|Getting Involved > Believe in Bell|
Dear Bell Parents,
Did you know that Bell School was ranked in the top Neighborhood Elementary Schools for the past 4 years in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Magazine? We believe our success hinges on the challenging, rich curriculum we provide that enhances our students’ prospects for admission to the city’s selective enrollment high schools by addressing needs of the whole child.
Although our successes are many, we continue to face challenging funding issues that impact our school's future. This year's CPS budget cuts resulted in significant reductions to Bell’s staffing, facilities and supplies. In particular, the following:
Art and music classes reduced from full year participation for all to half a year for Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th graders
In-school Chinese language program reduced to only Kindergarten through 4th grade
Cuts in the money available for textbooks and supplies
Elimination of the options coordinator.
It was only through the support of the Bell parents, our community and past fundraising efforts that we were able to prevent further reductions.
Last year our fundraising organization Friends of Bell raised almost $300,000. Many of the programs that we have become accustomed to having at Bell have directly resulted from our past yearly fundraising efforts. However, with this year’s CPS cuts and future budget challenges, Bell is facing an additional critical fundraising need in order to ensure continued excellence at our school. We are not talking about only the enrichment programs that make Bell special, but even basic instructional resources that we expect a quality education to provide. Imagine Bell with larger class sizes, split grade classrooms, or without art and music instruction, computer classes, athletic programs, fine arts residencies and field trips.
How can you help? First, please continue to support this year’s fundraising events including the Bell Walk, Wish List and Steppin’. Second, we ask that you make an additional contribution to the "Believe in Bell Campaign" to ensure our school continues to thrive. The goal of the Believe in Bell Campaign is to raise an additional $500,000 within the 2013/2014 school year to protect us from eliminating or further reducing programs and services for our students next year, especially given the possibility of further CPS budget cuts. It is a lofty goal in these difficult economic times, but it is essential to continue the excellence at Bell.
We are fortunate to have an amazing parent community that we believe can work together to protect our school going forward. In fact, it was several of our dedicated parents that proposed the Believe in Bell Campaign. Understanding that not everyone is financially able to donate more than they historically have, we need those who can to step up and do so. Please expect a call from a Believe in Bell parent to learn more about how you can help.
We are proud of the diverse community at Bell, including the economic diversity of our families. We are asking everyone to be as generous as possible, so we can continue to provide an equitable and enriching learning environment for all our students. Every donation, large and small, is important.
Thank you for your support and generosity.