BellXcel, formerly BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), provides intensive academic and enrichment support to young “scholars” (grades K–8). Its flagship summer program combats summer learning loss among under-resourced students and targets students performing below grade level.

The organization’s summer and afterschool learning programs feature rigorous, research-based curricula aligned with state and national learning standards. They provide each scholar with individualized support in small classroom settings with a student-to-instructor ratio no greater than 10 to one.

School districts and national partner organizations such as Scholastic and the YMCA use BellXcel to help deliver holistic learning programs that combine academic, enrichment, social-emotional learning, professional development, community, and family engagement.


Since 2001, EMCF has invested $23.6 million in BellXcel. In 2011, BellXcel received a $5 million, three-year Social Innovation Fund award from EMCF, and became a True North Fund grantee. In 2017, EMCF made a three-year, $10 million investment in support of BellXcel’s FY2018-FY2020 strategic plan.

These investments helped BellXcel:

  • Grow from serving 15,100 youth in 2017 to approximately 22,000 in 2020;
  • Build, pilot, and refine a technology platform to facilitate the potential for greater scale while reducing costs and maintaining program fidelity;
  • Transition BellXcel’s organizational design and operating capacity to meet the needs of new service offerings.

Learn more about BellXcel at