NBA superstar LeBron James just opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, to help at-risk third and fourth-grade students.
The LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools teamed up to create a new school for public school students in the city who are struggling with reading. The school opened Monday with 240 third- and fourth-grade students and expected to add grade levels each academic year. The school will teach first through eighth graders by 2022.
Part of the reason why LeBron James opened the I Promise School is because he genuinely understands what it's like being a child growing up in Akron, Ohio — and what it’s like to struggle in school. James revealed recently that he missed 83 days of school in the fourth grade.
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The Los Angeles Lakers player has received tremendous praise for opening the I Promise school and giving back to his community in Akron, Ohio. Fellow NBA stars including Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade and other celebrities and prominent figures have all applauded James’ achievement.
What you need to know about the I Promise School
The I Promise public school is a partnership between the Lebron James Foundation and Akron Public Schools. The school identifies students who are currently enrolled in the Akron Public Schools system and finds students who have fallen behind in reading. Because many students in the district are behind, the school randomly selected 120 third graders and 120 fourth graders who met the criteria and asked parents or guardians if they would like their children to attend the I Promise School.
USA Today reports the school will have 12 teachers and each classroom will hold 20 students. In total, there will be 43 staffers including a principal, assistant principal, four intervention specialists, a tutor, an English as a second language specialist, a music instructor and a gym teacher.
The I Promise School will use Akron Public Schools’ STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum. According to the LeBron James Foundation, the I Promise School integrates the STEM curriculum with the foundation's We Are Family philosophy to create a supportive environment for students and their families.
Students attending the school will be provided breakfast, lunch and a snack each day and have access to free school supplies. The school will provide free transportation to students living more than two miles away from the school. They also get a free bicycle and a full-ride scholarship to the University of Akron when they graduate. Parents also have access to GED classes and other resources to help pave their own way to success.
When does the I Promise School year begin and end?
The I Promise School year lasts from July 30 to May 17, and there will also be a seven-week summer school session. Students attending the I Promise school will have classes and other learning activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.