Amazon founder Jeff Bezos opens first preschool in Florida

A new set of Montessori-inspired schools funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has opened its first location in the Sunshine State in Orlando.

Orlando officials celebrated the grand opening of the Bezos Academy on Wednesday, March 15. The new academy is located at 1766 Mercy Drive, within the Village on Mercy, which is an affordable housing community owned by Ability Housing.

Village on Mercy
Village on Mercy affordable housing complex (Photo courtesy of Bezos Academy)

Founded by the former Amazon CEO in 2020 in Washington, Bezos Academy is a tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschool that offers year-round programming, five days a week, for children ages 3 to 5.

Classes are scheduled to start on Monday, March 20 and will be provided at no cost to families being served, including meals.

Ribbon cutting at Bezos Academy
Orlando and Bezos Academy officials cut the ribbon on the new school, which is located within the Village on Mercy (Photo courtesy of Bezos Academy)

“Today is a great day for the Mercy Drive community, and especially for our young neighbors who will grow up to become our city’s next generation of leaders,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “On behalf of our constituents in District 5, and the entire city of Orlando, I am honored to welcome Bezos Academy to the City Beautiful.”

In addition to the school in Orlando, the organization is in the process of opening multiple additional schools across the state of Florida, as well as others in Washington and Texas.

Bezos Academy at Village on Mercy is currently accepting applications from families earning up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. Children whose birthdates are between September 2, 2018 and September 1, 2019 are eligible to apply for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year. Applications for the 2023-2024 school year will open in the spring and run through the summer.

For more information on the school, or to submit an application, visit the Bezos Academy website.

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