Akron fourth-graders share the stage with LeBron James during MVP ceremony in Miami

Kids recognized as academic all-stars

This time, LeBron James took talented kids from Akron to South Beach.

10 academic all-stars from Akron Public Schools, and one of their parents, were flown to Miami to share the stage with James as he was named the NBA's Most Valuable player for the fourth time.

The fourth-grade students received an all-expenses-paid trip through the LeBron James Family Foundation. The students were sitting near James as he accepted the award on Sunday.

Mariah Riley, 9, a student at Portage Path Community Learning Center was still buzzing about the trip at school on Monday.

"He thanked us, so we all thanked him by shouting out, 'Thank you, Lebron,"' Riley said.

The kids were selected for meeting goals through the foundation's Wheels for Education Program, which promotes good grades, good behavior, good character and good attendance.

In 2010, James famously said, "I'm taking my talents to South Beach," after he made the decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat. He won his first NBA championship last year and the Heat is favored to repeat this summer.

According to the foundation, the program empowers children and single-parent households through innovative programming and initiatives and strengthening the ties between family members.

Through the Wheels for Education program, kids make promises to go to school, do all of their homework, listen to their teachers, be helpful and respectful and above all else, finish school.

The kids earn promise bands. James wear a black "I promise" band on the court.

Jamil Wright, 10, a student at Case Elementary School said he's getting straight A's.

"I get good grades and I keep on studying and I keep on doing my best," Wright said.

Desiree Bolden, manager of APS extended learning, also went on the trip and believes James leads by example.

"I can't match him in being a superstar, but I can match him in commitment, and that is so awesome. We love Akron and we love our kids," Bolden said.

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