LeBron James Focusing Annual Bike-a-thon On Third Grade Education
LeBron James is gearing up for third grade.
James' annual bike ride through hometown Akron, Ohio -- formerly "King for Kids" -- will be called "Wheels for Education" this year, focused on 360 rising third-graders attending a reading and technology summer camp.
The two-week camp launches Aug. 8, with James taking a 2.6-mile ride through Akron with 20 high school students. His program targets children that share James' family background -- a single-parent home.
Ohio.com reports that The LeBron James Family Foundation selected third grade as the target age based on research showing that high academic achievement in third grade determines future success. The foundation will also monitor the students in the program through their high school years. High achievers with good attendance may be rewarded with a Skype session with the Heat star or a recorded message.
James told the Associated Press that he aims for the third graders to be reading at a fourth-grade level. From the AP:
"We're looking to continue to create awareness for these young kids," James, who founded the bike event in 2005, told The Associated Press. "Not only in this community, but in the world. Me having an influence with my voice, I'm blessed. So the No. 1 thing is creating awareness and I think this gives us an opportunity to make sure these kids not only get educated but have fun and being around people that can have a positive influence in their life."
James has publicly made childhood education a priority of his outside of professional basketball. He has made several donations to students and has started a King's Academy for kids.
He also showed up at a summer camp last week for a game of knockout with the campers and grabbed media attention when he dunked over a kid and knocked the camper down. But "its alll good broo," the camper reportedly posted on Facebook, because James apologetically gave the kid his shoes.