New Local Partnership Awards $125,000 to Develop Nontraditional Education Opportunities in Tarrant County

July 12, 2022 — As the new school year approaches, the Miles Foundation and VELA Education Fund today announced 14 grant recipients who will receive a total of $125,000 to support nontraditional education programs that serve Tarrant County families.

The Micro grants of up to $10,000 each are being awarded to everyday entrepreneurs such as students, parents, educators, and community leaders who are leading innovative approaches to teaching and learning, such as microschools, homeschool support groups, and more.

These nontraditional models are increasingly popular with families in Tarrant County. For example, one grant recipient, Westside Learning Collective, co-led by Cara Kuhl, a former classroom teacher, supports 15 “homeschooled, unschooled, worldschooled and other alternatively schooled students to explore personal and academic growth opportunities,” as their application says.

“Families across Tarrant County and across the country are hungry for education programs that reflect their values, that are hands-on, engaging, and dynamic,” said Meredith Olson, VELA’s president. “We’re thrilled to see the demand in Tarrant County and are excited to be working with the Miles Foundation to support these local entrepreneurs.”

Across the country, VELA announced more than 300 grant recipients who are receiving more than $3 million in total. The funding for Tarrant County programs is earmarked through a new, local partnership between VELA and the Miles Foundation.

“We are proud to support these entrepreneurial education models that will help to address individual student needs,” said Grant Coates, CEO and President of the Miles Foundation. “We are honored to partner with VELA as we seek to meet community demand for quality educational options, and we’re eager to see these programs grow to serve even more Tarrant County families.”

This initial round of awards is the beginning of a $1 million opportunity for Tarrant County-area programs. Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis through October at Interested applicants can sign up at to receive updates directly from VELA.

With this latest round of grants, VELA has now awarded more than $12 million in less than two years. Grant recipients live in all 50 states and three U.S. territories.

Grant Coates, CEO and President of the Miles Foundation, and Meredith Olson, President of VELA Education Fund, are available for interviews. If interested in pursuing a story, please contact Lisa Cohen at


About The Miles Foundation:

The Miles Foundation, based in Fort Worth, Texas, endeavors to honor the legacy of its founder, Ellison Miles, through investments in education that promote the next generation’s success.  Learn more at

About VELA Education Fund:

VELA is a national nonprofit fund that launched in 2020. VELA invests in everyday entrepreneurs – students, parents, educators, and community leaders – who are envisioning new approaches that meet learners’ and families’ needs. These models include homeschool co-ops, microschools, after-school programs, and much, much more. VELA does not dictate solutions to its grantees. Instead, VELA trusts grantees to identify what their communities need and how they can best meet those needs. To date, VELA has awarded more than 1,600 grants totaling over $16.5 million to support non-traditional education models. Recipients reside in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.