IN PHOTOS: LeBron James opens public school in Akron

 

MANILA, Philippines – LeBron James trailblazed a new initiative by opening I Promise School, a public institution dedicated for children at-risk, in Akron, Ohio on Monday, July 30. 

"I want people to know that these kids should still have the same opportunity as everybody else. That’s what’s most important," said James during his opening ceremony speech. 

James welcomed 240 children who will receive a special curriculum focused on accelerated learning to help those lagging in academics, and guidance services to help the kids deal with stressful environment at home. 

"Us as adults, we have a responsibility to not let these kids down, to continue to be the teachers, the mentors, the parents, the coaching, the life skills, the superheroes ... whatever it is that gives the inspiration, everything, that’s our responsibility." 

BEACON OF HOPE. LeBron James addresses the crowd during the opening ceremonies of the I Promise School. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

BEACON OF HOPE. LeBron James addresses the crowd during the opening ceremonies of the I Promise School.

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

The walls of the school's lobby are lined with 114 pairs of James' game-worn shoes that left the kids mesmerized on their first day of school. 

Congrats to my Brother @KingJames on the opening of his #IPromise School in his hometown of Akron. The look on this boys face as he enters the school says it all. Love. pic.twitter.com/XhtK7P4upc — COMMON (@common) July 30, 2018 

These shoes are up for sale at Upperdeck where all proceeds will go to the school and customers will have a chance to have their names up on the walls of I Promise. 

114 PAIRS A collection of LeBron James shoes decorate the entrance to the I Promise School on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. Photo byJason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

114 PAIRS A collection of LeBron James shoes decorate the entrance to the I Promise School on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio.

Photo byJason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

During the opening ceremonies, LeBron James' mother Gloria James formalized the school's opening by raising the US flag in front of kids and their parents. 

NEW BEGINNINGS. Gloria James, mother of LeBron James, raises the flag together with some of the students during the opening ceremonies of the I Promise School. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

NEW BEGINNINGS. Gloria James, mother of LeBron James, raises the flag together with some of the students during the opening ceremonies of the I Promise School.

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

 

The 3-time NBA champion has been active in educational suport programs as well as providing scholarships through the LeBron James Family Foundation.  

In 2011, James started the "I Promise" program to prevent high school dropout rates in Akron from rising. He also created the "Wheels for Education" program that motivated children to study by providing a bicycle and other school supplies to each student. 

James partnered with University of Akron in 2015 to sponsor the scholarships of more than 1,000 high school graduates. 

STRIVE FOR GREATNESS. LeBron James gives back to his hometown so that kids can discover their own big dreams. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

STRIVE FOR GREATNESS. LeBron James gives back to his hometown so that kids can discover their own big dreams.

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Even though he will be away in Los Angeles for now, James will always keep coming back home. – Rappler.com