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BELL Selected as a Summer Quest Partner by the NYC Dept. of Education

NEW YORK CITY - May 7, 2012- BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) announced today that it was selected to deliver summer learning experiences for 240 students at two schools in the Bronx. This effort begins a new three-year Summer Quest, a collaboration led by the NYC Department of Education (DOE), the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), and The Fund for Public Schools (FPS) to provide creative, engaging, and fun summer learning programs that support academic growth and youth development, promote attendance and engagement, involve families as partners, and encourage health and fitness.

"We are honored by the opportunity to participate in Summer Quest," says BELL CEO Tiffany Gueye, Ph.D. "We have built great partnerships with PS 154 and PS 218 and look forward to working closely with Principal Elliot and Principal Rosario to boost student achievement this summer."

BELL was selected through a competitive RFP process because of its strong partnerships and the strong evidence base supporting its summer learning model. BELL and partner schools will work together to deliver comprehensive educational programming for up to 10 hours per day, five days per week, for four weeks for targeted students in grades K-5. Students who scored a 2 on the State's annual exam - enough to pass to the next grade - and who are still struggling in school will be eligible for participation. Students will benefit from academic instruction in literacy and math, as well as an array of enrichment courses on topics such as science, art, physical education, and social and emotional learning. The Summer Learning Initiative is providing funding for most program costs, while BELL is supplementing these funds with philanthropic support raised from local foundations, corporations, and individuals.

"For students who are struggling in school, having access to structured and high-quality learning experiences can help them get back on track and enter school in the fall ready to succeed," explains Gueye. "Without summer learning opportunities, struggling students fall further behind and negate gains made in the previous school year."

Lessons learned from this summer's pilot in Districts 7 and 9 will inform efforts to expand Summer Quest and further increase access to high-quality summer learning programs throughout all five boroughs.