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!
Today my 3rd graders combined measurement and planning skills, language skills, creativity, and materials that might have been discarded instead of cherished . . . to create monogram cards, each as unique as its artist. It's Halloween week, and we put our capital letters "in costume". Tomorrow my 3rd graders will use their letter-writing skills to personalize their cards, put them in hand-decorated RAFT envelopes, and further the preservation of the hand-written letter as a treasured form of social connection. RAFT provides me kits that match the state's curriculum requirements, completely capture student interest, are affordable in this time of budget cuts, and that I would NEVER have been able to pull together on my own. RAFT offers me workshops that are models of classroom management while teaching activities that enrich my students' creative opportunities. RAFT inspires me with its synthesis and excitement. RAFT offers corporations a lively opportunity to do a wonderful thing for children and the financial advantage of not paying to discard their overages.
Whenever you see a great organization doing the right things, look behind for a shining star. RAFT is fortunate because founding director Mary Simon is a dedicated individual who strongly believes in what they do. So many children are served each day; things are taken from the waste stream and re-used (not recycled) and everyone wins. I love RAFT!
This is a great place to get bargain knick-knacks and doo-dads for your classroom. There are also fabulous games and activities in a bag for you to assemble and do in class. All are aligned with the state standards! And so cheap, too!