RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching)

Rating: 4.9 stars   39 reviews

Issues: Education, Job Training

Location: 1355 Ridder Park Dr San Jose CA 95131 USA

Mission: RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching) believes that hands-on teaching is the best way for students to learn. RAFT transforms surplus materials donated by local businesses into interactive learning experiences for students in math, science, technology and art, providing teachers and community groups with creative tools to enhance education and promote hands-on learning.
Results: RAFT is an innovative nonprofit (501c3) pursuing the advancement of hands-on learning in our schools. It was founded in San Jose, California in 1994 as the creation of Mary Simon, who continues to lead the organization. The RAFT programs serve 10,000 teacher members at the two sites. The organization operates on a $3 million annual budget used to operate programs and subsidize teachers, providing needed tools for teaching, and professional development opportunities. * Hundreds of Innovative Idea Sheets, tied to CA state standards are posted on the RAFT web site, * 50,000 classroom kits (assembled by volunteers) are provided each year for state-standard aligned activities.
Target demographics: Pre-K through 12th grade teachers. Many children learn best through the exercise of tactile and kinesthetic senses. RAFT provides hands-on teaching tools for over 800,000 students throughout the Bay Area.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 7.500 teachers throughout the Bay Area
Geographic areas served: Greater San Francisco Bay Area with affiliates in Sacramento, CA and Denver, CO
Programs: RAFT collects the surplus items from local businesses and transforms them into learning materials in math, science and art. RAFT also offers professional classes for teachers to improve their hands-on teaching skills. 600 teachers come to our facility each week to gather supplies and learn new teaching techniques.
2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 77-0365627
408-451-1420
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

I have been a member of RAFT for at least 10 years and find it a fantastic resource for all the youth organizations I'm involved with. Great teacher lesson idea sheets, classes & kits. Most effective resource to stretch a limit public school budget. The variety of supplies is excellent and constantly updated with new items. Newsletter email announcements keep us informed on the latest info. I recommend anyone involved in a nonprofit group take the time to visit RAFT, its worth your time.

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

how its grown and gotten better organized over the years.

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

keep adding kits and lesson idea sheets

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

Fantastic value for your money. Love the creativity they have for ways to reuse recycled donations.

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

very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.

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

have several locations and even more supplies

Ways to make it better...

more new items, more frequently

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

making it more accessible to schools outside of the bay area.

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

hope RAFT stays around for decades to come

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

I am proud to be on the board of RAFT. This is a great organization that really improves the quality of teaching and learing.

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

The excitement of teachers who come to RAFT

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

Be very proud

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

The talented and motivated staff and the tangible difference that RAFT is making

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

Motivated and competent

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

Grow faster, replicate faster, and serve more teachers

Ways to make it better...

There were RAFTs in every community

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

managing growth

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

RAFT really helps teachers to teach more effectively and is easy and inexpensive for teachers to use

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

RAFT makes an active and tangible difference in the quality of our children's education. I am so proud to be able to support and endorse them!

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

passionate about the mission and committed to excellence. They know and understand both teachers and students.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

RAFT offers incredible bargains for teachers. The thing I like best about it is that they have created activities and lessons for teachers and packaged up all the materials and instructions ahead of time. They have great ideas and great bargains. The people are very friendly, outgoing and helpful. I drove a long distance to come here and would come back again.

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

predone lessons and activities

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

Ways to make it better...

Not so crowded. A cart holding area would be nice.

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

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

I have been coming to RAFT for a few years. It has saved me hundreds of dollars. I would be lost without it. The stickers are the best in the area.

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

my classroom

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

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

going down the asle

Ways to make it better...

there were not so many clients

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

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

As a first time visitor to RAFT, I have found a wealth of resources that will make our classroom learning environment more dynamic. The pre-packaged science kits are user friendly. Also there is a wealth of KLUTZ art books that give crafty ideas to run with. Overall, I can see myself coming back time and again.

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

Shopping around at a reasonable price and finding discarded items that can be turned into interesting projects

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

Excellent materials, well-organized, great hours, helpful staff, and wonderful prices. I appreciate RAFT and the opportunities it affords me to present to my students.

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

my classroom.

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

do it just like it is.

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

the ability to provide exceptional opportunities for my students.

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

most helpful.

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

provide more materials.

Ways to make it better...

I had had unlimited resources.

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

probably storage.

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

thank you.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

Wonderful resources for teachers to get ideas to use recyclables. Great prices for teachers to use materials for all areas of learning and all ages.

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

-

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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