Lebron James to Open Elementary School For At-Risk Akron Elementary Students

Coby Washo, Staff Writer

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The Lebron James Foundation, in association with Akron Public schools, are teaming up to build a new elementary school in Akron for 240 underprivileged children. All of the children attending the school are underperforming in key subjects, like reading and math. To make up for these deficiencies, the school’s curriculum will be heavily based on STEM. Some of the school’s amenities include free tuition, free uniforms, free transportation within two miles, and free breakfast, lunch, and snacks, among other complimentary benefits. Students will also receive guaranteed tuition if they choose to attend the University of Akron.

What makes the school especially interesting however, is the “We are Family” philosophy that it will adopt. In a nutshell, it states that children and their caregivers will receive the academic, career, and emotional support they need. This may sound very stereotypical for a school to say, but the key word in there is “caregivers.” Rarely do schools think about the parents of their students, but because these students come from underprivileged families, the parents will benefit as well. The Family Resource Center of the school will provide access to a daily food pantry, and GED classes. As for the students, they will have daily breakfast with teachers, daily time for social-emotional learning, and a daily support circle.

Funding for the school is receiving a major boost from the Lebron James Foundation, $2 million to be exact for the first year and an additional $2 million for each year after the school has reached full capacity, but taxpayers of the district will still have to take responsibility for more than half of the costs. This should not downplay Lebron’s contributions however, as district Treasurer Ryan Pendleton notes, “This school would not have happened without the partnership with Lebron James.” The silver lining of this school, with all of its benefits and focus on helping unprivileged children, is to help fight for the change that Lebron James wants. As James puts it, “For kids in general, all they want to know is that someone cares. And when they walk through that door I hope they know that someone cares.”

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