In 2018, the LeBron James Family Foundation established the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. Specifically set up with the intention of providing education targeted towards at-risk youth, the school currently teaches grades three and four with plans to expand to grades one through eight by 2022. The New York Times reports that the school is already off to an excellent start.
The 240 students being taught at I Promise have already made huge strides when it comes to their test scores. Both math and reading scores have jumped from the lowest percentile for both grades in reading to 9th and 16th for third grade and fourth grade students, respectively. Math, meanwhile, jumped from the lowest to 18th, while fourth graders moved from second-lowest to the 30th.
"When we first started, people knew I was opening a school for kids," James said. "Now people are going to really understand the lack of education they had before they came to our school. People are going to finally understand what goes on behind our doors."
The school has also been providing clothing and food to families in need, as partially funded by LeBron's foundation. While there's still some work to be done, the rate at which I Promise students are improving is impressive.
"We are reigniting dreams that were extinguished," school principal Brand Davis said. "We want to change the face of urban education."