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Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Program
Summer Symposium
July 15-16, 2020
Baltimore, MD

Call for Presentations

The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is seeking proposals for workshop sessions at the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Grant Program 2020 Summer Symposium in Baltimore, MD, on July 15-16. Out-of-school time practitioners, researchers, program directors, evaluators, 21st CCLC state coordinators, afterschool networks and others are invited to submit abstracts for consideration. During the two-day event, approximately 90 breakout sessions will be convened in 75-minute blocks that align with this year’s discussion strands. Workshop elements should be as follows:

  • Design content for delivery in a 75-minute or 150-minute block of time.
  • Use interactive strategies to disseminate information.
  • Include activities that invite audience participation.
  • Provide practical information that participants may use to improve or enhance their programs (e.g., concrete examples, samples, and/or interventions that can be implemented immediately).

Selection Criteria

Submissions will be reviewed by a committee of outside experts from the 21st CCLC field and Department staff, and will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance to stated conference strand: How closely the design and intent of the proposed presentation aligns with the theme and desired outcomes of the stated conference strand. In other words, how well does the presentation relate to the strand the presenter selected?
  • Usefulness of session objectives or outcomes: The extent to which the proposal states the intended objectives and outcomes of the proposed presentation, and the potential to improve job performance or program outcomes.
  • Clarity of intent, description and design: How clearly the abstract communicates the presentation’s model, method and expected outcomes with respect to the expected audience.
  • Presenter’s expertise to lead session: The extent to which the presenter’s level of expertise is relevant to the content of the session.
  • Presenter’s experience: The extent to which the presenter’s experience speaking at similar events is documented in the proposal.

Proposal Submission

To be considered, proposals must be submitted through the online form by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. Only proposals submitted online will be considered. In addition to the presentation description, the submitter must also include brief bios and resumes for each session presenter, note any audiovisual needs, and provide other information relevant to the proposed presentation. To ensure that your proposal is complete, read and follow the guidelines in the online submission form.


There are four conference strands for the 2020 Summer Symposium:

  • Effective Program Leadership: This strand is designed for new and seasoned program leaders — program directors and site coordinators — who are interested in learning more about effective program management strategies. Areas of focus could include how to recruit, train and retain high-quality staff, partners and volunteers; intentionally design a high-quality program that supports student academic, social and emotional well-being; and/or evaluate the program and plan for program sustainability. Presentations that address any of these leadership topics should be submitted under this strand.
  • Tell Your Story: This strand will highlight programs that have successfully collected and used data to tell their stories effectively. Presentations that offer stories with guidance about how data can be used as a strategy to improve programs, secure new sources of funding, sustain high-quality programs and/or leverage new partnerships should be submitted under this strand.
  • Engaging Families and Partners in 21st CCLC Programs: This strand is designed to help program leaders learn and share how to assess the needs of their families, map assets to support family needs, and intentionally design a program that engages families and other community partners from start to finish. If your presentation relates to knowledge, materials or experience in family engagement and/or community partnerships, submit under this strand.
  • THIS IS US — Inclusion of All: This strand welcomes topics framed around equity and meeting the needs of all students. Presentations may address best practices in special needs inclusion, understanding culture and diversity, and/or supporting students’ social, emotional and behavioral needs. Presenters who intend to share expertise in trauma-informed care or programming, culture and diversity, violence prevention, special needs inclusion in 21st CCLC and/or life skills, and character development should submit under this strand.  

Conference Audiences

Sessions should target one (or more) of the conference audiences:

  • Project Directors
  • Site Coordinators
  • Program Evaluators
  • Local School System Officials
  • State Education Agency Coordinators
  • Program Finance Staff
  • Community Partners
  • Program Staff
  • School-Day Leaders

Presenter Information

All personnel who will take part in the presentation must be listed in the submission or they will not be allowed to present at the Summer Symposium. Also, please note the following:

  • The Department will not provide any travel, lodging and reimbursement support to any presenters. All persons taking part in a presentation are responsible for their own travel and lodging costs.
  • Session sizes will vary. Presenters should be prepared to present to large audiences (150 or more people).
  • An LCD projector and screen will be provided. Presenters are responsible for bringing their own laptop computers for workshops.
  • Presenters are responsible for duplicating and providing all presentation materials and handouts. The logistics contractor will contact the primary presenter two weeks before the conference to provide the estimated number of participants registered for their workshop.
  • Presenters may be asked to present their workshop more than once to accommodate attendee interest.
  • Presenters will be notified of the acceptance of their abstract via email. Details for registering for the conference will be sent at that time.

Conflicts of Interest

Presenters and their organizations must be free from any conflicts of interest. Department staff will review all presentation materials prior to the Summer Symposium to ensure that they are free from conflicts of interest and are informative and unbiased in their presentation. Presentations and/or presenters may not do the following:

  • Endorse or otherwise require the use of any particular product or service to obtain the stated outcomes
  • Identify that the U.S. Department of Education (or any other federal government agency) certifies or endorses any particular product or service
  • Receive any monetary benefit from the publication or distribution of materials or recordings used in the presentation

All presenters must certify that they, their family members, colleagues, or any institution(s) or entities that they represent, or with which they have a professional affiliation, will not benefit financially from their presentation.


Click here to continue to the Call for Presentations submission page