Lebron James opens school for at-risk children
Lebron James can now list educator in his long list of successes. Through a partnership between the Lebron James Family Foundation and the Akron, Ohio Public School system, the NBA superstar inaugurated a new elementary school for at-risk children yesterday in Akron, his hometown.
Yesterday at 8:00 AM, the I Promise School opened its doors for the first time and James was on hand to see third and fourth-graders enter the building. The school is a public, non-charter institution similar to the one that James attended when he was young. His foundation is the top donor and coordinated with the school system to ensure that it met all requirements and regulations. I Promise isn’t designed to simply give classroom education, but also concentrates on outside factors that impact students’ education.
The school has a longer school day and a longer school year than do the other public schools in the area. There are over 40 staff members on hand to accelerate the development of those children who qualify for participation, which is based on performance and socioeconomic factors.
According to Brandi Davis, tapped to be the school’s principal, “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 that it is about true wraparound support. True family integration, true compassion.”
I Promise came about through a lot of hard work and dedication by a number of individuals. In total, 120 stakeholders – including corporate sponsors, parents, teachers, administrators, volunteers and students – met routinely to discuss the project and find a common ground to meet the challenges of the area. The program, apart from providing the educational requirements, focuses on teaching skills that the students need to deal with trauma. It also includes job and family services, a food pantry and a GED program for adults.
After classes ended yesterday, a two-hour ceremony was held. James was there, motivating the community to stay focused and work together to drive its own success.