Dallas College today announced a 10-year lease agreement with the Bezos Academy to open a tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschool on its Cedar Valley and Mountain View Campuses in the Fall of 2022. These are the first preschools Bezos Academy has announced outside of Washington state.
The project came to fruition following consultation with multiple civic agencies and community organizations in Dallas on behalf of Dallas College. It builds on early childhood education work made possible by the Dallas College Foundation, The Commit Partnership, Dallas ISD, NAEYC, Early Matters Dallas, PNC Bank Foundation, the Meadows Foundation, the Moody Foundation and many others.
“The need for Bezos Academies in North Texas is significant,” said Dallas College Chancellor Dr. Joe May. “Nearly one in 10 children in America live in Texas, and one in four children in Texas live in North Texas. For most of these children, both parents are in the workforce. The demand for more high-quality early childhood education must be met, and it’s a big reason why we are so grateful to partner with the Bezos vision in the form of brick-and-mortar schools that will eventually serve countless families in Dallas County.”
As part of the agreement, the Bezos Academy will cover operating expenses for the preschool programs at no cost to the families being served, while providing everything that the children need during the day, including meals.
“We know that early education is essential to getting all children off to a great start in life, but nationally, only half of all preschool-aged kids are enrolled in school,” said Mike George, president of Bezos Academy. “We couldn’t be more excited to be serving the families of Texas, especially with a partner like Dallas College that shares our commitment to serving the whole community though education.”
The Bezos Academy preschools will be located in the Dallas College Cedar Valley Campus located on 3030 N. Dallas Ave., Lancaster, and the Dallas College Mountain View Campus located on 4849 W. Illinois Ave., Dallas. The schools will follow a full-day, year-round schedule, and will be slated to open multiple classrooms in Fall 2022, following renovations that Bezos Academy will make to the building.
“The Bezos Academy and the Dallas College School of Education have intersecting missions that place early child development and education at the forefront of where we are headed as a nation,” said Dr. Robert DeHaas, vice provost of Dallas College School of Education.
“Much like Mr. Bezos, who has charted a path in space exploration while investing in the minds of future generations through education, Dallas College leaders have embraced the need for students and families to access early childhood education – which is critical to strengthening the future workforce of our region and our nation.”
Families earning up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level with children aged 3 or 4 may apply. Admissions preference is given to foster children and children experiencing homelessness. More information, specific criteria and an application to the lottery-based selection process will be posted at www.bezosacademy.org once the school opening date is set.
Formerly the Dallas County Community College District, was founded in 1965, and consists of seven campuses: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland. Dallas College offers online learning, and serves more than 83,000 credit and 25,000 continuing education students during the fall and spring semesters. Dallas College also offers dual credit for students in partnering high schools and early -college high schools throughout Dallas County.
Dr. Joe May, the college’s 7th chancellor, has established the Dallas College higher education network in partnership with area school districts, colleges and universities, businesses, community organizations and others to support student success and college completion by removing barriers and providing services that help them earn a college credential and start their professional careers.
Bezos Academy is a non-profit organization that is building a network of tuition-free preschools. Our preschools offer year-round, full-day programming, five days a week, for children ages 3-5 years old from low-income families. Bezos Academy also provides students with all necessary educational supplies and services to set each student up for success, including Montessori materials, books, arts and crafts, field trips, and meals. For more information, visit: www.bezosacademy.org.