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39 Reviews
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January 30, 2012

hi i would like to say that the website i used was awsome and gave me alot of information, but i didnt even get the website for RAFT. i wish i could...does anyone have RAFTs website?? so desprite...this is a school assingment... i would really appreceate the help!! by the way sorry for anything mis-spelled! i could sometimes swear i am dislexic... i think thats how you spell it...

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 3, 2012

I love this place so much! It’s an excellent resource for affordable hands-on educational activities that I can do with my kids. As a homeschooler with three kids I have a very limited budget and RAFT provides great materials and engaging lessons to work with. If you’re a teacher and haven’t been to RAFT, you must go! They also have an online store that’s good for buying their kits and getting them shipped to anywhere in the world and you don’t even have to be a member! It is also a great place to volunteer and the staff is very friendly.

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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?

2011

May 24, 2011

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1 previous review
July 28, 2008

I'm a long-time board member of RAFT, having heard of the idea when Mary Simon first thought of starting a nonprofit that would enable teachers to use materials from community businesses to implement ... more

May 24, 2011

From the very beginning of RAFT, when it was an idea in Mary Simon's wonderful brain, until today when we're working on ways to make the RAFT magic available to the entire world, I've been an enthusiastic, willing participant in everything RAFT does. I've been on the board almost since the beginning and have led two Capital Campaigns, chaired the board and supported all efforts. RAFT is one of the best nonprofits I've ever seen based on it's mission and exciting vision, plus it's creativity in executing that mission. In addition, it is managed in a fiscally responsible manner, enabling a reserve of at least a year's worth of expenses.

The Great!

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

The many teachers I know are so enthusiastic about RAFT that it appears to sell itself. A friend who runs a large foundation said, "It seems like RAFT sells itself."

Ways to make it better...

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

Find a way for more teachers to benefit from it.

July 28, 2008

I'm a long-time board member of RAFT, having heard of the idea when Mary Simon first thought of starting a nonprofit that would enable teachers to use materials from community businesses to implement hands-on math, science and art projects in their classrooms. When Mary first came to me, I was running a management support organization called the Nonprofit Development Center, helping nonprofit staff and boards to improve their management and leadership skills. We at the NDC thought Mary's idea was so good that we helped her in every way we could to learn what she needed to know to run a nonprofit (Mary was a math teacher by profession). RAFT is now one of the most successful nonprofits in the San Jose area, having set its sights in expanding to reach all educators in the Bay Area, then California and finally nationally. It will happen because of one person's amazing vision and dedication to supporting and enabling excellent teachers and teaching. The beneficiaries are the children who, as we all know, are the future of the country.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

begin to impact the quality of education on a broader scale, replicating the concept in othe rcommunities.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 1, 2010

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October 1, 2010

For the last several years I have been involved with setting up craft projects for a Girl Scout camp. We absolutely could not provide the number or the quality of projects that we do without the materials we get from RAFT. Not only do they have great prices on craft supplies, they have unusual materials that are discards from manufacturing and they provide tools such as die-cuts and laminating. RAFT is a valuable asset to the community. They recycle unwanted items and even come up with inventive ways to use them. The employees and volunteers are very dedicated to helping teachers and students. I love RAFT!

The Great!

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

Hands-on learning is getting more difficult as education dollars are cut and RAFT makes it easy to find low cost materials. I have taken classes at RAFT and I am continually impressed with the ingenuity and creativity of the RAFT staff.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 25, 2010

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September 25, 2010

RAFT offers countless affordable-to-free resources for teachers. I found fabulous science and art lesson/experiment packets that are standards-based with materials for 20 kids already included, awesome materials for projects and cheap books. They have a room with discounted stickers and an area for prepping for projects with hundreds of different die cuts. I can spend hours there just browsing and getting ideas for science, art, math and writing projects. There are great workshops offered as well. I love RAFT! When I retire from teaching, I want to volunteer!

The Great!

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

my classroom and my teaching.

Ways to make it better...

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

have one closer to Watsonville.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the amount of resources available and the creativity that results!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very helpful and excited about teaching.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

be in more counties/cities and/or have more free resources or workshops for teachers and students.

