Something remarkable happened in Akron on July 30. An new school for at-risk third and fourth graders opened, and the star basketball player LeBron James was there to welcome the students and their parents on their first day. The school was built by James "I Promise" Foundation, because he is choosing to support the kids who are growing up on the same streets where he lived with him mom when he was a boy.
I like that. Putting all politics aside with the sports/politics fray, I like the message that LeBron James is sending to these children in his hometown. His monetary and personal investment in this school tells these students that they matter, which is something every child needs to know.
Children need strong and positive role models. Recognizing that sometimes parents need some help at modeling positive behavior, especially if they are struggling and down on their luck, LeBron has stepped up to become a positive role model for children. Personally, I believe that most athletes do not fully grasp the power they have as role models, but LeBron James gets it, and I applaud his efforts.
The new school for 240 kids in grades 3 and 4 promises to be more than a school. The school will offer wraparound support for kids, as well as help to the parents who are seeking employment. A food pantry is also an integral part of the building. Programs at the school will provide structure and care to the students, and offer hands-on STEM activities to encourage learning. Also, the school day and school year will both be longer. The "I Promise" school hopes to be serving grades 1-8 by 2020.
Athletes are admired for their agility and prowess on the court or on the field, but I am admiring LeBron James for his service to the children and parents of his own community in Akron. LeBron James, through his generosity of time and money, and his vision to help lift his childhood community, is a role model kids can emulate.
Want to know more? Here is a link to the NBC report about the school: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAF7zAThTus
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
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Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school. if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom. www.Fieldtripzoom.com GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit http://www.theauthorszone.com/submissions/
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I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired!
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