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RAFT - Resource Area For Teaching

Cause Area

  • Arts & Culture
  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy
  • Environment


1355 Ridder Park DriveSan Jose, CA 95131 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

RAFT is a non-profit organization that believes hands-on teaching is the best way for teachers to teach and students to learn. We provide creative hands-on activities, educational resources, workshops and inexpensive materials, (many donated by local businesses), to enrich pre K-12 education and community group programs. Our goal is to assist teachers, non-profits and community groups, by providing materials and ideas for day-to-day teaching and for supporting professional growth.

Thanks to widespread participation from the community, RAFT is able to add significant value to donated items and provide teachers and community groups with creative strategies, practical tools, and low-cost materials for enhancing their hands-on teaching skills. The ideas and materials supplied by RAFT enable students to explore subjects such as math, science, and art through first-hand experience, bringing educational value to thousands of donated items.

It started with a simple idea that grew and evolved:

  • What if every child experienced learning as a collaborative process, through fun, hands-on activities? What if every teacher had access to hands-on teaching materials and was trained on how to use them? What if we found a continuous stream of materials without the usual cost barriers?
  • What if we did all this to advance education and provided ongoing programs for hands-on teaching?

Over the years, RAFT has developed into a thriving organization. Today, RAFT serves more than 6,800+ members throughout Silicon Valley. Our diverse educational services reach into the classroom and beyond, enriching the education of thousands of children each year. Using RAFT materials, kids pre-K-12 learn about math, science, art, and technology in fun and creative ways.

RAFT Believes
  • Classroom teachers and community leaders are the key to quality education.
  • Children are naturally eager, interactive learners, and this trait must be nurtured.
  • Hands-on teaching is a proven and preferred method of instruction.
  • Teachers and community groups need a steady supply of materials for hands-on learning.
  • Teachers need professional training opportunities to learn hands-on teaching techniques.
  • Excess supplies from businesses are plentiful, and businesses want to give.
  • Teachers need more opportunities to network and share ideas.


There's no place like RAFT.

RAFT is a "creative resource center," bursting with the creative energies of volunteers, teachers, and staff. Hundreds of members visit RAFT weekly. They come to explore the warehouse, take classes, share ideas, and discover unique treasures for teaching hands-on. Many walk away with a renewed sense of purpose and fun, not to mention a carload of materials they won't find anywhere else. Members save on art supplies, pre-assembled activity kits (with enough materials for 10-25 students), and rebuilt computers. They can view numerous displays, showcasing clever ideas for using RAFT materials (that fulfill State curriculum requirements), and participate in hands-on demonstrations. It's a magical experience that transforms the way teachers think about teaching and, ultimately, the way students learn. Take the Tour


Would you recommend RAFT - Resource Area For Teaching?
3 reviews Write a review
by Karen M. (December 5, 2016)
Great opportunity to help with packaging, labeling, pricing, sorting the required material provided. We met other people in students in college. It's a great way to give back and help organizations that support teachers! I would recommend for students and parents. I went with my nieces and my husband.
by Ally K. from San Mateo, CA (October 25, 2016)
I volunteered several times at the RAFT location in Redwood City and really enjoyed my time there. The staff was friendly and the tasks were great (lots of organizational stuff). A nice environment to be in!
by Ann K. (May 16, 2014)
Great place to volunteer as an individual or as a group. Easy to sign up for a volunteer slot on their online calendar. Lovely to see all the various kits set up for teachers to use, and the different tools used to experience concepts. Love that at the winter holiday time, they allow teachers even more free books to give to their kids as gifts.

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