Bezos Academy and the City of Houston recently announced a joint 10-year lease agreement to open a tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschool in the Denver Harbor area to open in fall 2022, a move many are describing as a “game-changer.”
Following consultation with multiple civic agencies and community organizations, including the Houston Health Department, the Mayor’s Office of Education and the Mayor’s Office of Complete Communities, this project came to fruition.
“Our partnership with the Bezos Academy in the Denver Harbor neighborhood will be a game-changer for many families. Underserved children will have access to education that inspires their creativity and challenges them to succeed in the classroom,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “By focusing on underserved communities, we are ensuring that every child will have equitable opportunities for education that propels them to a meaningful and successful future.”
Dru Collins-Minch, Bezos Academy’s regional school leader for Texas, concurs.
“We believe all children deserve the great start that an excellent preschool provides, and there are too many communities where that opportunity is out of reach. That’s the case in Denver Harbor. We’re grateful to Mayor Turner for helping us find the right space to serve these families—ensuring their children are not forgotten.”
“The partnership between Bezos Academy and the City of Houston supports the healthy development and successful childhood of some of our city’s neediest children, and helps ensure that our future workforce will be prepared for the jobs,” said Houston City Council Member Karla Cisneros. “We are helping women get back to work, and we are giving young children a good shot at a better life.”
The Denver Harbor community, located on Houston’s east side near the Port of Houston, was identified as the place where the new school could have the biggest impact.
“When we look for partners to host Bezos Academy preschools, we try to find opportunities that meet more than just the educational needs of the child,” said Mike George, President of Bezos Academy. “The City of Houston helped us identify a site at Denver Harbor that will situate our tuition-free preschool in the midst of residential support programs for families ranging from a food pantry to health education. We couldn’t be more excited to join and support this community.”
The Bezos Academy preschool will be located in the Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center at 6402 Market St., Houston, 77020. The school, to be named Bezos Academy Houston – Denver Harbor, will feature two classrooms. The school will follow a full-day, year-round schedule and will be slated to open in Fall 2022.
Families earning up to 400% of the federal poverty limit with children aged 3-4 are eligible to apply. More information and an application to the lottery-based selection process will be posted at www.bezosacademy.org once the school opening date is set.