RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching) is enabling educators to make hands-on-learning possible at affordable prices in their classrooms.

SAN JOSE, CA, August 15, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching) is enabling educators to make hands-on-learning possible at affordable prices in their classrooms. This year, while families are actively purchasing supplies for their children, RAFT has made lesson planning and replenishing classroom materials easier for educators.

RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching) expects its largest crowds of the year for its annual Back to School Event in San Jose this Friday & Saturday, August 18 & 19, 2017.

Throughout RAFT’s 20+ year history, the nonprofit has equipped thousands of educators with creative materials and tools to set up their classrooms and to make education more engaging and effective for an entire generation of students.

The RAFT Back to School Event has become so popular in the school community that it has been called “Black Friday for Teachers.” Crowds will line up each morning to access a range of unique supplies, such as hands-on learning tools, furniture, computer monitors, and creative reuse materials, available at low prices thanks to the contributions of donors and efforts of volunteers.

Teachers spend an average $500 of their own money on teaching materials every year, making the availability of affordable and free resources especially important.

“RAFT is proud to celebrate and support the invaluable work our educators do,” said Kipp Lanman, chief executive officer of RAFT. “Now more than ever, engaging learning resources are a growing necessity for teachers inside and outside the classroom for building and assessing the critical skills students need for their future success and ours.”

The organization’s professional development staff will demonstrate new hands-on activities which enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education while instilling essential 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving. These skills are central to the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards but are also necessary for preparing the nation’s future workforce. The new Activity Kits “Brace Yourself”, which allows students to simulate the impact of an earthquake, and “Laundry Math”, a counting activity for young children, are just two of the nearly 100 hands-on learning activities RAFT has developed to help educators teach complex concepts while also saving them time and money.

“RAFT Activity Kits are just what the kids need to bring a concept to life,” said Julie DiMaio, primary school teacher, and Cub Scout leader. “They allow me to engage an entire classroom at a fraction of the cost of creating the projects myself. I’m able to use limited budgets to obtain beneficial teaching tools quickly.”

RAFT is a membership-based organization open to educators of all types, including classroom teachers, after school providers, homeschool educators, and Scout leaders. Teachers interested in joining or attending the event should visit http://www.raftbayarea.org for more information about hours and the location, as well as becoming a member. The RAFT website also has a variety of free online resources, including more than 700 Idea Sheets aligned with national curriculum standards and Scout badges, a valuable resource for educators around the country.

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