Basketball superstar LeBron James has opened a public school for underprivileged and disadvantaged kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. This week the I Promise School opened it’s doors to 240 new students providing them with an education and the opportunities to thrive despite their difficult life situations. Each student will also receive a bicycle and a helmet.
“LeBron James often credits his bicycle as a huge factor in his childhood that gave him an escape from dangerous parts of his neighbourhood and the freedom to explore — every student will receive a bicycle when they arrive,” wrote SBNation announcing the I Promise School.
The school is an extension of the LeBron James Family Foundation and is a joint venture with the Akron school board. Akron Public Schools made the curriculum to ensure the students would meet education standards while James put together the vision of the institution.
Apart from free bicycles and helmets, students at the I Promise School are given uniforms, breakfast and lunch, access to a family food pantry, transportation and don’t need to pay tuition. Upon graduation, any student who goes on to university can get free tuition at the University of Akron.
This is not James’s first education project. In 2011, he launched the Wheels for Education program which provided students with school supplies, access to computers and a bicycle to keep kids motivated within the existing education system.
In addition to the bikes, students will have access to bike repair and maintenance at the Summit Bicycle Center and the Bike Kitchen in Akron.
The bikes are part of James’s wider vision to allow young people to get outside and be active which are important to ensuring success at school.