LeBron James' Foundation announces big 'I Promise' pledge: A new school

LeBron James Foundation makes a big promise

The LeBron James Family Foundation is already making good on promises to 1,100 kids and their families.

One man, along with a small army of people who believe in and share his mission to leave no kid behind in Akron.

Now they are about to super charge their promise with the I Promise School.

The beauty of the "I Promise School" will be in the PROMISE it holds.

For some of Akron’s lowest performing students it will be the chance to stay in school and on track to a degree.

According to the Foundation, I Promise School will be a “brick and mortar building with research, evidence based methods, academic experts and a We Are Family philosophy"

“It’s our job to put forth the effort to help these kids understand they do have a purpose in life, individually and collectively,” said James on Tuesday at Goodyear Theater in Akron.

Essentially the I Promise School is a proposed expansion of The Akron Public School curriculum in conjunction with community partners and business owners.

Akron's Assistant Superintendent, Ellen McWilliams-Woods is giving the I Promise School and the mentors it will bring, two thumbs up, high.

“We offer services for students who need more targeted and comprehensive support. What’s different about this is they are going to be able to bring in some additional resources like mentors and partners. They will bring students to a business so they can actually see how do you take this math concept and apply it in a real work setting," said McWilliams-Woods.

The I Promise school is to be "hands on, a focus on both academics and character building”.

It is to be built on everything the foundation stands for, keeping the most at risk kids from falling through the cracks

"It's the least we can do to continue to give back and lay the blue print for the kids and generations that will come after," said James.

I Promise School would open its doors Fall 2018, starting with 3rd and 4th grade.

The plan is to be at full stride by 2018 with about 800 foundation kids in 1st-8th grades.

Priming young minds.

Sculpting young lives full of promise and inevitably pushing up Akron's 75% graduation rate.

"Absolutely,” says McWilliams-Woods, “…because they are targeting our lowest 20 percentile. So, now to bring that to the next level to a school? You can’t match this anywhere across the country. LeBron is for real."

Also, I Promise kids who stay on track are guaranteed college tuition at the University of Akron.

Now, news of a brick and mortar place that, at full speed in 2018, will help 800 students stay on that track, in that year alone.

That, is tangible commitment, from a man who consistently Sees The Possible for these kids coming up where he came from.

It's why we are so proud, at WKYC to be behind LeBron James and his Family Foundation.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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