21st Community Learning Centers

The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC or 21st Century) grant is a federal funding opportunity that is distributed and managed in Illinois by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). This program is designed to provide academically focused afterschool opportunities for youth in elementary, middle, and high school as well as offer families of students opportunities for educational development. 21st CCLC programs particularly serve students attending low-performing, low-income schools to improve student attainment of state standards in core academic subjects (i.e., mathematics and reading). This program also offers additional enrichment opportunities in areas such as social-emotional learning, recreation, and STEM, serving students with a whole-child approach.

Professional Development

FY24 Technical Assistance

ACT Now is offering professional development opportunities for all 21st CCLC providers throughout FY24! You can find the descriptions for these events on our flyer.

To register for these upcoming trainings, please use ACT Now’s new online learning management system, ANCAL (ACT Now Center for Afterschool Learning). This system is FREE and available to ALL of our members to access archived trainings, asynchronous professional development, training resources, and more!

Please register for an account here: https://collabornation.net/register/actnowil. Once you have created an account, please visit the “Events” tab to search and register for all upcoming trainings. 

  • Cultural Responsiveness: February 7, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Register here.
  • Retention & Recruitment: February 22, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Register here.
    • Please note that this training will occur during the February Town Hall meeting.
  • STEM Lunch and Learn: March 20, 2024, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Register here.
  • Strategies to Find Funding: April 18, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Register here.
    • Please note that this training will occur during the April Town Hall meeting.
  • Capacity Building & Team Retention: April 24, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Register here.
  • Administrative Lunch and Learn: May 23, 2024, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Register here.
  • Sustainability Lunch and Learn: June 12, 2024, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Register here.

21st CCLC Town Hall Meetings

21st CCLC Town Hall meetings are an opportunity for ACT Now to share information and policy updates with the entire 21st CCLC provider membership. These meetings are also an opportunity for ACT Now to lift up programs and elevate providers’ experiences in programming. These meetings occur virtually on a bi-monthly basis. 

During these meetings, attendees will:

  • Hear updates on programming, funding, and policy
  • Access professional development
  • Learn strategies to advocate for programming 
  • Share any concerns, questions, or feedback with ACT Now and their peers

21st CCLC Advisory Council

The 21st CCLC Advisory Council is made up of a group of 21st CCLC providers located across the state. The members of this group act as representatives of the 21st CCLC program statewide as we consider new strategies for outreach, advocacy, monitoring, and any other programmatic needs. Membership applications to join this group open annually.

21st CCLC Advisory Council Members

  • Alfred Morales, Valley View Community Unit School District 365
  • Autumn Berg, Chicago Public Schools District 299
  • Darren Harris, Family Focus
  • Denise Marshall, Cahokia Community Unit School District 187
  • Diana Rea, Du Quoin Community Unit School District 300
  • Jeethu Samuel, Youth Guidance
  • Kimberly David, Project Success of Vermilion County
  • Maricela Bautista, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC)
  • Mellisa Bogard, Boys & Girls Club of Chicago (BGCC)
  • Michael Hannan, Alternative Schools Network (ASN)
  • Teju Adesida, Chicago Arts Partnership in Education (CAPE)
  • Yolanda Crochell, Madison Community Unit School District 12

Important Links

Archived Town Hall Meetings

In Spring 2020, ACT Now started our Town Hall series for 21st CCLC program providers in Illinois. These virtual opportunities allowed ACT Now to share information and policy updates, as well as allowing programs to elevate their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continued to host these meetings through 2023. Below, you will find the recordings, resources, and materials from these meetings.

April 25, 2024 Town Hall

  • To access the recording, click here. Password:  7$dsNQ!1

February 22, 2024 Town Hall

  • To access the recording, click here. Password: Z2h5LF$@