A nonprofit founded in 1992

BELL to expand summer learning opportunities around Dayton

DAYTON, OH - May 14, 2014 -- BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), a nonprofit organization that partners with schools to expand learning time for students in grades K-8, will expand its summer learning programs in Ohio through new partnerships with Trotwood-Madison and Mad River public school districts. The nonprofit and participating schools will work together to deliver a full-day summer program to boost the academic achievements of 500 scholars in grades K-6, helping them avoid summer learning loss and enter the new school year ready to succeed.

"Summer learning and enrichment opportunities play an important role in a child's development," says Tiffany Gueye, Ph.D., BELL's Chief Executive Officer. "Too many children lack high-quality opportunities to learn new skills, try new things, and strengthen their social skills when school is out for the summer. We look forward to working closely with schools around Dayton to deliver summer learning experiences that help students become scholars and leaders."

One school in each district will work closely with BELL to host a full-day summer learning experience that blends academic instruction with activities in the arts, sciences, physical fitness, and community engagement. The program will operate for 6.5 hours per day, 5 days per week, starting on June 16 and ending on July 18. In addition to classroom-based instruction, the program will feature field trips, community service projects, and special events designed to increase parental engagement in their child's education.

"Too many of our students lose ground over the summer because they aren't reading or being exposed to museums and fun activities where they're also learning," said Mad River Superintendent Necia Nicholas. "We're excited to give 250 of our students a chance to do see how they can keep learning in our community."

Principals and district leaders will set criteria for student participation, which may include student test scores, grades, attendance, behavior, and teacher and principal recommendations. The summer learning program will be managed by BELL and staffed by educators hired from the school community. Each site will be led by locally hired Program Manager, Instructional Coach, and Program Coordinator, and classroom instruction will be led by certified teachers. BELL will also recruit teaching assistants and enrichment instructors from the Dayton area.

Trotwood-Madison School Superintendent Kevin A. Bell said, "Many families simply can't afford to pay for summer activities that open their children's eyes to the joy of learning outside the classroom. When children study science in the park and math at museums, we ignite their curiosity. That pays dividends during the school year."

BELL and the two school districts will share the costs of the program. BELL will raise philanthropic support from local and national sources to help pay for a portion of program costs in Ohio. Schools will provide public funding to pay for a portion of program expenses, while also providing access to facilities, breakfast and lunch, and daily bus transportation.

Parents may contact principals for more information about enrollment opportunities for their children. School-based sites will be identified in May.