PHOENIX – A for Arizona announced today the second round of Southern Arizona Microgrant awardees. A for Arizona’s Expansion & Innovation Fund provided microgrants to empower innovative school and community leaders, teachers, and families to launch community-driven models, develop innovative learning models aimed to redefine teaching and learning, create and scale more student-focused programs, and reimagine where, when, and how learning takes place.

“Once again, Southern Arizona entrepreneurs are showcasing incredible and innovative programs, models, and solutions to provide greater educational opportunities for every learner,” said Emily Anne Gullickson, Founder and CEO of A for Arizona. “Student learning loss and growing disengagement in class are real issues facing our community and our new awardees have developed innovative ways to reignite a passion for learning and help Arizona students accelerate on track. We are proud to fund these bold ideas and to share the impact they have on student growth, achievement, and family empowerment.”

The new Southern Arizona Microgrants awardees include:

  • Agua Caliente Elementary School, Tanque Verde Unified School District, Pima County
  • E. Rose K-8, Tucson Unified School District, Pima County
  • Crane Elementary School District #13, Yuma County
  • Gila Vista Junior High School, Yuma Elementary School District One, Yuma County
  • Literacy Connects, Pima County
  • Mexicayotl Academy of Excellence, Santa Cruz County
  • No More Failing Schools, Pima County
  • Rio Rico High School, Santa Cruz Valley USD No. 35, Santa Cruz County
  • SARSEF, Pima County
  • Tanque Verde Elementary School, Tanque Verde Unified School District, Pima County
  • Utterback Middle School, Tucson Unified School District, Pima County

The Southern Arizona Microgrants are supported by private philanthropic support in collaboration with the VELA Education Fund, Burton Family Foundation, Pima IDA and Community Investment Corporation, as well as generous individuals in the community.

“The A for Arizona Southern Arizona Microgrant has been a great opportunity to fuel the entrepreneurial spirit in Southern Arizona and help fund permissionless models that are having a real impact on students,” said Meredith Olson, President of VELA. “We are proud to support more educators across Southern Arizona who are embracing innovation and collaborative partnerships to strengthen their local community.”

The microgrant applications were reviewed and assessed by a committee of local and national education, philanthropic and industry leaders. In this second round, the Vetting Committee awarded over $271,000 in microgrant awards with the potential to reach nearly 15,000 students in Southern Arizona.

A for Arizona provided up to $25,000 in seed funding through their Expansion & Innovation Fund for bold proposals that accelerate education innovation and opportunity for PreK-12 students in Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz, and Yuma counties.

For more information about the grant recipients selected, please view the Southern Arizona Microgrant snapshot profile.

Since the launch of its Expansion & Innovation Fund, A for Arizona has awarded over $21 million in seed funding forming a diverse portfolio of model replications, small learning communities, solutions to modernizing K-12 transportation, innovative learning models aimed to boldly reimagine education, and identifying best practices to better support Arizona’s most vulnerable student populations.

Meet the Recipients


About A for Arizona
At A for Arizona, we firmly believe that expanding excellence is our best chance to ensure all K-12 students have access to, and benefit from, high-performing schools and all educational opportunities. We imagine a day where excellence has spread, and failure has fallen away, leaving only the best learning options available for all students.