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Partners Provide Extras At I Promise School

photo of LeBron James I Promise cutout
A cutout of LeBron James stands in the I Promise School, which is supported by the Akron Public Schools system and partnerships with James' family foundation.

LeBron James’ family foundation and I Promise School in Akron are benefitting from his recent NBA scoring record.

When James surpassed Michael Jordan’s total, Ohio-based sports apparel chain Homage released a new design with the famous phrase “Just a Kid From Akron” and an image of James in his St. Vincent-St. Mary’s jersey. 

Proceeds from the shirt are supporting the LeBron James Family Foundation and the school. Homage is just one of many partners that support the school.

Akron Public Schools Treasurer Ryan Pendleton says the I Promise School receives the same allocation as any other Akron public school for basic educational services. What makes it different are the extra wraparound services for students as well as their family members, such as a food pantry, laundry and after-school resources. 

photo of LeBron shirt
Credit Homage / Homage
Proceeds from this shirt from Ohio-based sports clothing store Homage benefits the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron's I Promise School.

Those extras are provided by the foundation and its partners. Executive Director of the foundation Michele Campbell said these are lasting partnerships.

“This is a partnership for the long term, and our partners understand that, and quite frankly, once you get involved...you start to live beyond yourself," she said. "The work is so rewarding and that’s the sustainability piece.”

Classes started July 30 at the I Promise School in Akron.

Campbell also said she wanted to make the I Promise School work within the public school system, not around it.

“What we have created here in Akron, we believe, is a model, and will be a model for the rest of the country when you talk about urban public education," she said. "And if we were to do that outside of the public school system just in a charter school or a private school, we lose some of that model that we think our country needs.”

The foundation has more than 50 partners who provide not only financial support, but services and volunteers. Partners include J.P. Morgan Chase, the Kaulig Companies, Peg's Foundation and others.