BELL Receives $1.1 Million Grant from the Helmsley Trust
NEW YORK, NY - BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), a leader in summer and after school learning programs, received a $1.1 Million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Trust in recognition of its efforts to increase opportunities for children living in New York's under-resourced communities. BELL recognizes all of its students as scholars, and currently educates 1,000 children throughout New York City public schools during the summer. This grant allows BELL to serve an additional 1,500 K-8 students in the South Bronx - an area of high need - with a free, award-winning summer learning experience.
"This partnership represents an incredible opportunity to positively impact the academic achievement of so many scholars in a focused geographic area," says BELL Chief Executive Office Tiffany Cooper Gueye. "We are extremely grateful the Helmsley Trust understands how critical summer education can be in increasing the academic and social opportunities for children. So many children we teach live in communities where few high-quality programs are truly accessible to them when school is not in session."
BELL and the Helmsley Trust are teaming up to focus on the academic achievement of 1,500 students to turn the summer months into a transformative learning experience and showcase what well-educated and well-supported children can achieve. In BELL Summer, scholars not only avoid losing academic skills in the summer, but they consistently gain, on average, three months of academic skills in literacy and math. The scholars who are involved in BELL have also exhibited improved self-confidence and academic aspirations.
Typically, children lose three months of academic skills in the summer when not engaged in structured learning. For children in under-resourced communities, barriers to participation in quality programs worsen long-term academic and social performance, and lack of access to summer education accounts for 66 percent of the achievement gap. A way to address under-performance is to combat summer learning loss by keeping children engaged in tutoring, mentoring and enrichment.
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Trust's grant to BELL represents one of its initial grants in a newly established education program for the Trust. "Research is very clear on the impact of high-quality summer learning, especially in areas of high poverty. BELL provides a program that not only teaches, but engages students in fun activities including dance, martial arts, field trips, community service projects and cultural enrichment and we're happy to launch these programs in school districts #9 and #12 in the Bronx," said Rich McKeon, Program Director of the Helmsley Trust.
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 10,000 children annually in public schools throughout Augusta, GA, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, New York City and Springfield, MA. BELL employs more than 1,000 teachers and tutors across the nation. Please visit www.experienceBELL.org for more information.
About the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, established in 1999, is administered by Trustees selected by Leona Helmsley as a continuation of Mr. and Mrs. Helmsley's generous giving through their lifetimes. The Helmsley Trust supports a diverse range of organizations in health and medical research, education, human services and conservation.
The Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits. Since 2009, the Helmsley Trust has announced more than $410 million in grants to charitable organizations.