It’s been nearly a year since NBA star LeBron James opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio and it has proven to be nothing short of impactful in the lives of underserved children. According to CBS Sports, its students are making strides and displaying excellence when it comes to academics.
When many of the students started their journey with the school they were at least one grade level behind and now they are outperforming other students in their district. Results from Measures of Academic Progress testing showed that 90 percent of students met or surpassed expectations in math and reading, their test scores increased at a higher rate than nearly 100 other schools, and students who were reading below grade level are now within or above the 25th percentile. Furthermore, fourth-graders went from the second to 30th percentile in math and third-graders made improvement in that area as well going from the first to the 18th percentile.
James is happy to witness the progress the students have made and hopes that it brings attention to the need for quality education in underserved communities. “These kids are doing an unbelievable job—better than we all expected,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “When we first started, people knew I was opening a school for kids. 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.”
The I Promise School has grown to become a staple in the community. Aside from enriching the lives of children through education, it provides resources for low-income families; including everything from a food pantry to career support. The school will launch summer camps surrounding STEM education within the next few months and in 2021 students will have the opportunity to further their education at the University of Akron free of tuition.