Community work is very popular among the biggest stars in the NBA today. Many of them invest time, resources and energy into helping other members of their communities who are struggling with various issues. LeBron James is considered to be one of the most influential philanthropists among NBA players today and one of his recent projects has caught the attention of many.
I Promise School is LeBron's most popular project where he helped to found education for many kids who are not able to have a proper education. The school opened last August for over 240 kids and already there have been tremendous results with the programme they implemented.
MAP which stands for measures of academic progress has shown improvement from fall up until the winter period in testing. In a recent article by USA Today, these results have been structured and presented in the most transparent way.
- 90% of students – who started the school year at least one year behind grade level – met or exceeded their expected growth in math and reading.
- Test scores increased at a rate higher than 99 out of 100 schools, per Northwest Evaluation (NWEA) school norms.
- Third-graders went from the first percentile to the 18th percentile in math, moving from the intensive tier of support to targeted levels of support.
- Fourth-graders went from the second percentile to the 30th percentile in math, going from intensive tier of support to low universal tier of support.
- All IPS students were below grade level in reading, and in the latest testing scores, 23% of students scored at or above the 25th percentile in reading, putting them at or near grade level.
This school is a year-round programme providing the students daily breakfast, lunch and snacks on top of the education, career and emotional support for their parents. The school lasts from August through May and all students have the chance to participate in a seven-week summer school program that is also free.
This project has a tremendous opportunity to grow and the plan is to add fifth grade next year, while at the same time adding more grades until it has 1-8 grades by the year 2022.
“When we first started, people knew I was opening a school for kids,” James said. “Now people are going to really understand the lack of education they had before they came to our school. People are going to finally understand what goes on behind our doors.”
Even though LeBron's season didn't turn out to be as successful as many thought it would be, he should definitely be proud of what this programme has achieved so far. It is also a great showcase on how popular athletes can definitely make a difference in their communities by showing support which doesn't have to be closely related to the respective sport they play.