achievement. These activities include:

  • Remedial education activities and academic enrichment learning programs, including those which provide additional assistance to student to allow the student to improve their academic achievement

  • Mathematics and science education activities

  • Arts and music education activities

  • Entrepreneurial education programs

  • Tutoring services, including those provided by senior citizen volunteers, and mentoring programs

  • Programs that provide after-school activities for English Learner (EL) students and that emphasize language skills and academic achievement

  • Recreational activities

  • Telecommunications and technology education programs

  • Expanded library service hours

  • Programs that promote parental involvement and family literacy

  • Programs that provide assistance to students who have been truant, suspended, or expelled to allow them to improve their academic achievement

  • Drug and violence prevention programs

  • Character education programs

​Brigette Stacy
Office of Continuous Improvement and Support
Division of School and Program Improvement
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-1473 Ext. 4072
Fax (502) 564-8149
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