AKRON -- On July 30, the world was watching as LeBron James and Akron Public Schools opened their I Promise School.
As the first 240 students – all third and fourth graders – tackled their classes, a team of videographers from WKYC and the legendary Singing Angels teamed up to create a music video that captures the excitement that’s brewing and the learning they’re doing inside the walls of this very unique school.
The video, titled “Bigger Than Basketball,” showcases the students’ journeys as they catch the bus and ride their bikes to school, and then hurry through the door to be embraced by teachers. Principal Brandi Davis is shown wrapping the children in hugs, embodying the unique wraparound services provided inside the I PROMISE School.
The video gives a glimpse, through the eyes of the children themselves, of how they actually look forward to going to school – not always a student’s first instinct. This peek inside the I PROMISE School, with its engaging STEM-focused curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and “We Are Family”-centered focus, lets WKYC viewers witness how Akron students are gaining confidence and unlocking their potential.
The video was shot over the course of several days in Akron. It was directed by WKYC Marketing Producer Ryan Radefeld, whose strong vision for the piece included an original song he personally penned for it titled “Believe.”
“I’m focused. I’m ready to succeed,” the song begins. “I’m going to spread my wings and dare to dream.”
A mix of musicians contributed their talents to bring this project to life. With the lyrics of “Believe” perfectly suited to be sung in the voices of children, WKYC invited The Singing Angels, Northeast Ohio’s renowned performing youth chorus, to perform the original score. The music was composed and arranged by Alex Berko and Daniel Bayot, and mixed by Daniel Bayot and Pascal Pahl. The song was recorded at XIV Productions studio at the Agora theater in Cleveland.
During the video, James shares more about the “nothing is impossible” spirit that his foundation strives to instill in Akron children.
“My dream is to give the kids of Akron everything they need to find their passion and change the world,” he said during an interview with WKYC on the school’s opening day. “This is bigger than basketball.”
Each year, new students will enter the school, and by 2022 the new I Promise School will house students from 1st through 8th grades.