Rihanna Calls for Universal Education

Rihanna has written an op-ed for The Guardian to ask others to join her in the fight for universal education.

“The lack of access to education for children around the world is a massive problem, but that does not mean we should throw up our hands in despair and surrender,” Rihanna said in the piece.  “Instead, we need to take on as much of the challenge as we can manage to set an example and see the difference. This is what has driven me to prioritize global education in my philanthropy and advocacy work.”

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While growing up in Barbados, Rihanna added, she now realizes she took her access to education for granted. In many parts of the world, children are prevented from that same access due to poverty, politics, war, sexism, and more. To help make these inequalities a thing of the past, Rihanna has renewed her call for support for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and their efforts toward fighting the education deficit around the world.

“We are grateful for the generous contributions of those such as the EU and France, and countries that doubled their contributions such as Canada and Ireland,” she said of her GPE ambassador role and this year’s GPE financing conference. “I look forward to seeing additional contributions from countries I know can step up even more, such as Germany and Japan, and seeing those that didn’t contribute – the Netherlands, Finland and New Zealand add their support to help us reach our target.”

Rihanna also discussed her own Clara Lionel Foundation and called on readers to join her in hitting up world leaders and politicians on Twitter and elsewhere to share the message.

LeBron James Opens School in Akron

Today a new elementary school in Akron opened with the help of the LeBron James Family Foundation. Here’s what you need to know:

1. It’s part of Akron Public Schools, with some big private money backing its launch

The school was the idea of James, an Akron native and NBA All-Star reports the Akron Beacon Journal. The school is getting the same public funding per pupil as the other schools in the district, but it is also backed by large donations from organizations including James’ foundation and others who are covering the extras not paid for by the school district.

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2. The students will be children considered academically at risk.

There will be smaller class sizes, a curriculum with STEM and social-emotional learning priorities, and a resource center to support students, according to Akron Beacon Journal. The students starting Monday are 240 third- and fourth-graders. More grades will be added and by the 2022 to 2023 school year, there will be first through eighth grade students at the school.

3. The proposal was first unveiled April 2017

James’ foundation already funded the I Promise Network, which at the time was supporting 1,100 students in grade schools in the Akron area. The idea for the school was first introduced last year as a way to take what works in the I Promise Network to build a curriculum and bring it under one roof.

I am so for this! Congrats to King James on truly making a difference and good luck to the students this coming school year!