Extras For Creative Learning Inc

Rating: 4.69 stars   26 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Environment

Location: 443 Warren St. Dorchester MA 02121 USA

Mission: Our mission is to stimulate creative learning and help children awaken their creative potential in education and play through the use of reusable, recycled, and surplus material.
Results: Every year we save close to a million dollars in materials that would have been discarded, and put them back into the community.
Target demographics: Greater Boston Educators and Artists
Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 70,000 children, educators, and artists benefit from our supplies every year.
Programs: We also offer workshops.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 04-2688287
617-635-8284
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

As a program manager, the resources available to me from Extras for Creative Learning were cost saving and mission serving. Staff used supplies that were recovered scraps or waste from industry that might have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Lengths cut from the mylar roll ends were especially valuable for making kaleidoscopes and saved a lot of money sourcing shiny flexible material. Staff at Extras are dedicated to repurposing industry leftovers for the benefit of those with limited resources.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

ways I never expected! I have sourced some great products for Extras, offering 3 gallon plastic buckets with lids at no cost, and saving the corporate donor the cost of having them carted away as waste.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Partner with one of the Business Schools and invest in developing an internship program for students in business, science education, or other related field.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you find this group?

I heard about this group from a teacher.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

My new awareness of reducing the carbon footprint has changed my way of thinking about everything.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

EXCL is an extraordinary organization! I visit at least 6-8 times a year and gather bags upon bags of materials to use in my practice as a local speech-language pathologist. I have gotten numerous used/new binders, which I have used to create communication books for nonverbal children. I have gotten hundreds of tab dividers for the binders, which serve a purpose of organizing events/topics within the communication binders. I have gotten crayons, paper, and other materials that are not available in stores (cardboard tubes, sticky-back foam) to enhance creative projects for learning. I don't have to buy Christmas cards for years (and they are brand new!). I purchased 24 inch white boards for $5 a piece...that is unheard of! EXCL is an alternative way to assist my creative and professional needs. It is a great way to support recycling and repurposing of material.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Extras for Creative Learning is an amazing resource for my work as a child therapist. I can get tremendous amounts of materials for my clients to use in creative, therapeutic work.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

ExCL has been one of my go to places for supplies for the last 10 years as an art teacher and artist. It is so fun to see what they will have each time. It has saved me thousands to dollars and brought hours of fun challenges to my students. I tell everyone I know about it. Everyone that works at ExCl are natural problem solvers and love talking about and sharing ideas. Truly a treasure.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Wow! what can I say to summarize my experience with ExCL? It is a TREMENDOUS organization---one that truly pursues it's mission statement wholeheartedly. As a Boston resident you can't beat the materials, guidance and support from the staff at ExCL. They are warm, friendly, knowledgeable, intelligent and fun. Sometimes I come in to poke around and see what new supplies they have in and I always leave inspired by conversations with staff and the ideas they bring to life!

It's amazing to see how all the pieces of the puzzle come together at ExCL. I love knowing that the materials I am now using were once headed for a dump, but now are brightening up the lives of my students. I am a huge environmentalist and I think ExCL is a great model that could easily spring up around Boston and the country in general. I am also continually amazed at how organized and easy to use ExCL is.

I have to take a minute to comment on someone else's posting, to politely, but emphatically disagree with their opinion on the quality of staffing. As a client/customer at ExCL, I haven't had even ONE experience that has been less than stellar over the last 4 years I've been an ExCL customer, and I come every month. In fact, I feel the staff go out of their way to be customer-service focused and helpful. It's one of the reasons that I love ExCL--the people that work here are an amazing team, and it feels like family to come and visit. I hope many more people get to experience ExCL in all it's glory! I've enjoyed it and have referred many friends and colleagues!!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The staff are great and are always full of fun, creative ideas and super helpful. The materials are great, and you CANT beat the price! so affordable for teachers and educators!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

clone it! seriously!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

As a mother, crafter, and lover of all things recycled and reusable, ExCL is one of my Happy Places. You never know what wonderful and wacky stuff you'll find there! Lindsay, the director, is helpful, knowledgeable, and creative--always thinking of ways to illuminate the experience for shoppers, and making the place runs smoothly with both a limited budget and staff.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

school volunteering, parenting, crafting

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find it more funding, if I could.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I LOVE EXCL!! The materials are amazing and the stuff is very knowledgable about what to do with random stuff. Its a great place to volunteer too!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

materials for kids, helping the environment!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not a thing....

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Excl has quickly become my favorite place to find work related craft and project supplies as well as supplies for my personal artistic endeavors. The staff are helpful and very kind. They have been so supportive and encouraging when I was trying to get a rather complicated, student-centered craft project started and they offered excellent ideas and helped me find exactly what I was looking for. Both Lindsay and Jodi have taken time to walk with me through the store to scout out supplies and to help me carry things when I've gone overboard! I visit Excl at least once a week to see what new things have come in and I think I will have to renew my membership multiple times this year due to my frequent visits...but its so incredibly worth it!!! My office space at my various schools have been taken over by the wonderful supplies found at Excl and my house has now been consumed by my renewed artistic streak...inspired by Excl! Thank you everyone at Excl for helping my students and I find our inner artists!!! See you soon!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my work and my personal every day life. The supplies provided at Excl have helped many of my counseling students build self esteem and create projects they are proud of!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More recognition of what they do! I would spread the word (and I do!) because this place is a total find!!!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

ExCl has bent over backwards for my department in the West Springfield Public Schools! If I'm looking for something specific I can give them a call and ask about it. Since we are more than 2 hours away they are kind enough to help us out this way. I wish I could get there more often to collect some of the amazing finds they make available to teachers for a FRACTION of the cost of retail. Just the savings alone on furniture and archive materials has saved my department over a $1000 this semester alone!
Jodi and Lindsay have been super helpful every time we shop and I thank them for their many kindnesses over the years I've been a member.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my classroom and school

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

more the whole shebang to western MA

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Great materials for Boston Public Schools kindergarten teachers! Creative materials are made, used and displayed in their classrooms by students and adults.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Boston Public Schools

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More hours of operations.

 
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