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BELL and First Presbyterian Church Partner to Serve Westerly Hills Elementary School

August 20, 2012 - CHARLOTTE, NC - For the first time, the BELL Summer program grew from the classroom and into a church. In partnership with First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte, BELL delivered its summer learning experience for students using church facilities rather than school buildings.

"It was a special partnership," explains Sherrinne Reece, BELL's Director of Field Operations. The church's volunteers, its involvement in the community, and its special relationship with Westerly Hills Academy made it a special and successful experience for everyone involved."

First Presbyterian's congregation is active in the community, and for the last several years has sought to deliver summer learning opportunities for students at Westerly Hills. The church raised funds from its members to serve 60 scholars from grades K-5 this summer. BELL delivered its program model, including academic instruction in the mornings and a variety of enrichment courses in the afternoons. BELL hired and trained teachers, teacher's assistants, and an on-site program manager. On Fridays, the church leveraged its partnership with the nearby Y to provide swimming lessons and additional Y programming.

"We're already looking forward to next summer, and we hope to be able to serve 80 scholars," says Reece.

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