YouTube originals released the LeBron James documentary “I Promise” on Sept. 28. The documentary covers James’ attempts to close the achievement gap in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, through his school, I Promise.
The I Promise school opened in 2018 with the goal of raising the expectations of at-risk children from underserved communities. The documentary follows the students, their families and teachers through their first year at the I Promise school. The film made its debut at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.
The school’s philosophy is a family-first educational environment. The I Promise school is supportive of students’ life challenges and any trauma that may affect them.
The public school uses a holistic, STEM-focused curriculum and also employs the LeBron James Foundation’s “We Are Family” philosophy, Social Emotional Learning and love. The school hopes to become a blueprint model for urban public education.
James posted the documentary’s trailer on his Twitter page with a message stating that every child deserves a chance.
“every child deserves a chance. experience a whole new approach to public education at @KingJames’ I Promise School that provides a blueprint for the education every student in every community needs. #IPromiseDoc premieres september 28 → http://yt.be/IPromiseDocTrailer.”
The documentary covers the school’s early challenges such as finding teachers and school staff. The film also provides insight and tools educators can use in classrooms across the country.
LeBron James is an executive producer of the documentary along with Philip Byron, Maverick Carter, Catherine Cyr, Josh Gold, Jamal Henderson, Marc Levin, Dan Levin and Nicholas Lopez.
While the school has a love-philosophy, the principal of the school must have missed the memo. Principal Brandi Davis was placed on paid leave after she was accused of slapping an 11-year-old boy for using profanity to alert Davis about feces in a bathroom urinal. Davis allegedly admitted to striking the child to the boy’s mother. The incident is currently being investigated.
Nevertheless, the Marc Levin directed doc welcomed raved reviews on YouTube.
“Everyone in I Promise school involved in these children lives keep up the good work. You all are making a difference in these kids lives we need more school like this to make a difference and help all children who are having difficulties in school and out of school. TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK.”
“I hope for nothing but the best for these kids.. what wonderful stories, families, and staff.”
“This is amazing, I love to see these children not falling through the cracks ! Way to go Labron James , and every one of these amazing teachers.”