On Friday, November 4th, 2022, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) announced the availability of 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant funds to be awarded to community-based organizations partnering with school divisions to support after-school, before-school, and summer learning programs to provide additional instructional opportunities to combat learning loss for school-age children attending high-poverty, low-performing schools.

This grant is awarded to eligible nonprofit agencies, city or county government agencies, faith-based organizations, and institutions of higher education to support the implementation of beyond school hours community learning centers that will assist student learning and development.

*** It is important to note that the CBO Application link will bring you to a prompt to download an Excel Spreadsheet.


The grant application process can be intimidating. That’s why VPOST, in partnership with the VDOE, wants to help to ensure every person applying feels confident in their application submission. Luckily, there are numerous resources available to applicants. We’ve gone ahead and listed a few for you!

Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) 21st CCLC Shared Resources: Here you will find all-things 21st CCLC, including templates that can be used in your application.

VDOE Administrative Handbook: This Handbook outlines many of the do’s and don’ts for your program design and application submission. If you are not sure if a budget item is allowable, check here. Items highlighted in green are updates from prior 21st CCLC grant processes.

VDOE 21st Century Schools Resource Page: On this page you will find the history of 21st Century Learning Centers, instructions for the application process, past grantee information and other helpful resources to navigate the grant process.

Best Practices for After School Programs

Check out pages 23-24 as well as Appendix C of the Guidelines document for key components of a high-quality after school program.

We also recommend the following resources as you work on your program design and case for support:

The National Institute on Out-of-School Time provides research and materials to assist applicants for 21st CCLC grants.

The Early Childhood and Parenting (ECAP) Collaborative is home to more than a dozen projects that focus on educating and raising young children. ECAP hosts research, technical assistance, and service projects.

The Institute for Urban and Minority Education provides information on program development, evaluation, and professional development.

REL Appalachia (Regional Educational Laboratories Appalachia) is composed of a team of nationally-recognized educational research scientists. REL Appalachia’s mission is to provide high-quality research, analysis and technical assistance that help state and local education systems in the region achieve higher educational standards and close the achievement gap.

What Constitutes a Quality After-School Program?

The 40 Developmental Assets

Shared Features of High-Performing After-School Programs (Policy Studies Associates, Inc., 2005)

Afterschool Program Quality and Student Outcomes: Reflections on Positive Key Findings on Learning and Development from Recent Research (Deborah Lowe Vandell, 2013)

Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Times (VPOST) Website


Q: Does the school division have to be a co-applicant?
A: Yes. The school division MUST be a co-applicant.

Q: What if there is already a 21st CCLC grant at the school I would like to serve? Can I still apply?
A: Unfortunately, no, There is only one 21st CCLC grant permitted at each school.

Q: My organization already has a 21st CCLC grant. Can we apply for another one?
A: Yes, but it must be to serve a different school.

Q: Most 21st CCLC grants are 2 or 3 years. Why is the grant 1 year?
A: Funds for this grant have been made possible through a 1-year line item in the state budget as a part of the American Rescue Plan.

Q: What is the cap on administrative expenses?
A: 25%

Q: How much can I apply for?
A: The grant request can be for no less than $50,000 and no more than $250,000

Q: What do these acronyms mean?
A: CBO = Community Based Organization
LEA = Local Education Agency (aka, local school division)
AWA = Average Weekly Attendance

Q: Do I need actual signatures on the application or will an electronic application suffice?
A: Actual signatures ARE required. Print the page(s), get signed, scan and attach as a PDF to your application document (excel).

Contact Information

For questions and/or technical support, please contact Laura Toni-Holsinger at Laura@v-post.org