Tipping Point Community helps BELL Expand Learning Time and Narrow the Achievement Gap in the San Francisco Bay Area
BOSTON - November 16, 2012 - BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), is expanding its impact in the San Francisco Bay Area, thanks to new funding from Tipping Point Community. A one-year, $250,000 grant is helping to seed new partnerships with schools and school districts in San Jose and San Rafael, and to build a local leadership team to carry BELL's mission forward.
"BELL's approach to partnering with low-income, low-performing schools and districts means that the highest need students have the chance to access high quality, academically rigorous programming outside of school hours," explains Daniel Lurie, CEO & Founder of the Tipping Point Community. "For Tipping Point Community, an investment in BELL is an opportunity to impact traditional public schools - where the vast majority of low-income students are being educated - and is an exciting complement to our existing investments in charter schools."
Results from BELL's first two summer learning partnerships in California are promising. The programs served a total of 487 scholars at the Bridges Academy in San Jose and Davidson Middle School in San Rafael. According to end-of-program standardized tests, participating "scholars" boosted their percentile rank scores by 7% in reading and math. In San Jose, the Bridges Academy was the only school in the Franklin-McKinley School District to not show evidence of summer learning loss on fall tests.
Now, Tipping Point Community's grant is helping BELL prepare for future expansion by hiring a new Executive Director to lead local partnership and fundraising activities. Naomi Eason is joining BELL after serving as Assistant Superintendent at the Alameda County Office of Education, where she was responsible for educational support services across the county's 18 school districts. Past experience as a teacher and principal make Naomi uniquely qualified to build the public-private partnerships required to expand and sustain BELL's impact in the Bay Area.
"The Tipping Point Community has been a great partner to BELL," explains BELL's CEO, Tiffany Gueye. "With its support, we were able to show how great of an impact summer learning can have on student achievement in San Jose and San Rafael. Now, we are thrilled to be able to welcome Naomi to the BELL team and build on this summer's success. Our goal is to reach more scholars with sustainable, high-quality learning experiences that are tightly aligned with the needs and priorities of our school and district partners."
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 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 90 schools and employs more than 2,000 teachers and tutors across the nation. Please visit www.experienceBELL.org for more information.