The coronavirus pandemic has closed schools around the country impacting what has become a traditional rite of passage for high school students completing their senior years: graduation.
But NBA superstar LeBron James wants to help graduates in a special way.
The Los Angeles Laker, along with education company XQ Institute, will team up with all four major television networks to present #Graduate Together, to honor the Class of 2020.
The one-hour special, airing at 8 PM EST May 16, will include celebrity appearances from Chika, YBN Cordae, H.E.R., Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams and many others according to a news release.
“We learned early on in our work with students and families in Akron that education is so much more than academics. It’s about a shared experience, a journey we’re all on together—students, parents, educators, community members, and everyone around them. With that not being possible right now, we’ve been working to find ways to help families get through this really difficult time,” said James. “These students have worked incredibly hard for this and there’s no way we can let that go unrecognized. While this won’t be the graduation experience they were supposed to get, we hope we can still give them something special because they deserve it.”
The commercial-free broadcast, was put together through the efforts of students, educators and supported by the American Federation of Teachers.
The program will also include collections of commencement addresses, performances and inspirational videos. The program is also inviting students to submit their own high school senior pictures for a virtual Class of 2020 yearbook.
Photo Credit: Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images