For over a quarter century, BellXcel has impacted the lives of over 172,000 children. Scholars come from all corners of our country, including rural, peri-rural, urban and peri-urban communities. Journey through our Through the Years Timeline. Learn about our humble beginnings, and our meteoric rise to become a national leader in out-of-school-time education, and the largest evidence-based summer learning provider in the U.S.
Through the Years
A group of African-American and Latino Harvard University students create an after-school tutoring program called BELL to address the disproportionate number of children in underserved communities falling behind in school, and in life.
- BELL is founded, and is named in honor of Derrick A. Bell, Jr., Harvard Law's first African-American tenured professor.
- With guidance and support from board chair emeritus Professor Charles J. Ogletree and board member Dr. Robert S. Peterkin, the BELL after-school program serves 20 students in its first year.
- BELL refers to enrolled-students as scholars
- Creates a vision – that all children excel
- High expectations become a hallmark of all programs
- BELL launches its first summer program to address summer learning loss
- BELL is honored by the Clinton White House for leadership
- Barack Obama, then a U.S. Senator, mentions BELL as an exemplar of summer learning programs
- Entire first class of 20 scholars enroll in college
- Expands after-school programs in MA, NY & MD as part of the national No Child Left Behind Act
- Serves a high of 3,200 summer scholars.
- Creates the Robert S. Peterkin Award for Excellence.
- An Urban Institute study finds that BELL improves scholars’ performance, making it one of the few summer learning programs in the nation with independent evidence of impact.
- Expands to GA, NC and SC.
- New York Life Foundation awards BELL a $1M grant to support elementary and middle school scholars
- The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Trust donates $1.1M to serve NYC public school students
- The Walmart Foundation donates $4M to expand to Charlotte, Springfield, San Jose, and San Rafael
- Serves a record 16,974 scholars
- Serves 7,932 summer scholars; hires and provides professional development to over 1,250 teachers
- Grant from American Honda Foundation enables BELL to expand STEM courses to 1,320 scholars
- Forms a partnership with YMCA of the USA, significantly expanding its national footprint
- Successful Pre-K pilot in NYC paves the way for future expansion
- 1,850 scholars from 14 cities participate in the YMCA of the USA's Power Scholar Academy program
- Pre-K initiative in CA is launched, serving 5 school districts
- BELL serves a record 14,000 scholars in summer programs directly with districts and with other partners such as the YMCA of the USA
- Celebrates its 25th anniversary, serving nearly 15,000 scholars at 135 sites in 28 U.S. states
- Over 150K scholars have been served by BELL-powered programs
- Montgomery County Public Schools study confirms BELL’s positive impact on MAP scores in reading and math
- According to a Bellwether study, 100 percent of teachers reported that BELL's professional development positively influenced their approach to teaching in the new school year
- 2018 was a banner year, impacting more scholars in a single year than ever before
2019 & Beyond
- BELL officially changes its name to BellXcel
- Scholars are accomplishing extraordinary things and improving the world for generations to come