Kids deserve EVERY opportunity to be the best they can possibly be in life. Forget the basketball. What @KingJames is doing by opening his very own elementary school deserves all the respect you can give the man. 👊🏿 https://t.co/hk3yz67lnw
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) June 30, 2018
AKRON, OHIO — LeBron may be leaving Ohio, but he’s leaving something incredibly valuable in his place. This demonstrates that, for James, it’s about far more than basketball.
On Monday, as reports Cleveland.com, James had painters and cementers on-site to spruce up his legacy.
We’re talking about James’ “I Promise” school. The source states it’s an actual public school through the Akron school district and is sponsored by the LeBron James Family Foundation.
Reportedly, it’s set to open on July 30 — located at 400 West Market Street.
Funds For The School
According to the source, it will take seven weeks to modernize the school’s building — estimates of which exceed $880,000 for upgrades and $2 million in total to run the school in its first year, with all funds coming from the family’s foundation and corporate sponsors.
Reportedly, the school’s first students will be third graders (240 students) and fourth graders (120 students). The source states that all selected students couldn’t read at a third-grade level by the time they reached the grade.
However, by the time the school is at full capacity, it will hold first through eighth grades.
In November, James joked around by saying he’d be assistant principal at the school. Yet, as it stands, that’s not happening now since James agreed to play for the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-year contract.
Nevertheless, James has pledged his work in Akron public education will continue in his absence.
Michele Campbell, executive director for the LeBron James Family Foundation, mentions as follows.
“At the time when he announced he was coming back, and reporters would say ‘gosh, how do you feel that he’s coming back? Aren’t you excited?’ And our students, their response across the board was: ‘he never left’. I do not worry one bit. The connection and the relationship that these families and children have with him and the foundation, it’s hard to put into words. It doesn’t matter where he works..”
JAMES’ INFLUENCE ON LOCAL YOUTH
After James left the Cavs the first time, in 2010, he revamped his foundation’s mission to improve reading and graduation rates for inner-city children in Akron.
“You go back and you give support, (joining the Lakers) is what’s best for him, so you support that,” Campbell mentions. “You move forward with the work. Our slogan is ‘We are family,’ and that’s what families do. They support each other through transitions, and he’s going to work in L.A. for four years, and here the foundation and everybody who’s a part of it…we keep going. Because his work in the schools is just beginning.”
According to Cleveland.com, LeBron James’ school will also house a GED and reading program for adults as well.
As for the building, Campbell notes the foundation acquired the location and structure on June 11, a few days after the Finals ended and speculation of James’ future had already begun.
The Akron Beacon Journal, James has sent letters to his students assuring them that nothing would change because he was gone to the Lakers.
“When he’s totally done playing basketball, and everyone’s debating where he ended up with his career, and ‘was he the best ever,’ when he’s all said and done, his ultimate goal with this is to show the rest of the country this is how to create real, generational change,” Campbell notes. “And I believe part of that is working through this with a public school system and really sitting at the table and talking about how we do things together.”
LeBron James Set To Open Elementary School https://t.co/34EahB6XDU
— MR IS ON 725until (@Mister_is_on) July 6, 2018
According to BET, he’s already employed 34 staff members, as well as 12 teachers.
All in all, what are your thoughts about James’ new school? If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
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[Featured Photo via Twitter]