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21st Century Community Learning Center Grants Available

2/9/2001:   A valuable opportunity to develop or enhance collaborative relationships between social service agencies and school systems is being made available through a U.S. Department of Education program. Resources are available to assist educators, parents, social service providers, community members, and state and local decision-makers to work together to provide nurturing safe havens. Grants are being provided to inner city and rural schools that work in partnership with organizations in their community, to provide children and adults with academic, cultural, and recreational enrichment opportunities outside of the regular school hours.

Approximately 400 new grant awards will be made, supplementing the present 903 grantees (3,600 schools) serving about 615,000 children and 225,000 adults in the 50 states and territories. The average grant is $500,000 and supports four centers. The grant applicant must be a local educational agency and must work with other community-based organizations, such as public and nonprofit agencies, businesses, recreational, cultural, and/or other community service entities.

Information about the grant program and applications for three-year Community Learning Center grants are available from the Department of Education in print form or on their website at http://www.ed.gov/21stcclc. The website also lists a schedule of bidders’ conferences in each state and three larger regional conferences. These conferences, supported by the C. S. Mott Foundation, will help communities understand the rules and requirements of the competition, plan a high-quality program, and write a strong application. Applications must be received or postmarked by Friday, March 30, 2001.

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