RELEASE: New VELA Education Fund Launches with $1M Meet the Moment Grant Program

VELA Education Fund will support innovative, out-of-system, student-centric opportunities
Meet the Moment grant program provides fast grants in response to COVID learning disruptions

With millions of students facing school disruptions this fall, the newly launched VELA Education Fund announced a $1 million Meet the Moment grant program to support families, educators and innovators building and leading innovative initiatives to support continued student learning. The launch of the VELA Education Fund comes as polls show six in 10 parents with at least one child in K-12 are likely to pursue in at-home learning options instead of sending back their children this fall.

VELA Education Fund, a project supported by the Walton Family Foundation and the Charles Koch Institute, will support innovators and educators in their pursuit to reimagine and improve access to learning.

“Parents, educators and entrepreneurs are reinventing when, where and how learning happens,” said Marc Sternberg, K-12 Education Program director at the Walton Family Foundation. “At such a pivotal moment for America’s students, nothing feels more important than investing in the future of school and learning and in the future of our next generation.”

“VELA is committed to increasing the availability of access to new student-centric education models and experiences,” said Meredith Olson, board member of VELA Education Fund. “We’re excited to launch the Meet the Moment grant program as a demonstration of VELA’s commitment to powering local, individualized and innovative solutions that help every student rise and continue learning during this unprecedented moment in history.”

With the Meet the Moment grant program, VELA will fund efforts that yield something new or transform existing models, so long as they provide responsive and authentic learning experiences for young people.

In order to rapidly distribute funds, VELA is partnering with four partners responsible for distributing the grants to families, educators, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Four partners will lead grantmaking:

VELA is partnering with Transcend to create a community of interaction, learning and growth to support the Meet the Moment grant program partners and families, as well as, gather and summarize learnings, insights and findings from the overall Meet the Moment grant program.

Out-of-system models and programs include learning pods, low-cost micro-schools, homeschool cooperatives, youth-led programming and learning, online content, and more. VELA Education Fund aims to support local, regional, and national education entrepreneurs bringing their bold ideas to life.

In addition to the Meet the Moment grant program, VELA announced three other inaugural partners that exemplify VELA’s approach.


VELA Education Fund is a national, nonprofit fund dedicated to accelerating education innovation and opportunity for every learner. The fund provides charitable grants driving early and accessible funding to everyday entrepreneurs – community members, families, and young people – developing authentic and responsive learning experiences outside of the traditional K-12 system. VELA Education Fund connects its grantees to a national network and provides them with a platform to elevate their work and learning.