Launched in 2014, Ignition Community Glass (ICG) is committed to advancing racial equity in the arts by exposing Chicago youth to the dynamic and therapeutic elements of glass making.
Threefold Schoolhouse is a place where young people ages 4-14 discover their calling and change the world. The Pennsylvania-based microschool infuses technology with hands-on learning opportunities and experiences like apprenticeships and summer internships.
Karla Withrow and Alycia Wright are among the hundreds of VELA grant recipients — and millions of families in the U.S. — and who’ve elected to homeschool their children. VELA chose to make a video about Withrow and Wright to show what homeschooling in 2022 can look like, from one coast to another.
Learn more about Karla’s program, EarthChild Explorers
Learn more about Alycia’s program, Cultural Roots Homeschool Co-op
Students at Seattle School for Boys engage in a project-based curriculum that accommodates individual learners, small groups, and large groups in collaborative inquiry. The microschool calls on brain science to deliver a developmentally appropriate curriculum to boys that is heavy on social-emotional learning opportunities.
Located outside of Atlanta, Logic Creative Labs bills itself as families’ “homeschool away from home.” They offer a huge range of quality classes for all ages as well as open studio hours in their maker space, art room, and science lab. As part of being a supportive place for homeschool parents and kids to work and learn, Logic Creative Labs also helps with transcripts and college preparation.
Nova Labs encompasses after-school programs, a competitive youth robotics program, summer camps, adult classes, community events, and a small business incubator. Over 400 families have memberships, giving them access to the 3D printers, laser cutters, and other high-tech tools in one of the largest makerspaces in the country.
Free Forest School has more than 200 local chapters in 49 states, and together they’ve created approximately 100,000 nature education experiences for students. Thanks to a bridge grant from VELA, the organization plans to expand its membership to at least 50,000 students with an emphasis on creating access to families living in lower-income and underserved communities.
In Denver, a dozen Latino students attend La Luz, a bilingual mobile microschool. Tuition-free and funded entirely through grants and donations, La Luz immerses middle school-aged students in a six-week rotation of learning experiences at different locations.
Learn more about La Luz: Website
In Port Arthur, Texas, parents pitch in to teach hands-on academic and enrichment classes and make athletic programs available to homeschooling students. This is Lighthouse Home School Support, part of the Southeast Texas Educational Partnership.
“Why do we have to know this?” Kids ask, and Wise Young Builders (WYB) answers. Its program isn’t about creating carpenters. It’s about developing critical-thinking and problem-solving skills and exposing kids to a wide world of careers.
“For students who may already be behind their peers, the coaching and resources we offer have helped families ensure that the gap for these kids hasn’t widened further during the pandemic.” – Isis Spann, Founder of Kindergarten Kounts and FUNdamentals of Learning.
“This is an iconic moment for families. If schools won’t reinvent education, we have to reinvent it ourselves. And our goal at Engaged Detroit is to make sure families have the tools, so that choice is in their hands, because ultimately every parent wants their kid to be successful, successful and happy” – founder Bernita Bradley
When the pandemic struck, local leaders in North Las Vegas teamed up with national experts to create a first of its kind public-private microschool. The model is working so well that talks are now underway to ensure the Southern Nevada Urban Microschool Academy (SNUMA) continues as an option for North Las Vegas families even after the pandemic ends.
Learn more about SNUMA: Their story