LeBron James expects Monday to be one of the greatest moments of his life, as his LeBron James Family Foundation and the Akron (Ohio) Public Schools launch a new elementary school for at-risk children in his hometown.
The I Promise School is the culmination of nearly a decade of work by James' foundation, with its focus on educating children from challenging situations or backgrounds. The school will begin with two grades, third and fourth, with plans to expand in the coming years.
The jitters before the first day of school are real right now!!! Tomorrow is going to be one of the greatest moments (if not the greatest) of my life when we open the #IPROMISE School. This skinny kid from Akron who missed 83 days of school in the 4th grade had big dreams... https://t.co/PwmRaHRfng— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 29, 2018
big dreams for the kids in Akron to give them everything they could need to find their passion, give back to our community and change the world!! This school is that. The people are that. Akron is that. @LJFamFoundation we've always done it big— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 29, 2018
and it doesn't get bigger than opening day tomorrow (until the next thing we dream of 🤣) I'm so unbelievably proud and excited to see my kids, my home, and the 330 tomorrow. THANK YOU! Let's get it. Let's go 💪🏾 @IPROMISESchool #WeAreFamily #IPROMISE— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 29, 2018
James' life was turned around between fourth and fifth grade, when he had perfect attendance, thanks to the intervention of Frank and Pam Walker. In 1993, the Walker family took James in and encouraged him to focus on his education at a city school in Akron.
James is now trying to act in that role by donating millions to the project and securing support from corporate and educational sponsors.
The I Promise School has a longer school day and longer school year. More than 40 staff members will attempt to accelerate the development of children who qualify for the program based on performance and socioeconomic factors.
For those who complete the program, which has been operating for years, James has arranged for free tuition to the University of Akron starting in 2021. He also created a program for parents of the at-risk children to return to complete their high school educations, and he has planned an institute to help prepare high-school-age students for college.
In all, James and his foundation leaders hope that more than 1,200 children will pass through the program and into college by 2029.
As part of the event, James is planning a news conference, at which he will publicly discuss for the first time his decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.
On Sunday, James posted a video on his multimedia platform UNINTERRUPTED in which he talked about the opening of the school and explained why his move to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers is a "dream come true for me."