Spotlighting BELL

January 2, 2018

New Vision for Summer School Spotlight

BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) is a national nonprofit that exists to transform the academic achievements, self- confidence, and life trajectories of children living in under-resourced communities. We partner with schools and community-based organizations to transform their summer and afterschool programs into evidence-based interventions for their highest need students.

BELL’s partners are taking a holistic approach to summer and after school. Rigorous math and literacy instruction is critical to achieving impact, as is fostering a culture of success and high expectations. Our partners’ interventions balance academics with positive behavior management, social emotional skill building, and hands-on enrichment to deliver measurable results. Year after year, data show that participating BELL students, known as scholars, gain 2 to 3 months of literacy and math skills.

BELL partners are also seeing results that go beyond the summer. Data show that participating students build self-confidence and a growth mindset that continue into their school year classrooms. Their summer interventions are also empowering participating educators. Through powerful, job-embedded professional development, teachers test effective instructional practices that data shows they adopt during the school year to impact even more students.

In communities like Montgomery County, Maryland, school districts are not only making key investments in evidence-based summer learning for high-need students, they are also holding themselves and BELL accountable for delivering results. Montgomery County Public Schools conducted their own evaluation of their BELL-powered summer learning initiative, which revealed statistically significant academic results for participating 3rdand 4th graders.

Montgomery County and more than 90 other communities nationwide are using BELL tools, services, and expertise to deliver evidence-based interventions for over 15,000 scholars nationwide. For more information, visit