DMPS Approved for $1.8 Million 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant

Des Moines Public Schools has been notified by the Iowa Department of Education that the district’s application for a 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant has been approved. The 21st CCLC 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.

Des Moines Public Schools will receive $1.8 million over the next three years to support new programs at Brody Middle School, Capitol View Elementary School, King Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School, and Monroe Elementary School. 

“This program really contributes to the academic success of students by doing more and more to provide them with support and opportunities outside of the usual school day,” said Heidi Brown, 21st CCLC grant coordinator for the school district. “From science and technology to the arts, this initiative provides a range of activities to help improve the overall academic success of students.”

The 21st CCLC program, which is federally funded with grants administered by the states, helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading, math and science, and offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs. Additionally, family literacy classes and English language classes, along with other educational services, are provided to families of participating children.

In Des Moines, the 21st CCLC program has become a leader in the state of Iowa because of its strong design, outstanding partnerships with the community, effective implementation of the program, and the overall positive impact on student achievement. DMPS was invited to present at the National 21st Century Community Learning Centers annual conference in 2011 to share the successes of the program. In addition, the 21st CCLC at DMPS received second place in the Outstanding Partnership Awards presented by the Iowa Network for Community and School Partnerships in November 2011.

The Des Moines school district was awarded its first 21st CCLC grant in 2007. Since that time, more than 8,400 students have participated in the program.