Valhalla Update|March 3, 2022
An Update From Valhalla Foundation
Here is a brief update on various ways Valhalla and our portfolio have evolved over the past year:
- Over the last year, we evolved our strategy in two important ways:
- We launched a new portfolio aimed at improving data science education for students in the U.S. We believe that to be successful in the modern economy and effective participants in modern society, all students, not just those aiming for technical careers in science or research, need to be able to explore and answer questions with data – including skills of quantitative reasoning like algebra and statistics and the ability to use technology to work with data. We learned that there are many barriers preventing high-quality data science instruction in K-12 schools today, and we invested in six early-stage organizations tackling these barriers.
- In our Early Childhood portfolio, we launched a “Growth Fund” in order to improve the scale and/or evidence base of earlier stage early childhood organizations than those we have historically funded. With this Fund, we are particularly focused on identifying and funding organizations led by leaders of color, recognizing the barriers to capital that these leaders often face.
- We now have 53 active grants across our six portfolios, and we made grants to several new organizations and efforts this past year:
- We hired two new team members:
- Nancy Lue, who is a Senior Director leading our work in K-12, Data Science, and Medical Research & Talent.
- Allie Parra, who is Valhalla’s Executive Assistant and Operations Manager.
Back to Updates
- Several of Valhalla’s research and field-building grantees released new findings or resources:
- A study based on early data from Baby’s First Years’ landmark randomized controlled trial (RCT) shows that an anti-poverty intervention had a direct impact on children’s brain development. After one year, infants of mothers in low-income households receiving $333 in monthly cash support were more likely to show faster brain activity, in a pattern associated with learning and development at later ages. This RCT is ongoing and researchers will collect additional data on child outcomes over the next 18 months.
- Promise Venture Studio updated their Early Childhood Development Start Up Guide of curated resources for social entrepreneurs to include a new section on getting started with centering racial equity in your work.
- The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center released its 2021 Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap reporting on state-level progress adopting evidence-based policies that improve outcomes for infants and toddlers.
- The IMPACT Measures Tool continued to add new early childhood measures to its free, searchable database as well as educational videos and materials that help early childhood organizations increase their understanding of measurement and evaluation.
- DS4E, together with organizations including Concord Consortium, launched a Data Science for Everyone Resource Center to provide educators, families, students, and researchers with a repository of data science teaching and learning resources.