Teens with arms around each other

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Integrated Service Delivery Study aimed to elevate the role 21st CCLC grantees can play in building integrated service delivery systems and to identify promising approaches. 

A shared vision for using 21st CCLC funds as a platform for improving the lives of students and families, and for contributing to community cohesion, is an important precursor to leveraging the full potential of community and school partnerships. 

It takes a village, and it takes a community to make something happen and to make it an amazing thing. It’s not one person, it’s everybody...And if you’re trying to do it all on yourself, you’re going to burn out and you’re not going to have it.   

— Site Coordinator 

In our research, centers that elevated partnerships focused on supporting youth and families more holistically, and which had intentional conversations about a shared vision for providing supports and opportunities, found that these efforts to “get on the same page” were better able to provide services and reduced competition over funding and shared resources.

Related Briefs

The Role of the Backbone Organization in Strengthening 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Learn more about how backbone organizations in the cities of Newport, Rhode Island and Chicago, Illinois have partnered with 21st CCLC programs to expand access to culturally competent and holistic services and supports for students, families, and community members.

Relational Trust

Collaboration between schools and external organizations can yield benefits, but also pose risks for silos in program delivery and the potential for misunderstandings. Grantees for programs in Rhode Island and Washington State offer models for how external organizations can cultivate trust within the school site, thereby enhancing their collective ability to serve students and families.

Community Renewal

Community is baked into the name of the 21st CCLC program. However, as part of this study, we learned about some grantees that are using the program as a platform for broader community renewal, a theme we explore more fully in this brief by focusing on 21st CCLC grantees in Oklahoma and Illinois.