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Press Release

Monday, September 21, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

South Florida Awarded $18.8 Million for Afterschool Support Programs
~ More than 120 sites to offer low-income students with a wide range of assistance ~

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Education recently awarded $18.8 million in federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grants to fund afterschool support programs for low-income students in the south Florida area. 21st CCLC programs provide students with opportunities for academic enrichment, personal growth, and other activities designed to complement their regular academic curriculum, while also offering literacy and other educational services to their families.

“21st CCLC programs provide many of our disadvantaged students with essential, life-building services and can make the difference in their educational success,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “I look forward to seeing the positive results of these programs as south Florida communities work to ensure their students are receiving this important assistance.”

A total of $59,519,427 in 21st CCLC funds were released this year to communities across the state, providing daily access to program services for approximately 81,000 students. Of these funds, $18,849,597 million was awarded to south Florida programs, enabling the operation of 121 21st CCLC sites in the region. Agencies receiving funds include school districts, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, universities and colleges, and city governments. 21st CCLC programs are available in 48 of 67 Florida counties.

Unlike traditional childcare services, Florida’s 21st CCLC programs are free for eligible students and provide a full spectrum of wrap-around services, including: academic remediation in reading, math and science; recreation and physical fitness; and services for students’ adult family members. Many 21st CCLC programs also provide students with services such as arts and music education, entrepreneurial education, technology education, dropout prevention, service learning, and character education.

Florida’s 21st CCLC initiative has provided free afterschool services to Florida’s low-income children since 2001. Funded under the No Child Left Behind Act, Florida’s 21st CCLC programs are among the most structured and diverse afterschool programs for students attending Florida’s low-income schools. Intended to help students meet state and local academic achievement standards in core academic subjects through engaging, hands-on learning opportunities, programs must operate for at least 36 weeks and provide each student a minimum of four (4) days and 12 hours per week of services.

To learn more about Florida’s 21st CCLC initiative, visit