Last Monday, LeBron James unveiled his new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio – powerfully demonstrating to the world the power and influence of the modern day athlete.
His school aims to disrupt the unfortunate trend of at-risk students falling behind the K-12 population in the classroom, by providing a STEM based curriculum to low-income and at-risk students.
Originally, I promise was a non-profit focused on helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds focus on achievement. Now it transformed into a school program that can educate them all year round.
There are several disruptive differences that makes I Promise school unique:
There will be longer school days vs the normal 7am – 3pm schedule. The normal school year schedule will be unique as well, students will get the same amount of time off from school on holidays and summer but the schedule will be broken up differently to make sure students will be continuously learning year-round.
In an effort to simulate some of the home support that might be missing for school work. students will also have extra access to teachers and the school’s facilities. I promise will also have support for student’s parents that may not have completed high school or need employment by providing a GED program and job placement services. Another plus is that the students will receive a bike on their first day of class, to escape dangerous parts of Akron and to explore, motivated by LeBron James’s youth, when he did the same thing.
I Promise is a regular public school and not a charter, private or reform school. Usually schools that offer such perks are usually private and aren’t free for students, but this LeBron James wanted this school to be accessible to all youth in the Akron area.
Here’s to LeBron James, who’s disruption even caught the ire of the President of the United States.