Amazon’s Next Big Thing Isn’t Stores—It’s Preschools

In the last year Amazon has been expanding its reach into new territories, from buying Whole Foods to rumors of a potential acquisition of movie theaters. Now, Amazon might expand somewhere it’s never been before: school. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just unveiled plans to create a network of non-profit preschools.

One year ago, Bezos put out a call to his Twitter followers for suggestions on philanthropic projects. Now the Amazon founder has announced his company’s first philanthropic effort. Through a new initiative called the Bezos Day One Fund, Bezos is committing $2 billion dollars towards the foundation of free preschools to serve low-income communities across the country. The initiative will also fund existing nonprofits that help homeless families gain access to housing and food.

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The group focused on preschools will be called the Day 1 Academies Fund, which will be in charge of launching and running the schools. According to Bezos, they will be “high-quality, full scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools.” He also explained that he plans to run them in the same style as he runs his corporation, driven by Amazon’s principles.

“Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession,” he wrote in a note posted to Twitter that served as his official announcement of the project. “The child will be the customer. ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ And lighting that fire early is a giant leg up for any child.”

There is no word yet on how long it will be before these preschools will be open and ready to welcome its first pint-sized customers…er, students.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Wokandapix via Pixabay



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