Afterschool programs are an extremely important part of a student’s overall academic success. However, as a supplemental school program, you may be looking for additional funding resources to support your afterschool programs like robotics competitions, STEM clubs, and math teams. This article outlines afterschool program funding sources that you can utilize to support afterschool and enrichment programming.

Federal Funding Sources

21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC)

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding is the only federal funding source that exclusively supports afterschool programs. The program was created to help students, particularly in high-poverty and low-performing schools achieve success in core academic subjects like reading and math. This funding program helps schools establish or expand community learning centers to be used anytime school is not in session (i.e., before or after school, and during summer recess).


The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Programs (ESSER) are part of the federal government’s response to learning loss felt by the COVID-19 pandemic. A school can use ESSER for “planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and enrichment and supplemental after-school programs”. Additionally, ESSER can be used to expand or initiate clubs such as robotic or STEM clubs, which typically are seen in afterschool environments. For more information on ESSER, download our free Federal Funding Toolkit here!

Federal Funding Guide

State Funding Sources

Many state education agencies provide funding for afterschool programs. To locate this funding, go to your state’s department of education website and search “afterschool”. Below are three examples of state-available funding for enrichment and afterschool programs.

ELOP (California)

The Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELOP) is a California funding source that provides billions of dollars for any expanded learning program including afterschool and summer programs. Funds are disbursed to school districts and charter schools with a focus on supporting disadvantaged students. ELOP funding is intended to be used on learning activities that are different than what is taught in the regular school day, making this a great funding opportunity for some high-tech STEM programming like drones or robotics!

LEAPs (Tennessee)

The Lottery for Education: Afterschool Programs (LEAPs) provides Tennessee students with enrichment opportunities that complement their regular academic programs. The funding is made available by profits from the state lottery which also funds other education programs like college scholarships and early childhood programs. Programs established under LEAPs must include math or science skills enhancement and computer literacy and skills development, meaning you can fund STEM in your afterschool program under LEAPs.

ASOST (Massachusetts)

Massachusetts provides state-funded Afterschool and Out-of-School Time (ASOST) grants. These competitive grants are intended to fund programs that make a meaningful connection from school day to out-of-school time through supporting academic, social-emotional, health/wellness, and enrichment services.

To locate more funding for your STEM or afterschool programs, use the free STEM Supplies Funding Finder Tool!