Ways to make it better...

n/a

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

n/a

One thing I'd also say is that...

n/a

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 23, 2010

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September 23, 2010

RAFT is an amazing resource for educators and I wish every community had an organization like this. They save teachers huge amounts of money in supplies, save the aggravation of trying to find and collect enough cast-offs for a project, and provide businesses an easy way to turn trash into some teachers treasure. Two recent examples: I needed working gears for a classroom of young students to experience hands-on how gears work. Looking online it would have cost hundreds of dollars to outfit the class in any commercially available gears. I attempted making them by hand at home with cardboard, following the instructions found online, and spent many frustrating hours creating TWO clumsy gears. Then I went to RAFT, where they had a die-cut that makes gears and helped me find a bin of foam material that worked in the die-cut to create a working gear...and cost $1 for a large bag. A few hours and a few dollars later, I had several hundred working gears which I can reuse for years in my classes.

The Great!

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

My classes. They have benefited greatly because I have been able to provide lessons I could not have afforded and might not have thought of otherwise.

Ways to make it better...

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

Publicize it more and encourage the general public to recycle standard items there. Create a blueprint for how similar organizations can be set up in other communities and states. Create a lending library for larger and more expensive items.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Finding cheap materials and easy solutions to classroom dilemmas.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Helpful, informed, creative and very friendly.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand throughout the state and provide materials to thousands more teachers.

Ways to make it better...

I did sign up once for a workshop that was canceled, which is always disappointing. I'm not sure how often that happens.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

I'm not aware of all their challenges, but certainly space must be one of them. They can only offer as many materials as they can fit. And of course, money is a challenge for everyone these days.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 20, 2010

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September 20, 2010

RAFT is truly a great resource for people working with children. The idea sheets and prepackaged kits makes it easy to fully engage students in hands-on learning. There are all kinds of treasures for practically nothing... a gently used swivel chair for $10, 33 zippered cases that make nice pencil cases for only $1, colorful stickers for $.25 per sheet, it's endless. My students are fascinated with the silkworms RAFT gives away. The Green Room staff and diecut library are tremendously helpful. And if that isn't enough, there are Milano cookies in the vending machine and free coffee and cookies where you walk it. My teacher friends and I love RAFT!

The Great!

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

Their San Jose location, on-line and in workshops RAFT has provided to our school district.

Ways to make it better...

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

Not change a thing.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Inspirational goodies for cheap.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Helpful, humorous, creative.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand.

Ways to make it better...

If nothing.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

RAFT is dealing with a lot of stuff... many many items.

One thing I'd also say is that...

RAFT is great!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 18, 2010

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September 18, 2010

I am a teacher who is a dreamer, a scientist, an environmentalist, an artist, a sticker collector, a book lover, etc. When I first stepped into RAFT when it was in its infancy, it was like walking into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory! It has since changed the way I have taught all of the grades I have taught...preschool to sixth grade. Their workshops are hands-on, friendly, and a bargain (they give you tons of materials when you leave any workshop). On top of it all, I can't believe Mary Simon is working at the San Jose store-ready to help you understand the materials better. She, to me, is a hero and a celebrity for thinking up such a wonderful way to recycle products from companies. I think RAFT should expand all around the world. I would love to see it happen.

The Great!

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

My class is what it is due to RAFT's affordable prices. I try to tell everyone about RAFT, but they have to see it to believe it, I feel.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

go all around the world!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 16, 2010

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September 16, 2010

RAFT is not just for great stuff. They also hold terrific workshops for teachers. But my favorite is the wonderful instruction sheets they provide that show exactly how to use the recycled materials in the classroom. On top of that, they also bundle the kits in class size packages. Can't be more friendly to teachers than that. Great science and art stuff, truly great place.

The Great!

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

using the materials and taking the classes.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 16, 2010

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September 16, 2010

Raft has allowed me to support the educational needs of my students and lets me be super creative while on a budget!

The Great!

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

being a teacher with numerous classroom needs.

Ways to make it better...

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

create more of them!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the variety of materials, ideas to use and quantity,

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful and fun.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bring some extraordinary speakers, materials and innovation to area school districts... It could host hands on student learning and be a field trip destination.

Ways to make it better...

I could attend more workshops.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

keeping enough stock for the amount of demand

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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