BELL and Springfield Public Schools Expand Summer Learning Partnership to Increase Student Achievement
SPRINGFIELD - May 22, 2012- BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) announced today an expanded partnership with Springfield Public Schools to work together and deliver a full-day summer learning program 1,300 struggling students. The partnership will serve students currently in grades 2-5 and grade 8 at eight summer sites.
The program model, called "BELL Summer," will include 6.5 hours of literacy and math instruction and enrichment, delivered five days per week for six weeks. Instruction will be led by certified teachers and supported by paraprofessionals and enrichment instructors hired from the Springfield community. The BELL Summer model has been independently proven to boost student achievement, and past results in Springfield have shown significant improvements in participants' reading and math skills.
"We are looking forward to another summer of extended learning for our students through the BELL Summer program," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alan J. Ingram, adding that he considers BELL to be a great partner with the district. "Summer learning is an important component of success for many of our students and we are pleased to have such a rigorous program available to meet their needs."
BELL and Springfield Public Schools will pay for the expanded summer learning program with a combination of public funding from the district and grants from foundations, corporations, and individuals secured by BELL. The summer learning partnership will produce several tangible benefits for the community, as it will create jobs and professional development opportunities for educators, provide free nutritious breakfast and lunch for youth, and engage students in physical fitness, field trips, and community service. The non-profit and school district first partnered together in 2008.
"Summer is an important learning opportunity, particularly for struggling students," explains BELL CEO Tiffany Gueye, Ph.D. "Partnering with Springfield Public Schools to increase learning time will help students gain the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the next grade."
BELL, founded in 1992, is one of the nation's leading providers of quality summer and after school educational programs. It is committed to transforming the academic achievements, self-confidence, and life trajectories of children living in under-resourced, urban communities. BELL serves more than 15,000 students - whom BELL recognizes as "scholars" - in public schools throughout Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Detroit, MI; Newark, NJ; New York City, NY; San Jose, CA; San Rafael, CA; Spartanburg, SC, Springfield, MA; and Winston-Salem, SC. BELL's summer learning program has been independently proven by the Urban Institute to increase children's reading skills and parental involvement. BELL employs more than 1,500 teachers and tutors across the nation. Please visit www.experienceBELL.org for more information.