Lebron James Plans to Open Public School for “At-Risk Kids”
BY SUSAN JOHNES
LeBron James plans to open a public school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, for students at risk of falling behind in academics.
“The I Promise School” will open for elementary students in the fall of 2018 with support from James’ family foundation. In the first year, it plans classes for students in third and fourth grades and will expand to include grades one to eight by 2022.
The LeBron James Family Foundation said that the school would mentor students who “are at-risk” in reading and are in need of additional academic intervention before falling further behind their peers.
James entered the NBA in 2003 after emerging as a basketball pro at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron.
He has occasionally spoken about the school. James says that even though he was underprivileged, he was lucky to grow up with mentors, his mother, and close friends who would advise him on the way forward.
James said that a lot of the kids he sees today in the community and all over the world are not lucky enough to have the same mentors and the same people around that can help their dreams become a reality. The project, therefore, aims to provide a supportive environment for students who lack guidance.
“We understand the advantages of creating an environment where our most challenged and at-risk students feel safe, supported, and cared for,” said Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James.
James has previously offered Akron kids educational opportunities. He created 1,100 full-tuition scholarships in 2015 to the University of Akron for teens that completed an “I Promise” program that included goals for attendance and grades.
LeBron James knows how it feels to be a kid looking for hope. He said, “We’ve learned over the years what works and what motivates them, and now we can bring all of that together in one place along with the right resources and experts.”
He added, “If we get to them early enough, we can hopefully keep them on the right track with a bigger and brighter future for themselves and their families.”
The committees comprise of area leaders, educators, parents, and other experts. James grew up in a single-parent home raised by his mother, Gloria, who was helped by other families in raising her now-famous son.
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