As Back to School Approaches, VELA Education Fund Awards $2.7 Million to Expand Nontraditional Educational Opportunities in 44 States

July 13, 2022 — As the new school year approaches, VELA Education Fund today announced 294 grant recipients who will receive a total of $2.79 million to support nontraditional education programs that serve families across 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

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, including microschools, homeschool support groups, and more.

These nontraditional models are increasingly popular with families. For instance, the percentage of families who homeschool their children more than doubled during the pandemic and increased fivefold among Black families. Even with schools now reopened, the number remains well above pre-pandemic levels.

“Families 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 nationwide and are excited to be supporting these local entrepreneurs.”

In less than two years, VELA has now awarded 1,600 grants totaling more than $16.5 million. Grant recipients live in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

VELA recently changed its grantmaking timeline to accommodate prospective grant recipients, and applicants will now be accepted on a rolling basis through October. Applicants can learn more at and sign up at to receive updates directly from VELA.

Meredith Olson, President of VELA Education Fund, is available for interviews. If interested in pursuing a story, please contact Lisa Cohen 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.