SEATTLE — Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said Thursday that he is giving $2 billion to start a fund that will open preschools in low-income neighborhoods and give money to nonprofits that help homeless families.

Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth about $160 billion, says he’ll call it the Bezos Day One Fund. An Amazon.com Inc. spokeswoman confirmed that the money will all come from Bezos, though there are few details about how the fund will operate.

In a post to his Twitter account, Bezos said one part of the fund will give money to organizations and groups that provide shelter and food to young homeless families. The other part will operate free preschools in low-income communities, where “the child will be the customer.”

It’s not yet known what his preschools will look like except that they will be based on the teaching philosophy of Maria Montessori, which focuses on play-based learning that caters to individuality and social-emotional development.

Bezos, who founded Amazon as an online bookstore more than two decades ago, has seen his wealth surge along with Amazon’s stock. Forbes magazine placed him at the top of its list of billionaires for the first time this year, surpassing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett.

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.