The Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) started with an idea. What if:
- Every child could get excited about learning through collaborative hands-on activities?
- Every educator could obtain low-cost materials and the training to use them in hands-on projects?
- 21st Century learning skills developed through hands-on education could become pervasive and improve educational outcomes?
RAFT's mission is to help educators transform a child’s learning experience through hands on education to one that inspires the joy and discovery of learning. We are doing this today in the Bay Area with some 8,000 educators, who teach both inside and outside the classroom. RAFT’s products (Activity Kits & Idea Sheets), services (professional development and mentoring) and low-cost teaching supplies enrich and improve the education of over 600,000 young people each year.
Hands-on education translates abstract and complex subjects by incorporating activities that help children learn by doing. This ignites their interest, nurtures their natural curiosity, and also helps maintain a lifelong love of learning.
RAFT helps overcome the barriers to hands on education. RAFT develops innovative hands on project Idea Sheets and pre-packaged Activity Kits created around important concepts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as language arts and other subjects. These Idea Sheets and Activity Kits conform to California Education Standards. RAFT also empowers educators through professional development activities like workshops and mentoring.
To make hands on instruction affordable, RAFT underwrites its education activities through grant and donor support. To provide kits and materials at low cost, the organization has developed an innovative supply chain process that converts commonly found or discarded materials from the corporate community into hands on Activity Kits with the help of thousands of volunteers.
A Certified Green organization, RAFT provides an abundance of inexpensive materials while helping to preserve the environment. We are proud to receive many outstanding reviews on Great Nonprofits.
Founded in 1994, RAFT is a thriving non-profit organization with Learning Resource Centers in San Jose and Redwood City, CA as well as affiliates in Sacramento, CA and Denver, CO.
If you are an educator RAFT is the place to come!
If you want to help RAFT improve education in your community and prepare young learners to tackle 21st Century challenges, there are many ways to get involved!