21st Century Community Learning Centers
After School Initiative: The Phoenix Arts Collaborative
What is a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant?
Several years ago the U.S. Congress appropriated funds to the federal Department of Education for the creation of after school programs. Research showed then as it does now that millions of school age children, especially those in the upper elementary and middle school years, are unsupervised between the time school is out for the day and when a parent or guardian arrives home from work. To address this concern, grants were made available to schools and school districts to plan and provide supervised activities to students. The DOE prescribed activities to include academics, the arts and recreation.
How did the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture get involved?
Beginning with the 2001-2002 school year, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grants were available to community-based organizations. In August of 2003, the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture was awarded a grant to provide arts and academic after school instruction to students in nine under performing schools in the Phoenix Elementary School District No. 1. Jocelyn Hanson, the former Director of Arts Education for the Office of Arts and Culture, collaborated with members of the Arts and Sciences in Education Network to identify nine community-based arts organizations that would hire teaching artists to provide the arts instruction. In addition, Homework Link, an innovative tutorial aligned with the Arizona standards for reading, writing and math, was selected as the program of instruction for those content areas.
What are the project’s goals?
The project has several goals that guided the development of the original application and continue to affect planning and implementation.
a. The grant will help provide students
--a safe environment after school
--increased access to the arts as participants in the creative process
--meaningful instruction in reading, writing, math and all areas of the arts
--learning opportunities in the arts that are aligned with the Arizona Arts Standards
--a homework program and process that is aligned with the Arizona standards for reading, language arts and math
b. The grant provides teachers
--opportunities for grade level and special area teachers to learn how the arts and other academic areas can be integrated for more effective teaching and learning
--the opportunity to increase their annual income while improving student achievement on state mandated district and school assessments
c. The grant provides artists and arts organizations
--employment for local artists in their art form
--funding to increase the number of staff arts organizations employ for educational outreach as well as for artists’ services
--the capacity to build arts organizations’ education outreach programs thereby making the arts accessible to more school age children
d. The grant provides the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture as well as the Arizona Department of Education
--assessment of the effectiveness of arts instruction to improve student achievement in all content areas, improve student attendance and behavior, and improve student self-perception and self confidence.