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For Immediate Release: Jan. 6, 2012
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Grants available to fund after-school programs

Applications for the next round of 21st Century Community Learning Center, or 21st CCLC, grants are now available online. The centers provide students with academic enrichment opportunities and activities designed to complement the students’ regular school instruction.

Grant award amounts range from $50,000 to $150,000 per year, and the life of the grant is five years. While funds are often awarded to schools, other organizations are also eligible to apply. The grants must specifically support programs offered outside of regular school hours.

The learning centers are intended to assist students from high-poverty and low-performing schools in need of additional support. Funding for this grant comes from the federal government in the form of a formula grant to the states. Because it is authorized under No Child Left Behind, programming must include an academic component and content-specific enrichment activities.

“These funds help provide safe and supportive environments that offer young people meaningful and interesting learning opportunities,” said Sue Burgard, who oversees the 21st CCLC grant program for the South Dakota Department of Education.

Grant applications must be submitted to the South Dakota Department of Education by Feb. 24. To help potential applicants with the process, the 21st CCLC team has set up two opportunities to take part in a webinar. The webinars are scheduled for Jan. 18 and 19 and will provide guidance and a chance for questions. Participants must pre-register by Jan. 13. While not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in one of the webinars.

Webinar schedule and registration are available online at or by contacting Jill Cotton at 605-773-4693 or