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RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching)
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

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I use RAFT online resources to get curriculum ideas, buy teaching materials at their warehouse store and use the die-cuts in the Green Room.