When LeBron entered free agency in the summer of 2014, Cedar Point made a PROMISE... If LeBron signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, they would name a roller coaster after him. As it turns out, the incredible team at Cedar Point would do something even bigger and better than that initial promise.
The Foundation is extremely excited about its long term partnership with the BEST amusement park in the world, Cedar Point! In addition to its constant support of our Wheels for Ed and Akron I PROMISE Network students, the partnership will see our kids and their families at Cedar Point every August for our annual I PROMISE Family Reunion. More than just hosting an event, Cedar Point is helping us create an amazing experience for our families as we kick off another school year and welcome our new class of 3rd graders to the program.
In the words of LeBron James, "BOOOOOOOM! CEDAR POINT DONE CHANGED THE GAME!!!!!"
The inaugural PROMISE Project brought together more than 30 local partners and HGTV Star Nicole Curtis for one common goal: to create lasting, visible change in Akron. That meant a top to bottom renovation of the home and lawn of one rising AIPN student and the overhaul of the yards of nine others.
Debuting on November 20, 2014, the PROMISE Project home renovation was the subject of six episodes of Nicole Curtis' Rehab Addict on HGTV. And it was just the beginning of the Foundationâ€™s PROMISE to reward its students while making an impact in neighborhoods across Akron.
PROMISE Project Take 2 was even bigger, with the Foundation renovating 23 yards across Akron... That's 23 Akron homes, 23 Akron families, 23 Akron I PROMISE Network students, and 23 Northeast Ohio partners pitching in.
Our teams laid mulch, tore out weeds, overhauled flower beds, laid brick walkways, painted siding, built steps, and carried out countless other constructive projects. Yet, to say that we renovated yards does not adequately represent the impact our PROMISE Project teams made on our Akron I PROMISE Network families and the Akron community.
Brunswick Insurance; Akron General; WKYC; Sculpt Fitness; Consolidus; Kent Displays; Boogie Boards; Homage; The University of Akron; Little Tikes; GPD Group; St. Vincent - St. Mary High School; Thomas Limo; Akron Public Schools; Chase; Dellagnese Construction; Squire Patton Boggs; Cedar Point; and Power Media
Itâ€™s always the highlight of our week when we see our kids.This week, LeBron sent his Foundation team to Findley CLCâ€™s Akron After School.I PROMISE | WE ARE FAMILY | WE ARE ZIPS | The University of AkronPosted by LeBron James Family Foundation on Wednesday, October 28, 2015
As part of its students’ core intervention, LeBron and the Foundation are continuing their support of Akron Public Schools’ Akron After School Program. Akron After School provides expert extended day enrichment for our Wheels for Education kids. In response to parent feedback that their students needed additional after school support, the Foundation recently helped APS create and implement LeBron’s Hard Work Club on all APS campuses that are not currently served by AAS.
Over the course of Akron After School's fall offering, LeBron sends his team of Foundation volunteers and 330 Ambassadors to visit seven elementary sessions. At each session, LeBron’s special cohort and his kids recite their PROMISE and engage in Akron After School's City Recreation program. Although several kickball games and matches of shark and minnow tag have gotten competitive over the years, the male members of the Foundation team have PROMISED to be better at accepting defeat.
They say home is where the heart is. For team LJFF, HomeTown Hall is where our hearts are! These monthly meetings that rotate throughout the Akron Public School district help us ensure our programs are working for our students and their families. It’s about bringing the experts, the students, and the families together to find solutions, implement improvements, and have a little fun over a nice family meal.
As always, the evening begins with Old Carolina’s world famous spread for our family meal that includes delicious homemade barbecue complemented by sweet tea and lemonade. The evening’s entertainment also includes insightful fireside chats, a fun trivia game, and dancing.
Attendance is a major pillar of both the WFE and AIPN programs. With the PROMISES recited, the Foundation begins the rest of the program by rewarding the families in attendance with special LeBron-themed door prizes.
After the first round of door prizes are awarded, the Foundation turns its attention to the most important portion and question of the night: how can we better serve your children? The floor turns into an open question and answer forum for the families and the Foundation, with the families having the opportunity to voice any suggestions or comments they have to better the program. The Foundation always appreciates the valuable feedback!
When asked whether having his kids and their parents at every home game gave him an unfair advantage, with a big smile LeBron said, "Unfair advantage? Yes, absolutely, but I prefer the term 'home court' advantage."
If you turn to the Cavaliers bench and look directly at the second section of the lower bowl, above the team's hoop, there you'll find an enthusiastic group of LeBronâ€™s kids and their families in the 2015-2016 I PROMISE Land. For an explanation of the logistical change, LeBron simply offered, "They're my sixth man. There's no way I'm having my kids sit in the last row."
As a reward for its hard working students, LeBron and the Foundation purchased tickets to all forty of the Cavaliersâ€™ home games. Fittingly, there are nearly 40 schools in the Akron Public Schools (APS) system where our Wheels for Education and Akron I PROMISE Network students attend. For each game, our partners at APS select ten students from a participating Wheels for Education or Akron I PROMISE Network school. Students are chosen based on their behavior and adherence to their PROMISE with LeBron.
