Stories of Impact
The stories of summer and afterschool are the fuel of BellXcel. The opportunity to talk one-on-one with scholars, educators, families, and community stakeholders provides the ability to explore the impact of the programs we power first-hand.
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Meet Geffrey, a rising 6th grade scholar in his first summer enrolled in a BellXcel-powered summer program.
What sorts of things did you learn in the program?
We learn a lot in fun activities and they teach us math and language arts. In math, I’m learning how to subtract, add, and multiply fractions and decimals.
When you go back to school will you have like a head-start?
Yeah, I think because most people if they don't go to summer school, they might lose their knowledge about some important stuff. I think I am better prepared for school. Some of my friends in 6th grade told me it’s a review of what they learned in school so I’m getting a head start. It’s making us review the materials.
What is the difference between this and school?
I think it’s more fun learning and the teachers have more time to spend with you to teach you things you are having a hard time with. That’s the biggest difference – not feeling so pressured and rushed.
What else do you like about the program?
I can go up to the whiteboard more and write answers the questions. I can participate more.
Meet Myima, a rising 7th grade scholar in her second summer enrolled in a BellXcel-powered summer program.
How did you feel initially about being enrolled in the program?
Honestly, I was a little scared at first because I didn’t know if I was going to know anybody and if I was going to make any friends.
So did you end up making new friends?
Yes! I made new friends, and also saw some familiar faces. It was nice to see my classmates over the summer too.
How has the program helped you with your academics?
I get mostly As and Bs in school. I think the program has helped me maintain my skills. If I wasn’t here, I’d probably be behind in school. It’s sort of re-teaching you what you did in school, so you still know what to do when you go back to school.
Was there a part of the program that you enjoyed the most?
One of my favorite parts was a literacy project when we had to finish the ending of a play. We had to make up the ending, and act it out. I liked that you got to just make stuff up, and choose what happens with the characters. It’s a different way of learning compared to the school year. It’s more creative.
Meet Catherine Alvarado
Meet Catherine Alvarado, Senior Director of Grant Administration and Program Innovation
Why is this program so valuable to your community?
“Children need this program. They live in one of the poorest districts in the city. We are addressing the learning loss they experience over the summer. These children don’t have access to the same things other children do over the summer. That is what pulled me to this program- the fact that we are helping them become more successful.
Our program has become a pillar of the school – we are continuing their work with their students from their community. We are the bridge for that continuum of learning. By having embedded staff within the schools, we have great relationships with principals, counselors, and teachers, which helps us to identify the needs of the students.
How does BellXcel help your program to combat summer learning loss?
“Summer learning loss is too big of a problem for one agency to handle alone. Without the support of BellXcel, we wouldn’t have the data to prove that the partnership is working. We are making a difference in changing the course of children’s lives by providing them the support they need to help them academically and socially be on par with their peers.”