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CONTACT:60 Clayton Street
Dorchester, MA 02122
Earl Martin Phalen
DESCRIPTION:The BELL Foundation operates a year-long enrichment program for inner-city elementary school children. It was founded by black Harvard Law School students in 1992 with the mission, “Every child, when provided academic skills and mentoring, can achieve success in school and in life.”
BASICs is their after-school tutorial; it meets for three hours, five days a week, involving hundreds of college and graduate students working as volunteer tutors and mentors. Their Accelerated Learning Summer Camp is an intensive six-week day program, providing individual academic instruction, as well as community service projects, cultural activities, guest speakers and educational field trips. BELL now serves more than 500 elementary school children in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.
From Boston, BELL has spread to New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Such growth requires good metrics: all students entering BELL at failing levels in reading and math have moved to higher levels, over 80% to proficient or advanced levels in core skills, compared to 30% of their peers. Their programs have also improved in quality: a six-week summer program in 1998 advanced students two months academically; today that has tripled to six months (non-BELL peers normally lose three months academically in summers). Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Summer Learning named the BELL program the Best Summer Program in the country. In January 2006, BELL won Fast Company’s Social Capitalist Award as one of top 25 organizations changing the world.
(1998: CULTURE: Education: Formal: School-Related)
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