LeBron and the Foundation will be rewarding teams and clubs throughout the Akron Public Schools system with new uniforms on a monthly basis. The mission of the â€œEarned Not Givenâ€ drops is to create a positive cultural change within Akron Public Schools athletics by rewarding exemplary behavior. The hope is to help create more positive role models for our younger students to look up to at school. Sportsmanship, leadership, and togetherness are all traits our young kids need to see in action day in and day out.
The Rams, Cardinals and Akron Soccer Coaches were identified by our partners at Akron Public Schools as acting with outstanding sportsmanship and being leaders in their community. For their exemplary behavior, the football team and cheerleaders EARNED brand new uniforms along with other additional items while the Akron Soccer Coaches EARNED Nike Winter Warm-ups.
These uniforms represent the EARNED NOT GIVEN philosophy of LeBron and the Foundation.
I PROMISE Uniform Drop: North Track & Field
Weâ€™re back! LeBronâ€™s I PROMISE Uniform Drop struck again, this time at North High School. Today, the Foundation Team rewarded the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s track and field teams with brand new uniforms and warm-ups. Teams are selected by our partners at Akron Public Schools for their behavior outside of competition.To date, this racks up number four and five for uniform drops, and we do not plan on stopping.I PROMISE | REP YOUR HOODPosted by LeBron James Family Foundation on Saturday, December 19, 2015
LeBron did it againâ€¦ this time, the I PROMISE Uniform Drop came to Akronâ€™s East CLC where the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s varsity basketball teams were rewarded with brand new Nike uniforms and travel bags. To date, this is our sixth and seventh uniform drops where local Akron teams earn new uniforms and other team gear for their exemplary behavior during and outside of competition. The deserving teams are selected by our partners at Akron Public Schools.Posted by LeBron James Family Foundation on Friday, January 29, 2016
LeBron and his Foundation know that a child’s education begins at home. That’s why in September of 2015, the Foundation teamed up with Project Learn of Summit County to formally kick off the I PROMISE, Too program.
Through I PROMISE, Too, LJFF parents have the opportunity to recommit to their education and earn their high school GED credentials. Through Project Learn’s course work, they have the opportunity to take classes that integrate General Education Development (GED), life skills curriculum, technology, and family literacy activities. In partnership with Project Learn, The Foundation covers the entire cost of classes and the GED exam and provides laptops and calculators for participating parents.
The I PROMISE, Too program is now in its second year, with a growing number of parents enrolled in the program and working towards their life-changing GEDs.
For LeBron and his Foundation, thereâ€™s a constant effort to leave a place better than they found it. That principle is put into practice every year in every All-Star host city as LeBron and company complete 23 Acts of Kindness and Giving.
In 2015, LeBron enlisted the help of his Akron-based 330 Ambassadors to execute random acts of kindness and giving throughout New York City and Brooklyn during the week of All-Star, and The LeBron James Family Foundation Facebook page tracked all 23 of them! To see/read more about LeBron's 23 Acts of Kindness and Giving, you can view the Foundation Facebook page or read more about them here.
This year, the team headed North to Toronto where a group of senior 330 Ambassadors surprised 23 teams and organizations from across the Toronto Public School district with brand new uniforms. Read more about this yearâ€™s acts here.
I do it for these kids!!!!! Had a blast, thank you for having me and a special thank you to Sprite. #ObeyYourThirst #23Acts #IPROMISEPosted by LeBron James on Sunday, February 15, 2015
On Wednesday, October 21, 2015, the First Lady, Michelle Obama, took to the podium in front of a special audience. Her stage was large and her venue was different; she was standing at the heart of The University of Akron's campus in the James A. Rhodes (JAR) Arena. As Mrs. Obama spoke, LeBron and ESPNâ€™s Michael Wilbon looked out into the audience. "My kids weren't the only ones listening that day," said a proud, wide-eyed LeBron. Sitting proudly in the front rows of the arena on special request from LeBron, his Wheels for Education and Akron I PROMISE Network students and their parents listened intently, flanked by hundreds of supporters. That afternoon, our families learned that their country believes in them and is counting on their children to make a difference.
After speaking to the audience, LeBron and Mrs. Obama held a private question and answer session with LeBron's 330 Ambassadors and Akron I PROMISE Network parents. You can watch highlights from the discussion, which was moderated by ESPN's Michael Wilbon, here.
Whether itâ€™s an engineer, a scientist, an actor, or a medical expertâ€¦ LeBron and his Foundation want his kids to DREAM BIG. As our Wheels for Ed and Akron I PROMISE Network students look to find what they are passionate about in life, we do our best to expose them to new experiences that open their eyes to all the possibilities with our I PROMISE Experience Outing program.
Each month, a different class of Wheels for Ed and AIPN students is treated to an experience. Ranging from a movie premiere to an exclusive performance from the Akron symphony, these are events our kids might otherwise never have the opportunity to experience. We are proud to help them dream big as they pursue their future careers!
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