success stories





Meet Alex. He's 11 years old and half-way through the 5th grade at the Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School. This is his first year with BELL After School, and while it's only been two months, it's already helped him tremendously.

"When the program first started, he was a challenge for us," explains his BELL tutor, Sam Freund. "He has a lot of energy. He used to have to sit in the last row of desks because he got up a lot and always had to be moving around, which distracted the rest of the scholars in the classroom." 

BELL's small-group classroom environment provided Alex with the attention he needed to channel his boundless energy on learning. Sam and Ms. Lucia Moss, who work together with Alex and his peers, are able to spend time one-on-one with Alex, and those regular check-ins are making a world of difference with his focus and motivation.

"My favorite subject is math because when I'm doing it, I just know the answer like that," Alex says snapping his fingers. "I stutter a lot so reading can be harder for me, but with math I feel proud." 

Now Alex no longer sits in the back of the classroom. Just last week, he was given the privilege of choosing his seat. He stays in his seat. "He is an active contributing member of the class," says Mr. Sam. "He's one of those kids that once he realizes what he's got and what he's capable of doign is going to be something real great." 

When asked about the meaning of being a BELL "scholar," Alex replies: "I'm a scholar because I have a lot of potential."