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Online Professional Learning and
Technical Assistance for
21st Century Community Learning Centers

Identify Your Needs

SP_Chpt 2p3

The process of strengthening and forming new partnerships begins with examining your program needs. You may wish to begin by gathering a group of stakeholders and discussing questions such as those below. The Strengthening Partnerships Implementation Planner can help you get started. 

  • What do we know about the needs and interests of the students and families participating in the 21st CCLC program? 
  • What do we know about the school? Are there academic subjects or programs we can supplement or enhance?
  • What are things we are currently providing, or could provide, using existing resources? Do our staff have talents or skills that could be shared with students?
  • What do they still need? What are examples of resources, experiences and opportunities not currently being provided by the program?

You may find it very useful to conduct a needs assessment that will help you better understand different aspects of your program and the schools you serve. This process could involve reviewing program-planning documents, student performance data, and information about community needs and issues. You can also survey your students, their families and teachers. 

Tips to Get Started:

Don't Reinvent the Wheel

Chances are, you did a lot of this thinking when you wrote your 21st CCLC application. Going back to review the application now can help you see what your program set out to support, and it may reveal some of the progress you've made. If you don't have access to your application, ask for a copy from your grants manager or director. 

Involve a Variety of Stakeholders

Throughout the process of identifying needs, be sure to connect with colleagues from the school and the 21st CCLC program to gain a variety of perspectives and inputs. Talk to parents, community members and the students themselves. If you are not already collaborating and meeting with school staff, this is a great time to start. 

See Aligning With the School Day for more information on builiding partnerships with school and district staff.

See Family Engagement for information on ways to connect with parents and other family members. 

My Notebook

Strategic Partnerships

The Notebook is a useful way to jot down notes as you go through the various topics available on the You For Youth website. If you'd like to use the notebook, please sign in if you already have an account or register now to join the Y4Y community!


Strategic Partnerships