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Even at 33 years old, with multiple NBA titles and enough awards to fill a museum, LeBron James still gets nervous for the first day of school.
Granted, James hasn’t been a student since 2003, but his role in the education system will drastically change come Monday when his public school officially opens in Akron, Ohio.
The I PROMISE School will educate 240 of the Akron Public School District’s most academically at-risk third- and fourth-graders in its inaugural year and James will be on hand to welcome each student on their first day. As the school’s largest donor, James has been integral in the development of the program and has committed to popping in routinely throughout the year.
From missing classes to molding champions
The fact that the school is only serving third- and fourth-graders has some added significance to James as well. LeBron tweeted earlier on Sunday that he missed 83 days of school when he was that age — or nearly 45 percent of the school year.
While only two age groups will be educated at the school this year, there are plans to expand the program for academically at-risk youth in his hometown. In the meantime, the school is structured to not only give students more options and resources, but to provide students with longer days and more activities to keep them out of negative environments.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Where a typical Akron public school’s average class size is 23 students, James’ foundation will provide four additional teachers so that the I Promise School will have 20 students per class. It recently received its STEM curriculum designation and will also include a family resource center. The school will be nearly year-round with curriculum offered from July 30 to May 17, with a seven-week camp for additional academic support to allow kids who have fallen behind to catch up.
Admitted students were randomly selected from a pool of public school children with lower test scores.
Does this story get any more heartwarming?
It most certainly does.
The Twitter accounts for both James and the LeBron James’ Family Foundation has been sending out numerous videos of students and faculty preparing for the transition to the I PROMISE School and to call it inspiring would be wholly underselling it.
LeBron has famously made a name for himself academically by paying for more than 1,000 kids from Ohio to go to college. With the I PROMISE School he has doubled down on his commitment to both his hometown and the power of education overall.
The King may be moving on to Los Angeles, but he’s not done making his mark in Akron.
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