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What is I Promise?I Promise began as a program that identified “at-risk” students in the public school system in Akron, Ohio, who were trailing their peers academically. The I Promise Program would then “wrap its arms around” those kids through resources, mentorship and encouragement in order to stay on track for graduation, as stated by the Lebron James Family Foundation. The school is following the same model and opening its doors to 240 students that are trailing their peers by a year or two academically. It is starting with just third and fourth-graders but hopes to extend to grades first through eighth by 2020. Unlike most celebrity-funded schools, I Promise is actually a public school; however, it operates from 9 am – 5 pm every weekday with an extended school year calendar that ranges from July to May. It also offers summer camps in STEM during the seven-week summer break.
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How does it serve families?I Promise isn’t just for elementary-aged students. It seeks to serve and support the entire family. According to TIME, the school will offer GED classes and job placement assistance for parents. Additionally, the all-day, all-year school and camp schedule means parents don’t have to find and pay for after-school or summer care. While at school, students receive breakfast, lunch and snacks for free, and they have access to a fitness instructor to help guide and direct in healthy living. And because James enjoyed riding his bike so much as a kid, he also gifted every student a free bike and helmet.
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