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LeBron James, Teacher

LeBron James: hero on the court -- and in the classroom (Royyan Wijaya/Shutterstock)

What great news this is. NBA star LeBron James, one of the greatest athletes of all time, has started a public-private partnership school for at-risk kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. He grew up poor there. Excerpt:

The difference here is that the I Promise school blurs the boundaries between school and life, recognizing that the main thing keeping a lot of these kids from academic success is chaotic and threatening home lives.

How often do you see rich and successful celebrities doing such good? What a gift LeBron James has given to his hometown. I love this:


More info about the I Promise School here.

Last weekend, I was talking with a couple of folks who are professionally involved in classical Christian education. In our conversation, I said that it seems to me that a Benedict Option-style school would need to break down the barriers between school and family, and would involve the entire family in the mission in a direct way. Classical Christian education would be about forming the whole family in effective Christian discipleship. There has to be a way of doing this without usurping the role of the church. The thing is, you need to have real commitment from families to live the life, as opposed to just sending kids to the school. There are plenty of schools, both Catholic and Protestant, that are connected to churches, but they don’t have the kind of intentional integration that I’m thinking about here; it needs to be more monastic.

Dang. I wish I had thought to become an NBA superstar worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Then I could throw all my money into classical Christian education. Seriously, I’d do it if I had the money to give. As it says in The Benedict Option:

“Education has to be at the core of Christian survival—as it always was,” says Michael Hanby, a professor of religion and philosophy of science at Washington’s Pontifical John Paul II Institute. “The point of monasticism was not simply to retreat from a corrupt world to survive, though in various iterations that might have been a dimension of it,” he continues. “But at the heart of it was a quest for God. It was that quest that mandated the preservation of classical learning and the pagan tradition by the monks, because they loved what was true and
what was beautiful wherever they found it.”

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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