BELL expands learning time to help students become scholars. We partner with schools to bring the classroom into the community, and the community into the classroom. Working with teachers, parents, and principals, we deliver programs that blend academics with hands-on enrichment activities, field trips, and service projects. Our programs are designed to achieve the following goals:
- Scholars will increase their literacy and math skills.
- Scholars will strengthen their self-confidence.
- Scholars will improve their social skills.
- Parents will become more engaged in their children's education.
Since 1992, we have learned a lot about what makes expanded learning programs as effective as they can be. We have boiled it all down to our five core essentials. These principles are present in each BELL program site and are strongly connected to central goals of our programs.
1. High Expectations
We believe all children can excel, and our high expectations are woven into the fabric of BELL's programs.
- BELL participants are "scholars."
- Scholars are expected to regularly attend and fully complete BELL programs.
- Scholars are treated with respect and opportunities for youth voice and choice are incorporated into BELL programs.
2. Partnerships for Success
We believe partnerships produce the greatest impact on scholar success.
- Program themes, content, and goals align with the priorities of school and district partners.
- BELL staff are involved in the school environment and develop strong relationships with school leadership and faculty.
- Parents are valued as partners in their scholars' learning.
3. Exceptional Learning Environment
We believe well-trained leaders produce an exceptional learning environment for scholars.
- BELL programs are well-structured and organized.
- Scholars learn in a small-group setting that is supportive and adaptive to their learning needs.
- BELL staff continually monitor program metrics and improve program quality.
4. Teaching Excellence
We demonstrate teaching excellence.
- Academic instruction is rigorous and data-driven.
- Differentiation is used to meet individual scholar needs.
- Staff serve as role models for scholars.
5. Relevant & Engaging Learning Experiences
We provide relevant and engaging learning experiences.
- BELL programs enhance scholars' social and emotional learning.
- Scholars expand their educational horizons through enrichment activities, project-based learning, field trips, and community service opportunities.
- Scholars are exposed to the rigor of materials and complexity of questions to be successfully prepared for 21st Century learning.