VELA awards grants, elevates its grantees, and builds connections

Everyday entrepreneurs have incredible stories to tell.

Through video storytelling, millions of people are able to see the creative, resourceful ways our grantees are making delight-driven learning available to learners across the country.

VELA Selfies – Ignition Community Glass

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…


VELA Selfies – Threefold Schoolhouse, PA

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…


VELA Selfies – Memphis Lab School, TN

The Lab School is an innovative microschool located in the heart of Memphis serving ages 3-9 (PreK-4th grade). The school was founded by Coi Morrison,…


Read the Classrooms Anywhere Report from VELA

We surveyed Micro grant recipients to hear more about what they value, what they need, and how they define success – in their own words. Visit the report microsite to learn more.

This is a dynamic, connected community.

VELA elevates grantees’ work with national and local media, video storytelling, and building connections amongst grantees. National news outlets have run dozens of stories about our grantees, including the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and PBS.

Parent-led Academics Thrive in Albuquerque

Launched in 2015, Parent Led Academic Network Team (PLANT) brings together members of the community who are passionate about a subject or have a special…

August 2, 2022

Kids Can Stretch at Schelastic Academy

Yes, Laura Galindo knows that there is no “e” in Scholastic. The reason she named her education program Schelastic Academy is because of her commitment…

August 1, 2022

Self-taught Computer Programmer Builds Map to Help Homeschooling Families

There was a time when Justin Shell worked as a naval architect focusing on designing stabilization systems for mega yachts. His job, he says, was…

July 26, 2022

Supporting Black Homeschooling Families in Alabama

During the height of the pandemic, U.S. Census Bureau data showed a fivefold increase in Black households homeschooling, and many have not returned to…

July 21, 2022

Explore programs

Everyday entrepreneurs are responding to children’s educational needs by designing a wide variety of program and service models: learning environments, instructional content, and support services for families and learners. Grantees operate local, regional, and national programs from all 50 states and 3 territories. Explore program types and locations in the map below.

Learning environments
Learning content
Support for families
Support for learners

Read more about VELA's work

Classrooms Anywhere

Insights from Community-driven Education Models

In 2021, VELA conducted a survey of hundreds of recent Micro grant recipients to explore their values, their desired impact, and the resources needed to continue providing programs that meet their learners’ and families’ needs.

Learn more about Classrooms Anywhere.

2021 End-of-Year Report

VELA met the moment in 2021, awarding more than 780 grants totaling over $8 million to everyday entrepreneurs in every corner of the country. Overall, 53% of our grantees identified as people of color, 45% identified as entrepreneurs, and 52% led nontraditional learning environments.

This report summarizes VELA’s first full year in operations. As you’ll see, we’re just getting started.