Virginia Department of Education announces 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant competition

Posted at 8:50 PM, Jan 29, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. — Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced Friday that the Virginia Department of Education is inviting school divisions, nonprofit organizations, local government agencies, faith-based organizations, colleges and universities and for-profit corporations to apply for 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants.

The federal grant program, authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015) supports community-based programs that provide tutoring, enrichment and counseling during non-school hours — especially for economically disadvantaged students and students who attend low-performing schools.

“Community learning centers will play an important role in supporting the efforts of school divisions to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on student learning and help students to make up the ground that they have lost,” Lane said.

Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. VDOE expects to award approximately 30 three-year grants of $50,000 to $200,000 per year and will give priority to applications that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Joint applications between at least one school division and at least one public or private community organization;
  • Proposals to serve students in schools that either are identified for federal support and improvement;
  • Proposals to serve students in middle or high schools; and
  • Proposals to serve students who attend schools with a free and reduced-price lunch eligibility rate of 75% or greater.

Applicants must consult and collaborate with parents, community organizations, businesses, arts and cultural organizations and other youth development agencies in developing proposals for 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

VDOE will conduct technical assistance webinars for potential applicants on Tuesday, February 23 and Wednesday, February 24. The request for proposals and technical assistance webinar information are available in Superintendent’s Memo 015-21.

The application and Guidelines, Instructions and Assurances documents are available upon request from

The deadline for submitting applications is 4 p.m. Friday, April 9.