Silicon Valley Community Foundation Helps BELL Expand Learning Time in San Jose
SAN JOSE, CA - January 29, 2013 - BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) announced today that Silicon Valley Community Foundation has awarded the nonprofit organization a grant of $60,000 to help middle school students improve their mathematics skills during the BELL Summer program.
The grant, awarded as part of SVCF's five discretionary strategies, will enable BELL to serve 300 students in its proven, full-day summer learning model, which combines rigorous academic instruction with hands-on enrichment courses, community service, and field trips. The BELL Summer program pairs certified teachers with college students and enrichment instructors to deliver academic and enrichment programming in a small-group environment.
"Academically-strong summer programs are a powerful tool to close the achievement gap," notes Gina Dalma, Program Officer at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. "BELL's national results and strong commitment to our under-served youth are and will be a great asset to our community."
BELL's expanded learning approach blends public and private resources to sustain programming. As such, Silicon Valley Community Foundation's grant will be leveraged by additional grant funds from local and national sources, as well as public resources from the San Jose community.
This grant seeks to build on the success of last year's summer learning partnership at the Bridges Academy of the Franklin McKinley Public School District. BELL and the Academy worked together to deliver BELL Summer for 277 students, and end-of-program standardized test scores show that they gained academic skills in the five-week program - percentile rank scores in math increased by 9% from the beginning of the summer.
"Schools are faced with enormous challenges to close the achievement gap," explains BELL's CEO, Tiffany Gueye, Ph.D. "One of those challenges is finding ways to expand learning time for students who are struggling academically. Smart collaboration between schools and community organizations, made possible by the generosity of donors like Silicon Valley Community Foundation, can help solve that challenge and narrow opportunity and achievement gaps for at-risk students."
BELL is one of the nation's leading nonprofit providers of quality expanded learning programs for children in grades K-8. Its mission is to transform 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; Boston; Charlotte; Detroit; Newark; New York City; San Jose, CA; San Rafael, CA; Spartanburg, SC; Springfield, MA; and Winston-Salem, NC. BELL partners with more than 100 public schools and employs more than 2,000 teachers and tutors across the nation. Visit www.experienceBELL.org for more information.
About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes all forms of philanthropy more powerful. We serve as a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region's most challenging problems. The community foundation has $2.9 billion in assets under management and more than 1,650 philanthropic funds. As Silicon Valley's center of philanthropy, we provide individuals, families and corporations with simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at www.siliconvalleycf.org.
Michael J. Sikora