This process is automatic. I Promise is on a mission to help make that happen, and has an explicit goal of improving the well-being of residents across Akron—not just its students. Likewise, many development organizations are recognizing how disparities in health, sanitation, education, and other barriers to prosperity are interrelated. We appreciate your interest and support in the Christensen Institute. It’s about growing and constantly striving for more. During that time, the foundation focused its work on how best to educate and support children with difficult backgrounds. While the plan leaves some questions unanswered—about the details of the curriculum, for example—it reveals much about the school's philosophy and unorthodox approach. LeBron wears a visible symbol of his promise daily on his wrist, a sign of love and commitment to their common bond that drives them all to strive for more. Specifically, here are three lessons they should apply to their own work: Lesson 1: Study the problem, and then start small. The board formally approved the plan a month later. “I remember when we had a year-end meeting” to discuss the I Promise foundation's work, Campbell says. Recognizing the life-changing importance of education, The LeBron James Family Foundation invests its time, resources and attention in the kids of James’ hometown in Akron, Ohio. “And the reality is that, in a lot of our urban cities, the vast majority of kids are going to go to public schools.” Making I Promise a part of the public-school system, she believes, “is what helps make what we're doing scalable and provide a learning laboratory for the rest of the country.”. All Rights Reserved. to be helpful and respectful to others. It would have been challenging for James to target this population through a charter or private school. AP Nov 28, 2017 at 12:10p ET . LeBron hosts his first "We Are Family Reunion" that gathers all of his program's students and their families to kick off a brand new school year. But he also has a history of progressive political activism, and has advocated for racial justice, the Black Lives Matter movement, and gun control; his involvement in education issues traces at least as far back as 2011, when he partnered with State Farm to launch an initiative geared toward reducing the high-school dropout rate. The professional basketball player and Akron, Ohio, native, they say, really wants to rethink how public education should be delivered—not only in Akron, but across the country. The end of the year is always a good time to reflect. LeBron James and the city of Akron haven’t simply built a school; they have developed a system that takes into account the many obstacles that families must overcome for many at-risk students to succeed. James’s school is housed under his I Promise nonprofit, which he created in 2011 as part of an effort to shift his now-14-year-old foundation’s focus toward education. It all started back in 3rd grade. New York-based production company Warrior Poets says it will soon begin filming a documentary series centered on the school in partnership with LeBron James' production company SpringHill Entertainment. It started its first year of classes on July 30, welcoming onto campus 240 students in the third and fourth grades, and will grow gradually over the years, eventually serving children in grades one through eight by 2022. to never give up, no matter what. On top of I Promise being on sale, it is also part of Amazon’s buy 2, get 1 free promotion!!! Supporters cheered after the Akron School Board approved the school's plan Monday. The master plan says I Promise will focus on “rigorous problem-based, inquiry-oriented learning,” especially pertaining to STEM. Yes, James is widely considered to be the best basketball player in the world. Stay up-to-date with us by signing up for our newsletter. This resource center, Campbell says, was informed by a body of research showing that things like parental stress and dysfunctional homes can significantly undermine a child’s ability to learn. www.afro.com is using a security service for protection against online attacks. 1. The announcement immediately changes the dreams and long-term plans of families across Akron. Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, right, goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers’ Robert Covington during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, in Philadelphia. Raised in Akron by a single mom who had him when she a teenager, James had a turbulent childhood and at times struggled in school; in the fourth grade, he says he missed the equivalent of 16 weeks of school days. Recognizing the life-changing importance of education, The LeBron James Family Foundation invests its time, resources and attention in the kids of James’ hometown in Akron, Ohio. As the NBA’s four-time MVP and arguably the greatest basketball player in the world, LeBron James is used to being in the spotlight. This approach will enable the school to apply the lessons it learns in its first few years before scaling its operations in a more sustainable manner. I can't even explain [James’s reaction]—he was like: ‘Well, then, that’s what we’re doing.’”. The document can be found in full at the end of this article. Research reveals when children feel good, they do better. On the surface, the LJFF has simply partnered with Akron to build a school, but I Promise is so much more than a school. EQ first, IQ second. With the opening of IPS in 2018, all future I PROMISE students will enter the program through the doors of the I PROMISE School. Its founder is LeBron James, and his fingerprints are all over the master plan. Please enable cookies on your browser and try again. The idea is based on the foundation's existing "I Promise" programs that encourage struggling students to stay in school. LeBron re-focuses the Foundation's efforts on the life-changing power of education and establishes the I PROMISE Program. Pulling away from Akron Public Schools would have also made it difficult to create a pipeline into I Promise for the at-risk students he sought to target. To do so, it’s implementing a suite of supports that are rare at conventional public schools: attendance incentives, outings to local businesses, mentorship programs, after-school tutoring, and constant encouragement from James through things like video messages and written notes. And yes, his net worth is at least $440 million. Through its I PROMISE program, the foundation serves more than 1,400 Akron-area students by providing them with the programs, support and mentors they need for success in school and beyond. 2015 LeBron takes it a step further.