Mayor's Office Press Release
City of Houston Announces New Partnerships Bringing Tuition-Free Bezos Academy Preschools to Houston in 2022
February 3, 2022 -- Today, the City of Houston announced three new 10-year lease agreements between several partners and Bezos Academy to open tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschools in the Houston area beginning in fall 2022.
The organizations working with Bezos Academy are Community Family Centers, New Hope Housing and San Jacinto College. These agreements follow last week’s announcement of the partnership between the City of Houston and Bezos Academy to open a preschool at the Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center.
“When we started on our mission to help close the preschool access gap, we knew we couldn’t do it alone,” said Mike George, President of Bezos Academy. “What we didn’t know is that we’d find partners like Mayor Sylvester Turner whose enthusiasm for this work rivals our own. Add to that the amazing leadership from Community Family Centers, San Jacinto College, and New Hope Housing, and we couldn’t feel more inspired about this opportunity to serve the children and families of the City of Houston.”
"The City of Houston's partnership with Bezos Academy will offer access to Montessori-inspired preschools in two of our Complete Communities, which have some of the highest rates of childhood poverty in our city," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "While there are multiple components to the program, none is more critical than early childhood education and development. I am incredibly grateful that the Bezos Academy chose Houston and look forward to working together to improve educational opportunities for children and their families."
Studies show that children who have access to high-quality early childhood programs complete high school with lower rates of suspension.
In response to the news, President and CEO of Community Family Centers, Maritza Guerrero stated, “Community Family Centers has been proud to provide low-cost, quality, preschool education to Houston’s East End for more than 20 years through our Los Niños Montessori Preschool program. We are excited for Bezos Academy to continue and add to that legacy by expanding the reach of a quality Montessori-inspired program to those who need it the most. I look forward to seeing the impact that this program will provide to the community that we have dedicated the past 50 years to serving.”
“New Hope Housing (NHH) has offered affordable housing and services to Houstonians since 1995. We have long believed that linking housing to education is an important key to help families offer their children a bright future path,” said Joy Horak-Brown, President and CEO of New Hope Housing. “Having a Bezos Academy preschool at NHH-Reed realizes that dream.”
“We are excited to partner with Bezos Academy to bring a quality, no-cost education to more families in our North Campus community,” San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer said. “Once the Bezos Academy preschool opens later this year, the number of children being served at this facility will more than double.”
Community Family Centers will host a preschool featuring four classrooms on its facility at 7524 Avenue E. While New Hope Housing’s preschool will be located at the Reed Family Center facility at 2605 Reed Road and will feature two classrooms. San Jacinto’s preschool will operate at their North Campus Child Care Center.
All schools 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 bevposted atvwww.bezosacademy.orgvonce thevschool opening date is set.
About Community Family Centers
Community Family Centers/Centros Familiares de la Comunidad (CFC) is a multi-service non-profit organization that has offered a wide range of bilingual services to families within Houston’s impoverished Greater East End for nearly 50 years. From humble beginnings as a group of community volunteers, CFC has grown into an agency with a $2.7 million annual operating budget, 48 staff members, and more than 500 volunteers, who serve over 40,000 clients each year. The organization’s goal and mission is to equip families with the tools they need to become self-sufficient members of the community.
About New Hope Housing, Inc.
New Hope Housing opened its first property in 1995, with 40 units of single room occupancy (SRO) housing. Today, New Hope is the state’s leading provider of supportive housing, with eight (8) SRO properties through the city, serving formerly homeless or at-risk citizens. New Hope began serving families in 2018, with the opening of NHH-Reed. The goal at Reed is to help families lift themselves from generational poverty. New Hope currently has two (2) workforce housing properties under construction. For more information, please visit www.newhopehousing.com.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the people of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top five community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College spans five campuses serving approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.
About Bezos Academy
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.