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BELL and the Y to Pilot Summer Learning Programs with Three YMCA Associations

Dorchester, MA - June 17, 2013 - Today BELL announced a new partnership with the Y to deliver summer learning experiences to 300 students in grades K-5. The partnership will involve YMCA Associations in Chicago, IL, Hartford, CT, and Orlando, FL, and serve 100 students in each city at a YMCA partner school. The primary goal of the pilot partnership is to provide an enhanced summer learning experience that increases the academic achievement and boosts the self-confidence of participating students. In addition, BELL and the Y seek to complete a robust learning agenda and evaluation process to gauge the program's impact on participating scholars and the success of the collaboration.

"At a time when we are all challenged to do more with less, schools and communities have to work together if we're ever going to eliminate the opportunity and achievement gaps that persist among disadvantaged students," explains Tiffany Gueye, Ph.D., BELL's Chief Executive Officer. "Smart collaboration enables us to provide more time for learning for more of the students who need it most. We are excited by the potential of this pilot partnership and look forward to working with the Y to serve scholars and families this summer."

BELL Summer Learning with the YMCA is based on the BELL Summer program model, which is a full-day learning experience that combines small group, rigorous academic instruction with fun, hands-on enrichment activities, field trips and service projects. The model is designed to help students enhance skills in subjects such as reading, writing, math and science, while also engaging families in the education process. The program model is proven to result in three- to six-month learning gains in literacy and math.

BELL, the Y, and partner schools will share the costs of summer learning activities. BELL will manage program operations, recruit, hire, and train staff (including Site Managers, Teachers, Teaching Assistants, and Enrichment Instructors), enroll students, distribute books, curriculum, and supplies, evaluate outcomes, and contribute philanthropic support to cover part of the total program cost. The Y will support program operations, refer prospective staff, provide enrichment activities, facilitate school partnerships, and contribute philanthropic support to cover part of the total program cost. Partner schools will contribute in-kind to the partnership, such as the use of classrooms and other facilities, transportation, and breakfast and lunch for scholars. Schools will also support teacher recruitment and identify enrollment criteria for students.

The summer learning program will operate frmo July 1 through August 9 at the McKay Elementary School in Chicago; from July 8 through August 16 the John C. Clark Elementary School in Hartford; and from June 17 through August 2 and the McCoy Elementary School in Orlando.

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About the Y

The Y is one of the nation's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children - regardless of age, income or background - to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

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