An Achievement Honoring Outstanding Expanded Learning Partners

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – October 27, 2016 – RAFT – Resource Area For Teaching, the leading solution center to help educators in transforming a child’s learning experience through hands-on education, announces Master Teacher of Education R&D, Eric Welker, was recognized by Santa Clara County Region 5 for his work in expanded learning programs.  He is the recipient of one of the 2016 Breakfast of Champions awards and was recognized by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo Thursday, October 20th.

The Breakfast of Champions is the Santa Clara County After School Collaborative’s annual event to celebrate outstanding individual achievements of partners who have contributed to the success of expanded learning programs in our county. Eric was instrumental in the success of many after school and summer programs. He trained hundreds of staff from multiple youth serving agencies in project based learning and inquiry based strategies.

“I am excited about this award. The majority of my career has been spent in schools so receiving this out-of-school recognition, in support of an after school/ summer programing, outside of the normal classroom setting, is pretty special,” says Eric. “It’s nice to know we’re (RAFT) having an impact on that part of the educational experience for students, not just impact in the classroom.”

Eric was nominated by the Boys and Girls Club of Silicon Valley for whom he led training sessions on design challenges and project-based learning using a library of lessons plans available from RAFT. The Boys and Girls Club selected eight of these lessons to pilot and are now currently using them as a part of their programming. From facilitating professional development experiences for staff—unifying theory and practice,— to co-creating a clear pathway for the Club’s evolving impact agenda, Eric has been a thought-partner in the Boys and Girls Club’s most important project: developing the 21st century skills of at-risk youth.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs is proud and honored to nominate and recognize Eric Welker as our Champion of the Year. Because of Eric—his knowledge, expertise and understanding of youth-centered learning methods—Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley has developed an engaging, longitudinal project-based curriculum that has ignited our youth’s passion for science and inquiry,’” says Mark Washbush, COO Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley.  “The Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley is proud to recognize Eric Welker’s partnership, friendship and outstanding contributions to our organization and our movement.”

“On behalf of all the Collaborative agencies, I give a heartfelt thank you to Eric! As a result of his efforts, students in our county’s after school and summer programs are engaged and learning valuable 21st Century skills that will make them thrive…in school and in life,” says Mara Wald,  Regional Lead of Region 5 After School Partnerships. “As a result of the professional development Eric has offered, expanded learning program staff have increased confidence to lead learning opportunities that are more intentional and meaningful.”

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About RAFT – Resource Area For Teaching


RAFT – Resource Area For Teaching is a non-profit, resource solution to help educators transform a child’s learning experience through hands on education to one that inspires the joy and discovery of learning. Founded in 1994, RAFT focuses on providing educators of all types – classroom teachers, after school educators, homeschool educators, scout leaders, early care and education professionals – with effective, engaging, affordable hands-on learning resources aligned to national curriculum standards. RAFT, believes the best way to spark a love of learning for the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers, and creators is through hands-on learning. RAFT supports some 7,000 educators in enriching and improving the education of more than 550,000 students young year.


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