San Jacinto College today announced a lease agreement with Bezos Academy, which will bring a tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschool to the College's North Campus.
"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 almost double."
As part of the agreement, Bezos Academy will cover operating expenses for the preschool programs at no cost to the eligible families being served, while providing everything that the children need during the day, including meals. The school will serve up to 80 students across four classrooms.
"Early education is essential for the future development and success of children," said Mike George, Bezos Academy president. "We look forward to working with San Jacinto College to build a strong foundation for children who wouldn't otherwise have access to affordable preschool in the East Harris County area."
The North Campus Children's Center will continue to run under normal operations through the end of May 2022. The facility will then be closed for five to six months to allow for renovations that Bezos Academy will make to support the Montessori-inspired preschool program with plans to open in late fall 2022. This change will not affect the child care services offered at San Jac's Central Campus.
Families earning up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level with children aged 3 or 4 may apply. Admissions preference is given to foster children and children experiencing homelessness. More information, specific criteria, and an application to the lottery-based selection process will be posted at bezosacademy.org once the school opening date is set.
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 41,000 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.