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BELL Wins Prestigious Innovation Award

BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/29/09 -- In recognition of its innovative approach to meeting the community's needs, BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) has been named a winner of the 2009 Innovation Awards by the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE). BELL was one of three non-profit and six for-profit organizations to be recognized, selected from a group of 182 nominees.

BELL provides summer and after school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programs to students in under-resourced communities. BELL's students, called "scholars," gain an average of five months of academic skills during the summer program; while scholars in BELL After School acquire new literacy and math skills at a faster rate than their peers.

Serving more than 11,000 scholars in five states, BELL's rigorous programmatic approach, innovative web-based training and data systems, and ground-breaking partnerships with government agencies and the private sector have enabled the organization to successfully replicate its program in seven cities. The SBANE 2009 Innovation Award recognizes BELL's ability to demonstrate that dramatic results can be replicated at scale as the organization expands to new cities.

Cited as a model program in President Obama's 2005 "STEP-UP" legislation for summer learning programs, and recently recognized as a Technology & Learning Magazine "Technology in Action" Award winner for innovative, Web-based training methods, BELL's program and infrastructure continue to garner praise nationally as best practices.

"At the heart of our organization is an ambitious, entrepreneurial spirit that drives our efforts to meet the needs of our community," said BELL CEO Dr. Tiffany Cooper Gueye. "Our goal is to deliver a scalable program that will help more children across the country to reach their full potential in life, and the SBANE Innovation Award is a very meaningful acknowledgement of our efforts to reach that goal."

About BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life):

BELL, founded in 1992, is one of the nation's leading providers of quality after school and summer educational programs. It is committed to enhancing the educational achievements, self-esteem and life opportunities of children living in under-resourced communities. BELL serves more than 11,000 children annually in schools throughout Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Flint (Mich.), New York City and Saginaw (Mich.). Please visit www.bellnational.org for more information.

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