A national nonprofit founded in 1992

Summer Impact: BELL Summer Increases Scholar Achievement & Self-Confidence

BOSTON - November 13, 2013 - BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) announced assessment results that showed scholars participating in its summer learning programs gained academic skills and narrowed the achievement gap.

According to data from computer-adaptive assessments, BELL scholars avoided summer learning loss and gained skills in reading and math. Gains were greatest for scholars starting the summer below grade level. In general, scholars in or entering middle school started the summer further behind grade level than their younger peers, and achieved greater gains.

Grade-Equivalent Gains
2013 BELL Summer Program

Source: STAR Enterprise Assessments

All Scholars

Grades K-4

Grades 5-8


All Scholars




Underperforming Scholars





All Scholars




Underperforming Scholars




The 2013 Summer program saw 7,942 scholars participating at 63 school and community sites in Baltimore, Boston & Salem MA, Charlotte & Winston-Salem NC, Chicago IL, Hartford CT, Newark, NJ, Orlando FL, New York City, & San Jose & San Rafael CA.

In addition to measuring the academic impact of summer learning, teachers and program leaders used a series of surveys to gauge the program's impact on self-confidence, engagement in school and learning, and parent involvement. Teachers and parents consistently report that scholars increased their self-confidence and social skills. Nine out of ten parents report that summer learning programs helped them be more involved in their child's education.

Full results from this summer's programs may be found in our BELL Summer Evaluation report.

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