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Forbes

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Oct 14, 2020
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Two years ago, Jeff Bezos announced that he would be committing $2 billion towards the Day One Fund, his first large philanthropic endeavor. The fund, the Amazon founder and CEO wrote, would focus on two areas: supporting existing organizations that provide shelter and food for families without a home, and creating “a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.”

In the same note, posted on his Instagram and Twitter accounts (his preferred platforms for personal announcements), Bezos said he would build an organization to operate the schools.“I’m excited about that because it will give us the opportunity to learn, invent, and improve,” he wrote. “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 the customer.”

Fast forward today. The Bezos Academy is opening its first school in the town of Des Moines, Washington, just to the south of Seattle where Amazon is based. In another Instagram post in September, Bezos shared that the first day of the school will be October 19, along with a photo of a classroom with a bookshelf, lined with titles such as My Papi Has A Motorcycle and Pita & Ralph’s Rotten Day. “This classroom is just the beginning,” the richest person in the world wrote. “This one in Des Moines, WA, is the first of many free preschools that we’ll be opening for underserved children.”

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