This Year's Featured Song for I PROMISE

Rolling it Out
Posted on 09/27/2018
Image of I Promise Song(courtesy WKYC-TV)

Every year, WKYC releases a new video to spotlight our partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation.

This year, with the grand opening of the I PROMISE School in Akron, we knew that something special was in order. And the result is an original long-form, emotional piece of content that captures the anticipation and excitement of the third- and fourth-graders who are among the first 240 students to attend Akron’s newest public school.

The commercial will begin airing on WKYC during “Donovan Live” at 7 p.m. Sept. 27.

In a rush of images, the WKYC spot showcases the students’ journeys as they catch the bus and ride their bikes to school and then hurry through the door to be embraced by teachers. Principal Brandi Davis is shown wrapping the children in hugs, embodying the unique wraparound services provided inside the I PROMISE School.

The video gives a glimpse, through the eyes of the children themselves, of how they actually look forward to going to school – not always a student’s first instinct. This peek inside the I PROMISE School, with its engaging STEM-focused curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and “We Are Family”-centered focus, lets WKYC viewers witness how Akron students are gaining confidence and unlocking their potential.

The video was shot over the course of several days in Akron. It was directed by WKYC Marketing Producer Ryan Radefeld, whose strong vision for the piece included an original song he personally penned for it titled “Believe.”

“I’m focused. I’m ready to succeed,” the song begins. “I’m going to spread my wings and dare to dream.”

A mix of musicians contributed their talents to bring this project to life. With the lyrics of “Believe” perfectly suited to be sung in the voices of children, WKYC invited The Singing Angels, Northeast Ohio’s renowned performing youth chorus, to perform the original score. The music was composed and arranged by Alex Berko and Daniel Bayot, and mixed by Daniel Bayot and Pascal Pahl. The song was recorded at XIV Productions studio at the Agora theater in Cleveland.

The song made its national debut at the I PROMISE School’s grand opening on July 30, when about 70 members of the Singing Angels performed the song live in front of the James family, the national media and Grammy-nominated singer Tori Kelly.

Since 2011, the LeBron James Family Foundation has been providing a blanket of services to students from across the Akron Public Schools (APS) district who struggle academically. Its new I PROMISE School, founded in partnership with APS, brings its services under one roof, offering to incoming students a STEM-focused curriculum and experiential learning opportunities including an on-site television studio. Its supports extend to the students’ entire families, with its Family Resource Center providing a range of services, from a food pantry to GED courses and job placement services for parents.

The video showcases the many resources available to students once they become immersed in James' “Nothing is given, everything is earned” philosophy encompassed in its “We Are Family” approach, including the reality that they can earn full four-year college scholarships to The University of Akron if they complete the established criteria.

During the video, James shares more about the “nothing is impossible” spirit that his foundation strives to instill in Akron children.

“My dream is to give the kids of Akron everything they need to find their passion and change the world,” he said during an interview with WKYC on the school’s opening day. “This is bigger than basketball.”

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