LeBron James has won three NBA championships, named Most Valuable Player of the league four times, selected to 15 All-Star games, has three Olympic gold medals, and three NBA Finals MVP awards. The list is still growing as Bron heads into his 17th season in the Association, but his most significant accomplishment looks like it will be coming off the court.
Akron’s favorite son doesn’t play professional basketball in Cleveland at the moment, but his presence is still being felt through his I Promise School. The Bleacher Report piece details a typical day at the school, which includes kids being greeted by a line of adults and older students encouraging them with clapping and hi-fives like they are in the starting five on a team.
Once inside, they are greeted by the sounds of DJ Khaled’s positivity anthem “All I Do Is Win” blaring through the buildings intercom system as they head to their first class. These are all tools to help keep the kids engaged and encouraged, and for the most part, it seems to be working. Since it’s opening an astounding 90% of students, have met or exceeded expectations the story reports.
Bleacher Report’s Hanif Aburraqib spoke to Toni Roberts, a retiring fourth-grade teacher:
“When I came here, people would tell me, ‘It’s not going to work over there. When you go over there, you’ve got those bottom kids. There’s no way that you’re going to be able to maintain what you’ve done all these years and still keep it going.’
“Well, guess what? Yes, it does. These kids know how to respect. They know how to be loving. They know how to give love in return. So, don’t tell me that it’s not possible with what we poured into the school. Look at all of this.”
While LeBron’s I Promise School is delivering, there is still work to do as far as Akron’s education system as a whole is at 70% graduation rate. Maybe Bron’s vision can become the entire blueprint for schools in his hometown going forward.