LeBron-inspired school to be subject of a docu-series; filming starts soon
By CRAIG WEBB | Akron Beacon Journal | Published: December 2, 2017
AKRON, Ohio -- A nationwide audience will be able to watch as LeBron James takes the bold off-the-court move to change the lives of some Akron school kids one student at a time.
On the heels of the recent vote by the Akron School Board to clear the way for the creation of the I Promise School to support at-risk students, James, along with fellow Akronite and business partner Maverick Carter, has announced that documentary filmmakers will chronicle the innovative school's start.
James and Carter's SpringHill Entertainment has partnered with filmmaker and producer Morgan Spurlock's Warrior Poets to film the so-called docu-series in Akron.
When and where it will air has not yet been disclosed, however the series, promises to follow the "first year trials of working within the local public school system to build a unique educational environment for children who are falling behind and fighting uphill battles every day."
It will highlight the work of local educators, mentors and community partners as they work to create an "innovative curriculum" for the students and their families.
The effort is part of the LeBron James Family Foundation's "We Are Family" effort to keep select Akron kids in the classroom and on the path to a college education.
The new school will have an extended day and also a longer school year than others in the district.
"Being able to create this school to specifically meet the needs of these kids and their families means everything to me. There are so many kids and families struggling, and we want this school to be a safe, positive place that helps them stay on the right track to earning their educations," said James in a statement. "Having SpringHill Entertainment and an amazing filmmaker like Morgan Spurlock here to document this process is huge. We believe we're changing the mold with the I Promise School, and we're excited to have that story be told by people who understand the importance of what we're trying to accomplish."
So far, the Cavs star has supported the educational efforts of more than 1,200 students with educational help, mentorship, career exploration experiences and the opportunity to earn full, four-year college scholarships at graduation.
"This is exactly the type of powerful, engaging, and uplifting story SpringHill Entertainment was created to tell," said Carter, SpringHill's CEO and James' classmate at St. Vincent/St. Mary High School. "To have such an acclaimed filmmaker like Morgan Spurlock as passionate about this project as we are really highlights the power of the life-changing work that's happening in Akron. We hope this story will touch people in a way that inspires action in their own communities as well."
Filming on the series is expected to begin "shortly" in Akron.
Warrior Poets, based in New York, was founded by Spurlock, best known for "Super Size Me."
"What LeBron has accomplished on the court pales in comparison to the lasting effects he is having on the young people of Akron," Spurlock said in a statement. "I am honored to be able to share this journey with him, as well as with parents, fans and teachers around the world."
This is the latest in a run of Hollywood projects for James and Carter.
SpringHill Entertainment, named after the public housing project near the Akron Zoo where James grew up, is behind the successful NBC's hit game show "The Wall," an upcoming HBO documentary on Muhammad Ali and a drama series starring Octavia Spencer.