Bigger than basketball…
LeBron James was on hand for the first day of classes at his new school in Akron, Ohio. In what James considers the greatest day of his life he celebrated the opening of the I Promise School. The school is a partnership between his foundation and Akron Public Schools that intend to change the lives of some of the city’s most underprivileged children.
The school has longer hours, running 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a longer school year than the typical public school. Students will be provided meals during the school day and feel an unyielding sense of support.
The I Promise School has begun with 240 students, 120 each in the third and fourth grades. The plan is to expand gradually and serve students from kindergarten to eighth grade by 2022. The students are some of the lowest-performing students in the district and the mission is to turn around the children’s academic lives by changing the lives of everyone in their families.
“As a kid from Akron, Ohio, I remember walking these same streets … I know what these kids are going through. I know the trials and tribulations, ups and downs.”
There are even opportunities for parents who didn’t graduate high school to study for their GEDs at the school. There is a pantry with donations from a food bank, and parents can pick up groceries to take home and prepare meals.
See LeBron’s full speech from opening the I PROMISE school below.
James can recall missing 83 days of school in the fourth grade because he and his mother lived on the other side of town and had difficulty getting back and forth from the school building with no car and an uncooperative bus schedule. Thankfully, several families took an interest in him and provided their care and support.
For more on the foundation, watch the exclusive ESPN interview below.
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