LeBron James impressed everyone with his slam dunk during the first game held at the brand new outdoor basketball court of Akron’s I Promise School. The event was a huge hit among students, teachers, and community members who cheered on from outside the lively court’s fence. James teamed up with his St. Vincent-St. Mary’s “Fab 5” team against the “new” Fab 5 girls and boys teams from the I Promise School. The popular basketball star shared how the court not only taught basketball skills but also imparted valuable lessons like building everlasting bonds. James got to reunite with his 2003 state championship teammates, namely Dru Joyce III, Sian Cotton, Willie McGee, Romeo Travis, and their coach, Dru Joyce II.
James expressed his gratitude to the group of men in their 30s who played a spirited game against ten fourth and fifth-grade students from a school on West Market Street. The LeBron James Family Foundation joined forces with Akron Public Schools to establish this institution just last year. Initially, the journey started with only five people playing on an open-air court. However, they now aim to return the favor by giving back to the community.
The Promise School has taken on the responsibility of providing education to 343 of Akron’s most at-risk students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades. These children started the year with scores in the bottom 25th percentile, lagging behind their grade level. However, the school has achieved a remarkable feat by helping 90% of these students exceed their personal growth targets in both math and reading by the end of the year.
Thanks to the generosity of NBA 2K video game publisher’s philanthropic arm, 2K Foundations, the recently built basketball court is bound to be popular with students who crave outdoor recreation opportunities.
This academic year, our school has introduced some fresh additions, and one of them is the Kauling Companies Media Lab. This new feature offers a remarkable opportunity for students to acquire hands-on experience in news reporting and digital content creation.
The Family Resource Center in our school has gone through a significant transformation, and it is now known as the Family Resource Wing. It is equipped with several features to make the lives of students and their families much easier. One of its most notable features is the “Happy Happy Market,” which offers free groceries and other essential items. Additionally, there’s a laundry facility called “Loads of Love,” where families can wash their clothes without any difficulty.
To give at-risk students living in urban areas a better chance at success, the school has created the Family Training Center. Rather than simply kicking out students who exhibit disruptive behavior, they will be sent to this center to work with intervention specialists who can help them understand and improve their conduct through personalized one-on-one sessions. This is all part of the school’s focus on providing trauma-informed education.
The University of Akron has established exclusive educational areas known as “Roo Rooms” for future teachers and principals. These spaces have been customized to cater to the distinctive requirements of individuals seeking careers in these fields.
“I Promise Too” is a classroom where parents can acquire their GEDs by attending classes. The program has had great success, and they are proud to showcase the accomplishments of 18 parents in the form of a wall of photographs.
“Believers’ Bend,” a recently unveiled collection of murals that span from floor to ceiling, pays tribute to some of history’s most important figures. The artwork features iconic personalities such as Amelia Earhart, Michelle Obama, and Judith Resnik, a notable Akron native.
Over $1 million has been invested by James into the I Promise School. The funds were used to improve the school’s resources, including new programs, maintaining a favorable student-teacher ratio of 20 to 1, and providing additional financial support for tutors, district coaches, Family Training Center teachers, and teacher salaries for the Empower Hour – an additional learning hour each day for immersive activities and extracurricular experiences.
Robin Goist shared a photograph of a basketball game on Twitter on August 14th, 2019. LeBron James had previously visited Akron in May and made a generous donation of $1 million from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation. The aim of this grant was to construct a new indoor gym for the physical education and after-school sports activities of students. In December, the LeBron James Family Foundation and the 2K Foundation collaborated to refurbish the Balch Street Community Center gym, which is only a mile away from the I Promise School. The school has utilized this gym for various events such as assemblies, sports, and after-school activities.
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