LeBron James is changing the game, building a brand new school in his hometown.
The LeBron James Family Foundation's "I Promise" public school has been approved by a school board in Akron, Ohio. The "I Promise" school will be geared toward educating students who are at risk of falling behind, and is expected to open next Fall for third and fourth graders, with more grade levels being added in future years.
LeBron's "I Promise" public school will have longer days and begin classes in the summer, weeks before other district schools, in an effort to encourage information retention. According to the AP, the idea is based on the foundation's existing "I Promise" programs that encourage struggling students to stay in school.
Third and fourth grade students will be chosen via a lottery system, and the goal is for the school to include first and second graders by fall of 2019, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. By 2022, the "I Promise" school is expected to include grades one through eight.
Back in April LeBron James spoke about his plans for the school when the project was first announced. Per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today,
"This school is so important to me because our vision is to create a place for the kids in Akron who need it most—those that could fall through the cracks if we don't do something. We've learned over the years what works and what motivates them, and now we can bring all of that together in one place along with the right resources and experts. If we get to them early enough, we can hopefully keep them on the right track to a bigger and brighter future for themselves and their families."
The AP also reports that New York-based production company Warrior Poets will soon begin filming a documentary series centered on the school in partnership with LeBron James' production company SpringHill Entertainment.
LeBron said in a statement, via IBTimes,
“We believe we're changing the mold with the I Promise School, and we're excited to have that story be told by people who understand the importance of what we're trying to accomplish,” said James in a press release.
“Being able to create this school to specifically meet the needs of these kids and their families means everything to me. There are so many kids and families struggling, and we want this school to be a safe, positive place that helps them stay on the right track to earning their educations,” said James in a statement. “Having SpringHill Entertainment and an amazing filmmaker like Morgan Spurlock here to document this process is huge.”