RAFT is approaching the end of its 25th year, and we have a lot to share with you!
This past summer we completed a 2nd year of our Infinity STEAMED Summer School, where 50 students spent five weeks at RAFT learning about how to create foundations for engineering, while developing emotional and physical skills necessary for better self-esteem. They tested new RAFT activity kits while learning about coding, woodworking, laser cutting, and media/video production. 98% of our attendees came from minority backgrounds and 44% were from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. One student said “ Infinity Summer School means joy and learning and happiness to me!”
Back to School in August was a hub of frenzied activity as 500 teachers returned to RAFT to purchase supplies to stock their classrooms.
RAFT member, Cindy B., said “I love all the support, especially about project-based learning.”
As we blast off towards our 26th year and beyond, we want to share with you our trajectory for the year accelerating towards our mission of inspiring joy through hands-on learning. Our three main focus areas are:
Confronting the equity gap: We know that early exposure to STEAM is critical to build the next generation of innovators, and we want to make sure that all students have access to rigorous, engaging learning. We’re doing this through targeted partnerships with high need districts and schools.
Continue to build a community of hands-on STEAM Learning Engineers: Through low cost resources, training and embedded support, we help teachers step away from their textbooks and printed worksheets and instead engage their students more directly through hands-on learning. As a result, teachers we work with report that they now provide more opportunities for students to drive their own learning and significantly, that they’re increasing the amount of science they teach in a given week by more than ½ hr.
Continue to align learning activities with newly adopted next generation science curriculum: We’re growing our learning kit activities to include story-telling and writing to support cross-curricular integration, and to accelerate problem-solving skills to address the global challenges that our students will inherit.
As the new CEO of RAFT, I couldn’t be more thrilled with what lies ahead for our organization. With your support we can expand our services to include more school districts and schools.
Please consider making a gift to our annual fall campaign. You will be making a world of difference for teachers and students with your support.
I encourage you to reach out to me with your thoughts and ideas on how we can serve our community better. You can get closer to RAFT by visiting our San Jose location or following us on social media.
Thank you for your support,