Dr. Don Gemeinhardt joined the Boxlight family late last year as Director of Strategic Funding. He is a grant and proposal subject matter expert who has worked with various companies involved with education, compliance training, and student, faculty, and police officer development. His role at Boxlight is focused on helping schools and districts identify funding opportunities for education technology, STEM solutions, and professional development.
This past December, the federal government approved over $54 billion for K-12 schools in response to the challenges Covid-19 has created to be used for purchasing materials and education technology to address learning loss and improve school facilities and infrastructure to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus. To explain how the funding is allocated and the work he does for Boxlight in support of schools, Dr. Gemeinhardt talked with Larry Jacobs from Equity and Access (ace-ed.org).
When asked to explain his role as Director of Strategic Funding, Gemeinhardt explained, “Our primary function is to help different organizations not only buy particular products … we have but also get through the process itself of applying for a grant. Even helping develop what (schools and districts) really want to use it for which is the justification part … that needs to be strong in any kind of grant application.”
He went on to explain the purpose of the ESSER funds, which is to “provide principals and other school leaders with resources necessary to address the needs of the individual schools.” He clarifies that the funding verbiage “really does open it up to a lot of things that relate to education, professional development, a lot of things that obviously Boxlight does.”
In speaking to the time and effort required to understand and navigate through funding applications, especially in consideration of the window that the monies are available (September 2021), Gemeinhardt stresses, “With these funding issues you really try to help … (because a) district has this amount of money. Well, with limited manpower and … all these other things going on at the same time, they need a little help.”
He goes on to say, “The schools have to get their requests to the state by the end of July in most cases … (this way) the state can then obligate this … funding by September.”
When asked about the education solutions that Boxlight has to offer that meet grant and funding criteria, he mentions MimioConnect, the STEM solutions, and professional development – a key area that schools and districts often request help with. Throughout the podcast, Gemeinhardt underscores the importance of making sure districts and schools understand the timelines involved so that they are not at risk of losing out on this critical funding.
To listen to the full podcast with Dr. Gemeinhardt, click Understanding the New Federal Funding for Schools.
For more information on how Boxlight can help your school or district find the education solutions needed to meet ESSER funding criteria, please go to boxlight.com.