success stories





P.S. 89 in the Williamsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx is a K-8 school that has partnered with BELL since the 2006-2007 school year. BELL serves 377 students across all grades at the site, including a 4th grade "Star Scholar" named Aries Alvarado.

Each week, BELL Site Manager Laura Lewandowski and her team select "Star Scholars" from each of the BELL After School program's 20 classrooms. Star Scholars maintain strong attendance, exhibit good behavior, try hard, have a postiive attitude, and work well with other scholars. 

Aries has come a long way since he first enrolled in the BELL After School program four years ago as a Kindergartener. He used to be very timid, and he was not outgoing. "He used to have difficulty with reading," his mother, Annette, explains. "Now, everything he brings home is 100, or even 105 with extra credit words -- you know he's using fifth grade words and he's in the fourth grade," she beams. She continues, imitating her son: "Right now, I'm not struggling any longer. Right now, I'm good, I pick up a book as soon as I get home, I do my homework."

Annette is thrilled with the progress she has seen Aries make in BELL and in school. Ms. Laura, BELL's Site Manager for scholars in grade K-4, keeps Annette posted on her son's performance. She sens home progress reports that detail his performance, and makes time to help Annette understand how she can best support his continued development. Last summer, for the first time, BELL was able to provide its summer learning program as well as its after school program at P.S. 89, and Aries was among the first scholars to sign up. 

Annette is no ordinary parent - she's also the President of the PTA at P.S. 89. "Parents ask me about what program works for kids, and I say that in my opinion, my child has learned in BELL, and will continue to learn in BELL. You might want to give it a try for your child. It works. I'm telling you, it works. This is the only program that's free to our children, to our community -- and this community needs that extra help. Most of my friends have their children in BELL. We don't want BELL to ever go away."