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Friday, May 11, 2012

Training and Technical Assistance Grant Opportunity

TO: New Jersey Afterschool Training and Technical Assistance Provider Agencies,
Interested Parties and Organizations
FROM: Barbara Gantwerk, Assistant Commissioner Division of Student and Field Services
SUBJECT: Solicitation of Interest for 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program Training and Technical Assistance Grant

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is soliciting letters of interest from New Jersey based agencies to provide statewide training and technical assistance to improve the quality of forty-eight (48) 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs (21st CCLC) in New Jersey. 

The 21st CCLCs offer academic remediation and enrichment activities in tandem with a broad array of other opportunities including arts, cultural, youth development and physical activities to students and their adult family members when school is not in session. 

The provision of services through 21st CCLC programs is intended to: increase students' academic achievement, encourage positive student behavior, engage adult family members of participating students and develop collaborative relationships to ensure participants' access to all available resources through coordinated efforts. 

The duration of this project will be 3-5 years. The anticipated period for the first year of the project is September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013. Continuation will be based upon documented need for continued or expanded project services, NJDOE priorities and available funding. Through a Notice of Grant Opportunity (NGO), NJDOE intends to provide training and technical assistance that not only helps the 21st CCLC grantees fulfill program requirements, but also builds the capacity of the program staff which in turn will enhance the quality of the program. 

In addition to training sessions and technical assistance, the selected agency will assist the department in addressing program quality, sustainability and networking. The selected agency would be required to fulfill the following activities: 

 * Provide technical assistance and training to all 21st CCLC program grantees and other eligible entities within New Jersey in an effort to increase the quality of afterschool programs throughout the state;
 * Facilitate professional learning communities within 21st CCLC programs, especially around the following themes: STEM, career awareness and exploration, visual/performing arts and civic engagement;
 * Foster the development of 21st CCLC grantee partnerships with key stakeholders including school-day administrators and staff, parents, and collaborators; * Collaborate with state 21st CCLC evaluator to administer evaluation trainings to ensure appropriate use of data, including surveys;
* Assist the 21st CCLC programs in the implementation of action research to encourage continuous quality improvement;
 * Assist in the development, continuity and expansion of quality 21st CCLC programs through on-site quality visits;
 * Provide training sessions on best practice strategies for intentional planning, aligning with the school-day, creating a youth-centered environment, effective management, summer learning, engaging parents and families, local evaluation methods and designing program staff professional development;
* Design and plan professional learning experiences that are relevant, interactive and based on current national research;
* Promote the use of a guided-inquiry approach to support the development of participants' 21st Century skills;
* Use nationally recognized quality standards for afterschool in developing trainings, workshops and conferences; and It is the intent of the department to select an agency that has documented experience in:
 * Developing, coordinating and conducting capacity building training and technical assistance for afterschool program providers through various methods, such as on-site, remotely and web-based;
* Supporting sustainable practices in out-of-school-time programs that enhance or improve students' academic performance;
 * Administering and managing a federal grant program;
* Accessing national resources to provide technical assistance of high quality and based on current national research; and
* Facilitating networking opportunities for out-of-school-time program providers throughout New Jersey.

 Interested agencies should respond to this solicitation with a request to receive the Notice of Grant Opportunity (NGO) for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program Training and Technical Assistance project. 

Only those agencies who respond will receive the NGO. A maximum of $160,000 per year is available to implement this project. The final program budget will be determined based upon the approved program scope and related activities.

Interested agencies must submit their responses to the following address by May 30, 2012: 
New Jersey Department of Education
Division of Student and Field Services
Office of Student Support Services
c/o Haydee Y. Perez-Livingston
100 River View Plaza, Second Floor
P.O. Box 500 Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500

If you have any questions regarding this solicitation, please contact
Ms. Haydee Y. Perez-Livingston, program coordinator,
Extended Educational Services Unit, Office of Student Support Services at (609) 292-5935.

Thank you for your attention to this solicitation.
c: Christopher Cerf
Andrew Smarick
Dave Hespe Susan
Martz Anne Corwell
David Joye
Haydee Y. Perez
Robert Schilling