Jeff Bezos Adds Preschools to His Resume
In a tweet today, he wrote that his new “Bezos Day One Fund” will start with $2 billion behind it. The Associated Press reports that the entirety of the funds will come from Bezos—the world’s richest person with a net worth of more than $150 billion. Part of the fund will go to existing non-profits that help homeless families, and the rest will go toward launching and operating “a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities,” according to the tweet.
Bezos added that the fund will build an organization that directly operates the preschools. “We’ll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon. Most important among those will be genuine intense customer obsession. The child will be customer,” he wrote. He included a quote that compared education to the “‘lighting of a fire,’” and elaborated that “lighting that fire early is a giant leg up for any child.”
This isn’t Bezos’ first foray into education. The Bezos Family Foundation—run by his parents—funds the Bezos Scholars Program (for high school juniors who attend public high schools where at least 30 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced meals), as well as Vroom (tips and activities for parents and their young children), Students Rebuild (a program where young people “create a simple, symbolic object which the Foundation matches with funding”) and Mind in the Making (an initiative to publicize research on child development and learning science).
Bezos’s Amazon has conducted its own efforts in education. The e-commerce giant won a major public sector contract for school procurement in 2017. It’s also gifted 1,600 Echo Dots to Arizona State University students, as well as acquiring, and later shutting down, TenMarks and its online instructional tools.
Author: Tina Nazerian
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