Phalen Leadership Academies and Summer Advantage USA
Earl Martin Phalen is the founder of Phalen Leadership Academies (PLA). PLA is a non-profit network that partners with schools and school districts to help turn around currently underperforming schools, grades K-8. PLA currently serves over 10,000 children at 25 schools in Alabama, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Texas and Washington, DC. PLA has been blessed to have already turned seven F-rated schools into A-rated schools, and three D-rated schools into B-rated schools.
The idea for Phalen Leadership Academies can be traced back to Mr. Phalen’s creation of Summer Advantage USA, a 25-day summer reading program, which is one of only two scientifically-proven summer learning models in the country. PLA was created as an expansion of this summer learning model.
Phalen's work in education began when he founded BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) while at Harvard Law School. BELL operates after-school and summer education programs in several major U.S. cities and has grown to impact the lives of 15,000 students annually. He is a Mind Trust Fellow, recipient of the Black Entertainment Television (BET) National Hero Award, and was awarded the President’s Service Award by President Clinton in 1997.