Older man plying piano with young girl and son.

(Credit: Nitat Termmee / Getty Images)

A Dallas senior living community is on tap to be the second in the nation to support a Bezos Academy preschool program on its campus.

The tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschool available to low-income families is scheduled to open this fall at Presbyterian Village North. The Bezos Academy program was launched by Jeff Bezos, founder and executive chair of Amazon, in Seattle in 2020. The Dallas preschool will host 80 to 100 students in four classrooms that follow a full-day, year-round schedule. 

Presbyterian Village North parent Forefront Living announced the 10-year lease agreement for the academy partnership last week. LeadingAge Texas brought the opportunity to the attention of the company, which said that the Bezos Academy’s mission of “lighting every fire” aligns with Forefront’s mission of “making each moment matter.”

“We recognized that this opportunity fits with our desire to give back to the community whenever possible,” Forefront Living CEO Tim Mallad told McKnight’s Senior Living. “We believe in the power of generations interacting, and we witness positive outcomes of this frequently on our campus.”

While the curriculum is being determined, residents have “so much wisdom, love and live to give,” Forefront believes, and the community hopes to have opportunities to be involved with the preschool students.

“We see it as a win-win for everyone involved,” Mallad said. 

“Presbyterian Village North is honored to join with the Bezos Academy to create an environment where children in North Dallas can become creative thinkers, lifelong learners and leaders,” he said.

The preschool will follow a nine-hour day and will serve three- and four-year-olds. Families earning up to 400% of the federal poverty limit are eligible to apply. Along with education, the academy also provides students with Montessori materials, books, arts and crafts, field trips and meals. The program also covers the preschool’s operating expenses and staffing.

Bezos academies are located in Florida, Texas and Washington state. Bezos Academy Des Moines, in Des Moines, WA, launched in 2020 and is located in space donated by Wesley Homes, a not-for-profit affiliated with the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church providing a network of housing and healthcare services for older adults in the Puget Sound region.