LOOK: LeBron James opens public school for at-risk, inner-city students in Akron

LeBron James continues to give back to his community. Last Monday (Tuesday Philippine time), he opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. This is a ground-breaking charitable venture by one of the biggest superstars in basketball. The school is an extension of the LeBron James Family Foundation aiming to help at-risk and inner-city children.

The superstar grew up in a troubled household, quite similar to the ones his school aims to serve. He missed more than 80 days of school in the fourth grade because of the problems he faced as a child. The I Promise School aims to prevent that from happening to children in need in Akron. James expressed his excitement over the completion of the school.

“Why not? Why not continue to do great things where you can help the youth? You can help the next Barack Obama or Michelle Obama. You can help the next Sean “Diddy” Combs or Jay-Z. You can help the next LeBron James.”

Currently, the school is open to 240 children in the third and fourth grades. It will expand outward every year until it serves the first through eighth grades by the year 2022. The school is just like a regular public school. It was set-up in coordination with the Ohio School Board, ensuring it will meet the educational standards of state.

The I Promes School will be following a non-traditional model that has shown success with at-risk children. It will feature longer school days and a non-traditional school year. It will work on replicating some of the at-home support children may be missing when it comes to schoolwork by having the facilities open to students and faculty that need it. The school will also focus its curriculum in math and science-based teaching, dipping into the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to prepare students for the jobs of the future.

All of these are aimed at accelerated learning so that students that are lagging behind are able to catch up to the level of learning they’re supposed to be in.

Beyond all these, James made sure that the students of the I Promise school have the necessary support outside of the classroom. He is extending the support to the family and even all the way to college.

As a bonus to the students, the school has amazing design aspects such as a mural showing African-American icons and a wall of game-worn sneakers from James.

The kids in Akron are thankful that James didn’t just shut-up and dribble. Instead he’s empowering kids to be better than they can even dream.

These kids are our future and they have dreams and aspirations bigger than the city of Akron, than the state of Ohio, than the USA.

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