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Number 8, May 2012
Research Update 8: 21st Century Community Learning Centers—Stable Funding for Innovation and Continuous Improvement
Christopher Wimer, Erin Harris
Inside this Research Update: How 21st CCLC funding supports innovation in the OST field.
As the only federal funding stream that provides dedicated funds for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative plays an important role in supporting innovation in the out-of-school time (OST) field.
The funding provided by 21st CCLC is often crucial for innovations that develop and test new ways to support children’s learning and development, especially those that are informed by the latest sound research and evaluation on what works and why. By providing a steady and reliable stream of funding, the 21st CCLC initiative can enable programs to move beyond survival mode, and to think deeply about how to develop new and creative platforms for learning and incorporate them into their programming. The other major benefit of 21st CCLC initiative is the flexibility it allows—21st CCLC-funded programs are able explore different ways of serving youth and do not have to be tied to a specific prescriptive model.
The latest issue in our Research Update series reviews evaluations and research studies that showcase innovations in afterschool programs supported by 21st CCLC funding. These innovations take the form of:
About this Series
The Research Update series provides insight from the evaluations and research studies profiled in Harvard Family Research Project’s Out-of-School Time (OST) Program Research and Evaluation Database. Research Updates highlight new and innovative topics, methods, and findings in the increasingly sophisticated, growing field of OST research and evaluation.