LeBron James now can add school founder to his long list of accomplishments. The NBA star opened his very own school for at-risk youth called I Promise. Located in James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio, the $8 million dollar public school is providing a plethora of resources to their students. The school sets itself apart with its utilization of time and focus on family during the school day. Schools like I Promise that are finding new innovative solutions give the opportunity to have a positive effect on the future of public schooling. If students at I Promise are successful, other school districts could adopt some of these strategies for their students.
The LeBron’s promise
I Promise was created in partnership with the LeBron James Foundation and Akron Public School. A total of 240 students were selected for I Promise at random who fit certain criteria set by the school. Students who attend the school receive free tuition to I Promise, free tuition to Akron University for every student who graduates, free uniforms, free transportation for those who live more than 2 miles away, free bike and helmet, free breakfast, lunch and snacks and much more. I Promise even provides a program for parents to take classes to receive their GED and job placement assistance.
The school year and hours are even longer. I Promise has classes from July through May and will provide camps throughout the summer. The hours also run longer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The school plans on utilizing the extra time with educational focused activities like the “supportive circles” that occur at the end of every lunch with the goal of getting the students refocused on work. I Promise’s use of its time and resources to the students’ parents could be an interesting takeaway for other schools to adopt in the future.
I Promise brings a lot of potential to make a positive change in school systems across the country. Time will tell of its true impact. Overall, I Promise is a great example of innovative ideas being put to work. Whether you’re working on a small project or creating your own school, you should always challenge yourself with new ideas and solutions. Forward thinking can not only benefit you but also change the lives of others.
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