LeBron James Opens A School: “This Is What I’m Here For”
Basketball superstar LeBron James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio has a problem. Actuall, Akron’s public schools have a major problem; its at-risk students are falling well behind the rest of the K-12 population in the classroom. LeBron James has stepped up big time, out of his own pocket, to help fix that.
James’ I Promise School opened Monday to serve low-income and at-risk students in his hometown, and the public school could be an agent of change in the eastern Ohio city.
The I Promise School is technically a joint venture between the Akron, Ohio school system and the LeBron James Family Foundation. The I Promise school, which officially launched on Monday, is currently only available for third and fourth graders, but will expand each year with aims to have grades one through eight by 2022.
Brandi Davis, the principal of the I Promise School, said of the new educational structure, which highlights the emotional and career well-being of the parents as well as the students, “We are going to be that groundbreaking school that will be a nationally recognized model for urban and public school excellence. We are letting people know it is about true wrap-around support, true family integration and true compassion.”
On Sunday night, James tweeted out his own opinion of the school’s opening, noting that he personally missed 83 days of school when he was in the 4th grade. “Tomorrow is going to be one of the greatest moments (if not the greatest) of my life when we open the #IPROMISE School,” Lebron tweeted.
I Promise will feature longer school days, a non-traditional school year, and greater access to the school, its facilities, and its teachers during down time for students. That’s a formula aimed at replicating some of the at-home support children may be missing when it comes to schoolwork. The school has also anchored its curriculum in math and science-based teaching, dipping into the STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math — curriculum that prepares students for the jobs of the future.
The school will feature:
– an on-site food bank
– student support from stress
– gives every student a bike
– guarantees free college tuition starting in 2021
Did you say free college tuition?! WHOA! That’s big time. here are some of the reasons why the NBA All-star did this.
“You didn’t know what was possible for you because you kind of always paid attention to the statistics,” explains LeBron in an ESPN interview. “Growing up in the inner city, the numbers are always stacked up against you. So you didn’t really know what was possible. I think what happened for me was that I got some mentors and little league coaches and some teachers that I kind of started to believe in. And they started to make my dreams feel like they could actually become a reality.”
“We’re starting with 240 kids, 120 in third grade and 120 in fourth grade. And I believe that’s where it all kind of starts. And that’s where it started for me. You know, fourth grade I missed 80 days of school. That following year I…