A national nonprofit founded in 1992

BELL After School Program Lifts Off in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE - November 8 - Today marked the first day of a new after school academic and enrichment experience for 320 students in Charlotte's West Corridor. BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), a nonprofit provider of expanded learning programs, is working closely with faculty at targeted elementary and middle schools to narrow the opportunity and achievement gaps for struggling students.

"We are helping schools deliver targeted after school learning experiences that support the learning that is happening during the school day," explains Sherrinne Reece, BELL's Director of Field Operations. "School leaders and teachers who are in tune with student needs are working hard after the ordinary day is over to teach small groups of students core reading and math skills. Our expectation is that participating students will gain ground academically."

The BELL After School program is expanding learning time for 2.75 hours per day, 3 days per week, for 18 weeks in participating elementary and middle schools. Leaders and teachers from host schools are serving as program coordinators and teachers, while college students are serving as tutors in a co-teaching model. Literacy and math instruction incorporates hands-on, project-based learning as well as computer-based learning, including the innovative Flocabulary that utilizes hip-hop music to strengthen literacy skills.

Project L.I.F.T. is supporting part of the program cost, while BELL is raising philanthropic support from local and national sources to pay for its share of the cost. The BELL - Project L.I.F.T. collaboration began this summer as participating schools each hosted the BELL Summer program for six weeks in June and July. That initiative served more than 1,000 scholars, and end-of-program test scores showed that participants gained new skills when school was out and returned to school ahead. The summer learning program had effectively eliminated summer learning loss and narrowed the achievement gap.

"We're here to help scholars, teachers, and principals build on that success," explains Reece.To learn more about BELL's expanded learning programs in Charlotte, contact Ashleigh Snyder for more information.

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