A nonprofit founded in 1992

BELL and San Rafael City Schools Partner to Deliver Summer Learning Experience to Students

SAN RAFAEL - April 27, 2012- BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) announced a partnership today with San Rafael City Schools in the Bay Area, California to offer its evidence-based summer learning program for 200 students in grades 6-8 at the Davidson Middle School. Working together, the nonprofit organization and school district will deliver a summer learning model that includes six hours of literacy and math instruction and enrichment, five days per week, for five weeks - doubling the number of hours of summer learning for students at risk of falling behind.

San Rafael City Schools superintendent Michael Watenpaugh commented, "The district is honored and excited to have BELL join our team. BELL brings us an established and proven extended learning model that supports students in learning, achieving and maintaining grade level standards. Our partnership with BELL restores and expands summer programs that we are unable to offer due to four successive years of State budget cuts."

BELL and the district will each cover a portion of program expenses, with BELL bringing philanthropic funding from the Social Innovation Fund, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and others to support program activities, including technology-based curricula, teacher training, and evaluation. This partnership will enable BELL and the school district to create and support jobs for local teachers and aspiring educators at a time when there are few by hiring them to teach the program. It will also meet additional needs of families by delivering free nutritious breakfast and lunch for youth and engaging students in physical fitness, field trips, and community service.

"BELL is thrilled to partner with San Rafael City Schools and make high-quality summer learning experiences a fixture in the district's strategy for closing the achievement gap," explains BELL's CEO, Tiffany Gueye, Ph.D. "Summer learning is so important to students who are struggling in school and who need extra time to catch up. Regardless of what happens during the school year, without summer learning, students and schools inevitably lose ground due to summer learning loss."

Superintendent Watenpaugh added, "Our engagement with BELL is driven by the needs of students; we see BELL as a perfect fit for San Rafael City Schools. BELL's contributions give students and family's hope, confidence and inspiration - we want every student to move through our K-12 system and successfully graduate from high school inspired and prepared for college or career. BELL provides a critical link to these goals by helping to fund and restore needed expanded learning time for our most challenged students."