LeBron James welcomed 240 students in Akron, Ohio on their first day of school on Monday. The LeBron James Family Foundation opened the I Promise School in collaboration with the public school system in James’ beloved hometown as a parting gift.

What inspired him to take such a big stride?

As a fourth grader, James missed 83 days of school, not because he wanted to, but due to circumstances beyond his control.  His school aims to help families like his. Not long before the school’s opening, James, admitted he had the “jitters,” calling it “one of the greatest moments (if not the greatest) of my life.”

LeBron James at the opening of I Promise School. Credit/Getty Images/Jason Miller

The Los Angeles Times reported that at I Promise School, the focus is mainly on at-risk kids. They are given a math and science-focused curriculum and at the same time teaching them to deal with the trauma in their lives. The school will provide access to job and family services, a food pantry, and help with housing if need be. Parents have an opportunity to study for their GEDs at the school, too.

Students were randomly selected from a group of local students who were behind on reading. This year, the school will start with third and fourth grade classes only and by 2022, the school will have first through eighth grade classes, WKYC-TV adds. Every student has a bicycle available for them to ride, because James found freedom riding his bike while growing up in Akron.

The beautifully adorned I promise School Grand opening with LeBron James. Credit/GETTY Images/Jason Miller

The school is adorned with murals featuring people like Martin Luther King Jr., motivational phrases, and even James’ sneakers. The snickers will eventually be sold at a fundraising auction for the school.

The Washington Post quotes LeBron James saying, “And know, no matter if I’m playing in Los Angeles or not, Akron, Ohio, is always home for me. Always.” It’s undeniably the best gift that LeBron James has given to his community before he heads on to join the Los Angeles Lakers.#Rewordit

 

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