Spread the word. There’s $7 Billion dollars in EdTech funding coming, but schools have to apply over the summer.
Schools and libraries could miss out due to short application window – Help us get the word out!
MILTON, DE, US, June 18, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Federal government is releasing $7 billion in Emergency Connectivity Funding for home computing devices, hot spots, and internet service to solve the digital divide for millions of students and families across the U.S. The funding could go unused if schools and libraries donâ€™t apply during the short application window that falls during summer vacation. Digital Wish, a Delaware-based nonprofit, is trying to get the word out as the application opens June 29th, and closes 45 days later on August 13th– just as schools are returning from vacation. The nonprofit has pooled a wealth of information together in an online webinar hub to show applicants what is required to take advantage of this special funding. Through a series of webinars, Digital Wish talks to experts covering frequently asked questions, funding tactics and strategies. The funds could literally solve the shortfall of laptops, hot spots and internet service for millions of Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But we need your help to spread the word.
Call to Action!
You can help us solve the digital divide. Digital Wish is asking everyone to urge their local schools to apply before the August 13, 2021 deadline. The $7 billion in funding is passing through the established E-rate program, however many schools donâ€™t realize that the E-rate rules have changed. In an unprecedented shift in policy, all schools qualify, regardless of their free lunch percentages (wealth). They simply have to show that thereâ€™s a need for student devices and connectivity in the home. In order to prepare to apply, schools need to find out two things immediately:
1) Quantify their need – Assess the need for internet and computing devices in studentsâ€™ homes. Digital Wish has developed a ready-made survey with reporting that schools can distribute to parents through their emergency snow-day notification systems. The free survey will be available June 23rd and schools can register at Digital Wish.
2) Get price quotes – Written pricing on hot spots, internet service, and computing devices will be the basis for funding each school’s need.
And finally, schools must apply to win. That application MUST be filed over the summer. Schools can get step-by-step instructions on how to prepare to apply at Digital Wish. Everyone is invited to visit Digital Wish and share art, resources, tweets, and videos to help spread the word.
Heather Chirtea, Executive Director of the nonprofit Digital Wish, is worried many schools will miss out on the opportunity because they arenâ€™t informed of the changing E-rate rules and simplified application process.
â€œMany smaller districts donâ€™t even apply to E-rate because they either donâ€™t qualify, or donâ€™t have anyone to complete the application,â€� Chirtea said. â€œWe have a host of grant-writing consultants who can help.â€�
Digital Wish has also created a series of webinars entitled, â€œSolving the Digital Divideâ€� to escalate the issues and share solutions in a permanent video archive. The webinars break down all those new E-rate funding qualifications.
â€œE-rate has historically been a discount program based on the poverty-level of the student body,â€� said John Harrington, E-rate and education technology expert and CEO of Funds for Learning. â€œHowever, now the new rules allow for all schools to be paid for the full cost of home internet service and up to $250 per hot spot and $400 per computing device. All they have to do is show thereâ€™s a need.â€�
His is one the voices featured in the webinar series. More Digital Wish webinars are launching daily for school administrators, principals, teachers and donors. Itâ€™s now the end of the school year and itâ€™s very hard to get educatorsâ€™ attention because they are preoccupied with end-of-term assignments and graduation. Now is the time to join Digital Wish and help get the word out about this crucial funding in order to bring equity to students and families across the country that lack the technology resources to access their education We need your help to spread the word. Together we can solve the digital divide as one nation, undivided, with equity, and education for all!