LeBron James is definitely making headlines this offseason. While the jury’s still out on his monumental move to the Los Angeles Lakers from the Cleveland Cavaliers, he definitely isn’t leaving his hometown behind.
Earlier this week, James made waves off the court with the unveiling of the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Described simply by James as “the most important” project of his professional career, the school is a product of The LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools.
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I Promise School is keeping the foundation’s philosophy “We Are Family” at the forefront with its aim of creating a supportive, stable and safe environment for local kids so education can truly be the focus for both students and teachers. The foundation, now in is in its sixth year, continues its work to positively affect the lives of children through educational initiatives with the opening of IPS.
Opening in the fall of 2018, the inaugural academic year will enroll 240 students (120 third graders and 120 fourth graders), with the long-term goal of enrolling close to 1,000 students in grades one through eight by 2022.
The school will equip students with free tuition and uniforms but beyond the classroom, James explained that the school will also provide some pretty impressive community support, including:
- Free bicycle and helmet for each student
- Free transportation within 2 miles
- Free breakfast, lunch and snacks
- Food pantry for families
- GEDs and job placement services for parents
- Guaranteed tuition to the University of Akron for every student who graduates
The opening of IPS puts James alongside other NBA athletes like Bismack Biyombo, who opened a school in his home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year.
Here at Teach Away, one of our core missions is to create change through education, so nothing is more exciting than seeing initiatives like the I Promise School and organizations such as the LeBron James Family Foundation contributing to that end goal. Using our platforms, no matter how big or small they are, is truly one of the most powerful things we can do to close the education gap in the US and globally.