Story at a glance
- The first Bezos Academy preschool is set to open in Des Moines, Wash., on Oct. 19.
- The tuition-free preschool will prioritize low-income families and “underserved kids.”
- The nonprofit organization says it wants to run the schools using the same set of principles that have driven e-commerce giant Amazon.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos on Tuesday announced he’s soon opening the first location of a network of tuition-free “Montessori-inspired” preschools for underserved children.
In an Instagram post, Bezos said the first Bezos Academy will open in Des Moines, Wash., on Oct. 19. The network of schools will offer year-round programming, five days a week, for children between the ages of 3 and 5. Admissions will prioritize low-income families, according to the Bezos Day One Fund website.
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“This classroom is just the beginning,” Bezos wrote in a post featuring a photo of a preschool classroom.
“The @bezosacademy opens its doors on Oct. 19th. This one in Des Moines, WA, is the first of many free preschools that we’ll be opening for underserved children.”
Bezos in 2018 first unveiled his intention to build a network of “Montessori-inspired” preschools when he announced the launch of the $2 billion Bezos Day One Fund. The fund will operate the network of schools.
The nonprofit organization says it wants to run the schools using the same set of principles that have driven e-commerce giant Amazon.
“Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer,” the organization said on its website.
The organization said it selects communities for its preschools using a wide range of data, including income levels, participation in free and reduced-cost meal programs and gaps in access to licensed child care providers.
Bezos, who started Amazon in 1994, has been the wealthiest person in the world since 2017. Last month, the Amazon CEO set a new record after his net worth skyrocketed to an estimated $202 billion.
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