A national nonprofit founded in 1992

BELL joins Boston Learns Together, a New Coalition Committing to Greater Opportunities for Youth

BOSTON - Today BELL joined a coalition of 59 leaders from Boston's nonprofit, cultural, higher education, business and philanthropic sectors to unveil Boston Learns Together, committing the organizations to ensuring that Boston's young people have greater access to enriching opportunities beyond school.

The coalition's unusually broad array of institutions reflects growing evidence that enriching experiences, in addition to quality schools, are crucial to children's success. "School alone is not a strong enough intervention to close the achievement gap," said Paul Reville, professor of practice at Harvard Graduate School of Education, former Massachusetts secretary of education, and chair of BELL's Massachusetts Leadership Council. "We need a 21st Century education and child development system that treats people differently based on what they need, integrating enrichment, health, and wellness supports."

This announcement comes as the city anticipates a new mayor and superintendent of schools. Boston has made substantial progress in creating such opportunities for young people, yet national statistics suggest that there remains a significant "opportunity gap" between low-income students and their higher income peers. Data show that high-income families spend nearly seven times more than low-income families on enriching activities for their children, exposure to novel environments, and other activities beyond school.

To address this disparity, each organization that has signed Boston Learns Together has committed to:

  • Apply resources to close opportunity gaps,
  • Share accountability with schools for results, and
  • Collaborate with the next mayor and superintendent on implementation.
As a coalition member, BELL shares a vision for increasing scholar outcomes through expanded learning time. The nonprofit looks forward to continuing and expanding efforts to use data-driven practices to address achievement and opportunity gaps in Boston through quality summer and after school programs. Coalition members note that a citywide learning system that incorporates partnerships and time after school and during the summer should enhance cognitive, social and emotional skills such as problem solving, teamwork, and persistence. "Students must be able to demonstrate their mastery of higher order skills, not merely academic content," said Nicholas Donohue, president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, New England's largest foundation focused solely on education. "We have a number of strong models for helping young people develop these skills."
Boston After School & Beyond convenes the coalition through a partnership council focused on six areas of work, including summer learning, school-community partnerships, working with teens, STEM, quality measurement, and skills. To learn more about Boston Learns Together, please visit www.bostonlearnstogether.org.


Eric Arnold
Executive Director, Hale Reservation

Joan Becker
Vice Provost, University of Massachusetts Boston

Sue Bonaiuto
Executive Director for MA, BELL

Julie Brandlen
Director, Mass Audubon's Boston Nature Center

Roger Brown
President, Berklee College of Music

Sandra Lopez Burke
Executive Director, City Year Boston

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado
Executive Director, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA)

Carole Charnow
President & CEO, Boston Children's Museum

Hardin Coleman
Dean, Boston University School of Education

Gene Corbin
Assistant Dean, Harvard College for Public Service

Mark Culliton
Chief Executive Officer, College Bound Dorchester

Dave DiLorenzo
Executive Director, Courageous Sailing Center

Maria Dominguez Gray
Executive Director, Phillips Brooks House Association

Nick Donohue
President, Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Rahn Dorsey
Evaluation Director, Barr Foundation

Ned Eames
President and Founder, Tenacity

Max Fripp
Massachusetts Executive Director, Playworks

Gary L. Gottlieb, M.D., M.B.A.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Partners HealthCare System, Inc.

Daphne Griffin
Executive Director, Boston Centers for Youth and Families*

Mossik Hacobian
Executive Director, Boston's Higher Ground

Daniel Johnson
Executive Director, 826 Boston

Chris Jones
Executive Director, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI)

Amy Kingman
Boston Executive Director, Strong Women, Strong Girls

Pat Kirby
Chief Operating Officer, Citizen Schools

Josh Kraft
Nicolas President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston

Judith Kurland
Executive Director, Center for Community Democracy and Democratic Literacy, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston*

David Lapin
Executive Director, Community Music Center of Boston

Cathy Livingston
Executive Director, MathPOWER

Claudio Martinez
Executive Director, Hyde Square Task Force

Wanda McClain
Vice President, Community Health & Health Equity, Brigham & Women's Hospital

Joseph McGrail
Chief Operating Officer, State Street Foundation

Jill Medvedow
Ellen Matilda Poss Director

Monica Garza
Education Director, The Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston

Gabrielle King Morse
Massachusetts Executive Director, uAspire (formerly ACCESS)

J. Keith Motley
Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Boston

Gil Noam
Executive Director, Program in Education, Afterschool & Resilience (PEAR)

Arthur N. Pearson
President and Chief Executive Officer, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center

Laura Perille
President & CEO, EdVestors

Kathy Plazak
President, Plazak & Associates

Joan Quinlan
Executive Director, MGH Center for Community Health Improvement, Massachusetts General Hospital

Emily Raine
Director, Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time Initiatives

Colleen Beaudoin
Managing Director of District and School Support Massachusetts 2020/The National Center on Time & Learning

Paul Reville
Professor of Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education*

Susan Rodgerson
Executive/Artistic Director, Artists for Humanity

Amy Ryan
President, Boston Public Library

Katrina Shaw
CEO, Freedom House

Chris Smith
Executive Director, Boston After School & Beyond

Jesse Solomon
Executive Director, BPE

Peg Sprague
Senior Vice President, United Way of Mass Bay and Merrimack Valley

Steve Stein
Executive Director, Boston Debate League

Neil Sullivan
Executive Director, Boston Private Industry Council

Jane Tewksbury
Executive Director, Thrive in 5

Michael K. Tooke
Member of the Steering Committee, Boston Leaders for Education

Bob Van Meter
Executive Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Greater Boston

Mary Walsh
Executive Director, City Connects

Kevin Washington
President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Boston

Toni Wiley
Executive Director, Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center

David Wright
Executive Director, Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston

Wayne Ysaguirre
President and CEO, Associated Early Care and Education

* Organization listed for purposes of identification only.

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