Jeff Bezos at the Economic Club of Washington D.C. on Thursday evening, interviewed by David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group investment company. (Screenshot via YouTube / CNBC)

Jeff Bezos was drawn to focus a large portion of his new $2 billion philanthropic foundation on preschool education because of the “powerful compounding effect” that comes from getting kids started with with the right education, the Amazon founder and CEO told an audience in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night.

“There’s no doubt, we know for a fact, that if a kid falls behind, it’s really, really hard to catch up, and if you can give somebody a leg up when they are 2, 3, or 4 years old, by the time they get to kindergarten or first grade, they’re much less likely to fall behind,” Bezos said at The Economic Club of Washington, D.C. “The money spent there is going to pay gigantic dividends for decades.”

RELATED: ‘The child will be the customer’: How billionaire Jeff Bezos will bring a key Amazon value to philanthropy

The new Day One Fund, announced by Bezos via Twitter on Thursday morning, is starting with an initial $2 billion endowment, but he confirmed on stage that he expects to ultimately provide additional funding to the organization. The initiative will also fund existing programs to help homeless families, but Bezos made it clear that he will be more directly involved in the preschool initiative.

“I’m very excited about that because I’m going to operate that,” he said. “That’s going to be an operating nonprofit. I’m going to hire an executive team. There’s going to be leadership team. We’re going to operate these schools and we’re going to put them in low-income neighborhoods.”

Bezos was less forthcoming about where Amazon will put its second headquarters, despite efforts by interviewer David Rubenstein …read more

Source:: GeekWire


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