Commentary: LeBron’s I Promise school will have a lasting impact on today’s generation

LeBron James

Commentary: LeBron’s I Promise school will have a lasting impact on today’s generation
August 16
10:19 2018

By James B. Ewers Jr.

In many cities across America, school has already started. School buses are transporting students and teachers are ready to make a difference in the lives of young people.

Shopping for school supplies is an important activity, and students already have their supply list. I was in a retail store on yesterday and the supplies were flying off the shelves.

Now, in a lot of school districts, students wear uniforms, so parents are in clothing stores purchasing them. Wearing uniforms means that students don’t have to “out dress” each other. There was a period in some areas where confusion would break out over who was wearing what. With uniforms, every boy has khakis and every girl wears a plaid skirt.

Parents are also having to adjust their schedules. They must wake up earlier, make breakfast and have lunch money for the week plus snack money. When school starts, everyone thinks about the children, but parents make the engine run. Even before school starts in earnest, let’s give parents, grandparents and love providers a standing ovation. They deserve it!

Children sometimes take their parents for granted. However, I believe over time they begin to see what parents do each day. It is not easy being a parent, but we would not have it any other way. In my opinion, parenting is love in its purest form. It has no boundaries and is always on call.

School systems are also making the adjustments for another school year. Many school districts have benefitted by partnering with community agencies and as a result, students are receiving services such as health screenings and shopping excursions.

One school district in Ohio has partnered with an NBA superstar. The Akron Public School System has joined forces with LeBron James, formerly with the Cleveland Cavaliers and now with the Los Angeles Lakers, and created a school. The name of the school is I Promise and will focus on students who need an extra push academically. The school will have grades one through eight. One of its goals is to engage parents in the educational process. Research has shown that parents who are actively involved in their child’s education give them a better chance at success.

While the I Promise school has been lauded, some critics are concerned about the cost of the school. It is important to note that some of the funds to operate the school will come from the LeBron James Family Foundation. There will be approximately 240 students enrolled in the school. It is my thinking that the fiscal support for the school will be strong, something that can’t be said for all public schools. When you look around these days, there are schools that are closing due to money problems and lack of enrollment.

Recently, CNN anchor Don Lemon interviewed LeBron James at the school site. The children were happy, and smiles were all around. What is equally important is the hope and inspiration that LeBron James is giving to those students. He understands the importance of having a good education. As he has said on many occasions, he has been blessed and wants to pay the blessing forward.

In the I Promise school right now is a future doctor or business person. The school will produce great minds.  Thank you, LeBron, for caring about your community and for giving children hope.

James B. Ewers  Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator.  He can be reached at

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