LeBron James has always preached that basketball is his talent, but his lasting influence will be much greater.
Today, he proved that once again with the opening of his public elementary school, the I PROMISE School, on Monday (July 30). The school is a joint venture between James’ Family First Foundation and the Akron, Ohio Public Schools. With today being the first day of classes, James was pretty nervous and marveled at the fact that he, a kid who missed 83 days of school in the fourth grade, has now worked hard enough to open his own school.
The school will house 240 at-risk Akron youth who are third and fourth graders. By 2022, it will hold about 1,000 students from first through eighth grade. James’ school will even address what educators call “slide,” which is when kids often forget things they learned over the summer leading into the next grade. The LeBron James school presents compromise with the school year running from July to May, and during the 6-week summer break, STEM-based classes will be offered. Education aside, the school will offer a daily food pantry to parents and caregivers enrolled in GED classes, and the Summit County Department of Jobs and Family Services will also be on hand to help student’s families get jobs.
James has definitely done his part to help ensure the next generation of Akron kids get a better head start then he did. He’s also making sure they have access to resources he only dreamed of.