I Promise School, the school that NBA superstar LeBron James helped build five years ago, is facing scrutiny after it was found out that it has been delivering discouraging results.

Foreign Correspondent reported on this recently on the occasion of the public school’s fifth anniversary. What was supposed to be a moment of celebration turned out to be cause for concern.

Located in Akron, Ohio, where James grew up, I Promise was reported to have grown by one grade of students every year despite the pandemic and now has almost 350 students.

It also receives $1.4 million a year from The LeBron James Family Foundation.

But despite these, the proficiency of students remains low, with last school year’s numbers showing student competency at just 9%.

Akron Public Schools official Keith Liechty-Clifford said of the numbers:

“This past year was rough with only 9 percent proficiency. Math does not look as well. It’s discouraging.”

Another official, Valerie McKitrick, added:

“I’m looking at the current 7th graders and so for three years not one child passed the state testing in maths?”

But despite the discouraging numbers, the LeBron James Family Foundation said it remains committed to the mission it started with the program. It is said in a statement:

“When we started this work to wraparound students through education, we entered this partnership with Akron Public School for the long haul.”

LeBron James looking to make a difference with I Promise

LeBron James founded his foundation in 2004.
LeBron James founded his foundation in 2004.

When LeBron James came on board to become part of I Promise School, he wanted to make a difference in the community, particularly where he grew up.

The school aims to provide underprivileged children with high-quality education and support.

As stated on the school’s website, its mission is:

“The I Promise School’s mission is to positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives. We believe that an education and living an active, healthy lifestyle is pivotal to the development of children and young adults.”

I Promise operates in partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation, which James founded in 2004. Through the organization’s philanthropic efforts, the lives of individuals and communities have been impacted.

Among the organizations the foundation has partnered with through the years include After-School All-Stars, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Gabriel’s Angle Foundation, ONEXONE and the Children’s Defense Fund.

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Edited by Shamik Banerjee

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