From Oprah to Telis Swift to Tobias Harris, celebrities and pro athletes have long donated some of their fortunes to schools.
But a growing number of stars are taking their investment in education to the next level. They’re launching whole schools involved in their interests, helping students in their hometowns or marshaling their connections to tie academics into the entertainment industry.
It began in earnest in 2011, when the NBA’s Great LeBron James and his foundation partnered with Akon Public Schools, a city in Ohio, to keep a generation of children out of poverty. Now actor George Clooney and music legend Dr. Draw are promising money and connectivity in the Los Angeles Unified School District, while rapper Pitbull’s sports-themed charter school is spread across three states.
The charitable endeavors of the rich and famous can take many forms. Financially, the effects of taxes for donors are not what you pay for in schools or any other government charity, said Lawrence Zelenak, a law professor at Duke University. When a donor starts a school, the pop of good publicity can be even greater without mentioning the feeling of shaping the children’s learning and the opportunities they will get as a result.
In the latest round of school philanthropy, A-list actors including George Clooney, Don Chadell and Mindy Calling are teaming up with Los Angeles Unified to launch a magnetic school, the district announced last month. Goal: Give short-serving students a foothold in the film and television industry.
Also in June, district officials met recording artist Andre Young. Known as and record executive Jimmy Ivine will partner with the district to start a new high school focused on business and technology.
“I want to encourage people like us who are lucky and have been able to come to this neighborhood and do something truly positive,” Iowin said at a June 16 news conference in LA.
LA Superintendent Austin Bitner, a wealthy businessman whose connections helped foster partnerships, said that public interest gifts to schools are always welcome, but the latest archeology of giving includes time, human capital, industrial connections and relationships. In a nutshell: the things that money can’t buy hinder the student’s interest in engaging.
“The common denominator between these two schools is the people who have invested heavily in future education endeavors,” Bitner said.
LA schools will integrate Hollywood with academics
Brian Lord, co-chairman of Clo Working Title Films and Creative Artists Agency, will launch two new schools in LA in the short of 2022.
The school will be called the Rebel School of Film and Television Production, and the founding members will “serve on the school board to create a more inclusive pipeline for career-ready talent for the film and television industry,” the district said.
Celebrities, or at least individuals on the web of their influence and expertise, will collaborate with district staff to design curricula that engage educators with real-world work. This could mean the chemistry or set design and illumination physics of the makeup application, Butter said.
“The idea is that we’ve created a curriculum that we can scale to 22 more schools,” Bitner said in an interview. “They can help kids gain access to internships.”
The Young and Ivine School in South Los Angeles is ready to help students connect with the creative, financial and marketing aspects of the music industry.
“We’re here to give the kids a hard time and promise them a future and something they’ve probably never had before,” Young told a news conference.
Miami SLM School was started by Pitbull
Other celebrities have started charter schools in their hometowns, which are government schools run by private companies.
Pitbull, who calls himself “Mr. Worldwide” and “Mr. 305” – an endorsement of the Miami Area Code of his hometown – helped launch a growing chain of charter schools with a sports-themed focus. The Flagship Sports Leadership Arts and Management Charter School, or SLM, opened in Miami in 2012. Short-serving focuses on students and connects classes from the sports industry to careers, from sports medicine to broadcast marketing. Students even run and produce Sirius XM channels, SML radios
SMLM was built behind an education service provider academic that operates more than 200 charter school offices in Florida.
The model became so popular that the SML Foundation now operates a total of 12 campuses serving more than 5,500 students in Florida, Nevada and Atlanta, said Millie Sanchez, the organization’s chief administrative officer. The foundation plans to open a new K-12 school in Mesa, Arizona in 2022.
Sanchez said Pitbull’s real name – Armando Christian Perez – continues to support the foundation. Before the epidemic he visited all schools at least once a year, often as part of his travel schedule. He coordinates other celebrities, local artists or college professors to talk to students who come to school or to mentors.
“Thanks to Armando, our students have the opportunity to benefit from workshops and programs sponsored by partners such as Microsoft, Google and NBC Universal and the Latin Grammy Foundation,” he said.
Invest in Common and Chance the Rapper Chicago
Two rappers from Chicago have invested in education scenes in their hometowns. Rapper and activist Common, who has won an Emmy, Grammy and Oscar, helped launch the Charter School of Art in Motion on the city’s south coast in 2019.
Art in Motion is part of a network of charter schools run by individual schools.
“Revolution is not only economic and social, it’s also sensitive, and we have all the aspects here at this school to enable our children to breathe and see and dream,” Opening said at a recorded ceremony during Common School.
Chance the Rapper, who was born and raised in Chicago, took a more direct approach to supporting the traditional public school district: he contributed more than 2 2 million to support art programming in Chicago public schools.
Former NBA player Jalen Rose is involved in the Detroit Charter
More than a decade ago, former NBA player Jalen Rose co-founded a charter high school called Jellen Rose Leadership Academy in his hometown of Detroit.
Rose, a sports analyst at ESPN and president of the school’s board of directors and her assistant, Michelle Rusiti-Miller, said she has been involved in day-to-day operations, leading student counseling and fundraising.
The LeBron James School in Akron, Ohio is a community effort
In the summer of 2011, more than three hundred third-graders were enrolled by the Akon School for their low reading scores to enroll in the I-Promise program, an effort by the LeBron James Family Foundation to donate their laptops and bikes.
Since then, I have broken that promise by providing the bike to a service-driven program that helped one thousand acronym students across the district in sixth through eleventh grade The service foundation launched an original district school in 2018, now enrolling 343 students in third through fifth grade Is. There is housing for homeless families and partnerships with Kent State University and Akron University that promise students a free college education path for four years.
National attractions:Teachers rallied to learn from the success of I Promise School
The school has attracted national attention in education and public welfare circles in an effort to address the full needs of students through services such as complete pantry and laundry facilities at the school. James was involved that way, bringing kids to awards ceremonies and documentaries.
“People ask me: ‘Why a school?’ “James said at the inauguration of the Eye Promise Academy in 2018. He said he knew exactly what the school’s 240 inaugural students were going through, because he already had it alive.
He adds, “I know the roads I walk, I know the trials and tribulations they go through. The ups and downs. I know the dreams they have and the nightmares they have.” Here it is today.
Contributed by Jennifer Pignlet of the Acron Bacon Journal.
Contact Erin Richards at (414) 207-3145 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Emerichards.