A pillar of the LeBron James Family Foundation’s programming since day one, parent participation is critically important to the education process. This reality was brought to life in a whole new way this past week at the I PROMISE School, where fathers and male role models were invited to bring their I PROMISE students to school for a special celebration. With Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, Pastor Eugene Norris, and IPS gym teacher Adrian Daley on hand to welcome them – and with the familiar "We Are Family" track blaring in the background – IPS fathers, guardians and other supporters enjoyed a quick breakfast in the lobby, whole-heartedly recited the parent promise, and then proudly proceeded up the grand staircase to walk their sons and daughters to their classrooms.

With the procession of excited parents escorting their kids to class, a casual morning gathering on a typical school day became so much more than that. With near 100% parent participation, that meaningful moment embodied everything the I PROMISE School and its We Are Family philosophy is all about.

A few days later, the I PROMISE School was again a gathering place as the Family Resource Center hosted a Family Cookout for all I PROMISE Too program graduates. With 14 I PROMISE parents having earned their GEDs through the I PROMISE Too program, this evening event kicked off a new year of mentorship with our partners from the Northeast Ohio Chase team and their Chase Your Dreams program. Through this initiative, all IPT graduates receive career and additional guidance as they move into their next chapter empowered with their newly earned educations.

As our parent graduates celebrated their monumental achievement with their families, met their new mentors, and planned for their promising futures, the impact of parent involvement was powerfully apparent.

Special moments like these make us proud to say, "We Are Family."