By: Vernesha Hazel
When it comes to celebrities who’ve come from humble beginnings, one of the main talking points regarding how they spend their money is whether or not they give back to the community that raised them. While this isn’t his first effort at giving back by any stretch, if Lebron James had any doubters in this area, he’s definitely silenced them with the opening of his new school in Akron, Ohio, I Promise School.
Here are a few outstanding things you should know about what the 3-time NBA Champion calls the “greatest moment of his career”:
- I Promise School is a public school.
This has come as a surprise to many as most celebrities who invest in schools will usually be involved in charter schools. The school will be STEM focused and will not run on a traditional school schedule. It will begin at 9AM and end at 5PM with the school year lasting from July-May with a 7 week break in between.
Although the later start time is a creative attempt at a longer school day, the benefits are still there. Studies have been showing that even pushing morning classes from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. can have major positive effects on a students’ well-being.
- Students were selected semi-randomly from area schools.
According to Akron Public Schools’ liason to the Lebron James Family Foundation, Keith Leichty, a random selection was made from area schools of students who trail their peers.
According to Ohio School Report Cards found here, in categories such as Gap Closing, K-3 Literacy, and Graduation Rate, Akron City School District scored no higher than a “C” in all categories for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Another cool fact is that the school is opening with 240 third and fourth grade students. Meaning that I Promise is starting from the middle and adding grades “outward”, planning to add second and fifth grades in 2019.
- I Promise will be working hard to address non-academic factors that may influence academic performance.
“Family wraparound support” has been the term used to reference I Promise’s dedication to ensuring that students are successful in all areas of their life including their home life. The school will offer a food bank and job placement assistance for families as well as an on-campus personal trainer. Students will receive free breakfast, lunch, and snacks as well as a free bike.
His passion for providing students with opportunities that he didn’t have is outstanding. On top of all of this is the promise that all students who complete the program and graduate will have their full tuition covered to the University of Akron. It’s clear that though James’ game is once again leaving Ohio, his heart never will.