Dallas College News Update


Staff are busy getting classrooms ready at Bezos Academy Lancaster – Cedar Valley.

​Contact: Liz Scruggs
972-860-5448​; MScruggs@DallasCollege​.edu

For immediate release — April 10, 2023

(LANCASTER, Texas) — Dallas College is celebrating the opening of Bezos Academy Lancaster – Cedar Valley, a tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschool at its Cedar Valley Campus, the first of two preschools hosted by the college. A second Bezos Academy preschool on the Dallas College Mountain View Campus is anticipated to open in the fall.

Bezos Academy aims to nurture the potential in every child to become a creative leader, original thinker and lifelong learner by increasing access to early childhood education in under-resourced communities. The preschool provides students with all necessary educational supplies and services and follows a full-day, year-round schedule. The Bezos Academy Lancaster – Cedar Valley facility at full capacity will serve up to 40 students and their families, featuring two large classrooms, faculty support rooms and a full kitchen where free breakfast, lunches and optional packed dinners are prepared.

Bezos Academy Lancaster – Cedar Valley is still accepting student applications. Families earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level with children aged 3-4 years old are eligible to apply. This means that, for a family of four, the annual household income can be up to $120,000 to qualify. Preference is given to foster children and children experiencing homelessness. Eligible families can apply online.​

A new sign welcomes families to Bezos Academy Lancaster – Cedar Valley.

The ribbon-cutting on April 14 will officially celebrate the school’s opening and provide an opportunity for community members to tour the facility, located at 3030 N. Dallas Ave. in Lancaster (see details below). Dallas College leaders, including Chancellor Justin Lonon and Vice Provost for the School of Education Rob DeHaas, will participate in the ceremony along with Tracie Brown, superintendent, Bezos Academy National School Network, and Sabrina Watkins, partnership development leader, Bezos Academy. Representatives from IN2 Architecture and F&P Construction, LLC, the developer of both preschools, will also attend.

"Childhood development and education are critical to our future as a nation,” said Vice Provost Rob DeHaas. “Bezos Academy preschools like the ones at our two Dallas College campuses are designed to bring high-quality instruction to early age groups in some of our communities that need it most and that might be left behind if not for the vision of public-private partners like Bezos Academy, which understands that an early investment in children from underserved backgrounds lifts us all.”

Bezos Academy Lancaster – Cedar Valley is the first of five preschools slated to open across Dallas County. Today, Bezos Academy has 14 preschools open in Florida, Texas and Washington.

“Thank you to our partners at Dallas College for making it possible for Bezos Academy to provide local Lancaster families and their children the great start that an excellent preschool provides,” said Ishii Tavarez, assistant district school leader for Bezos Academy. “We look forward to being a part of, and adding to, the rich learning environment of Dallas College Cedar Valley Campus.”

What: Bezos Academy Lancaster – Cedar Valley ribbon cutting

When: Friday, April 14, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Who: Dallas College and Bezos Academy leaders and community partner representatives

Where: Dallas College Cedar Valley Campus, F Building, 3030 N. Dallas Ave., Lancaster, Texas 75134

Please see the Cedar Valley Campus map for additional details. Special parking is available for media who RSVP. Please contact Alex Lyda at ALyda@DallasCollege.edu if you plan to attend.

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About Dallas College

Dallas College, formerly the Dallas County Community College District, was founded in 1965 and consists of seven campuses: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland. Dallas College offers online learning and serves more than 125,000 credit and continuing education students during the fall and spring semesters. Dallas College also offers dual credit for students in partner high schools and early college high schools throughout Dallas County. Students benefit from partnerships with local business leaders, school districts and four-year universities, and Dallas College offers associate degree and career/technical certificate programs in more than 100 areas of study, as well as a bachelor’s degree in education. Based on annual enrollment, it is the largest community college in Texas.

About Bezos Academy

Bezos Academy is a nonprofit 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 DallasCollege.edu/BezosAcademy.