JanEsaki_2inSAN JOSE, CALIF. – August 30, 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 Jan Esaki of Borel Middle School, San Mateo, CA as the Robert Brownlee Teacher of the Year.

Jan Esaki started teaching science as a paid intern at Bowditch Middle School in the San Mateo-Foster City School District in the early 70’s.

She is a twelve-year, San Mateo-Foster City School District 7th/8th grade science teacher and Science Department Head. She also founded the school’s annual “Invention Fair.” Jan was nominated by Principal Kenyetta Cook and Assistant Principal Lana French for her leadership and innovation. “Jan is truly one of the most exceptional people I know when it comes to dedicating her life towards a goal of teaching science to everyone,” said Principal Cook.

More kudos were received from Barbara Riley, Resource Teacher, who also nominated Jan. “Jan takes new teachers under her wing, is able to spark the love of learning in the most difficult students, and is always looking for better ways to meet the needs of the school.”

As a child, Jan would watch teachers carefully to learn the kinds of things they did to ignite their imagination. “Learning anything is a complex journey, filled with ‘oh- ohs’ and ‘ah-ahs’!  Teachers play major roles in guiding their students through this process by challenging them to ask questions and to notice patterns that might lead to plausible solutions,”  says Jan. “This is where RAFT comes in!” With the very affordable materials from RAFT, my students have had hands-on collaborative learning experiences. RAFT has been a tremendous resource for my teaching. I need all types of “stuff” in order to spark the interest of students and to fully engage them.”

Every year RAFT hosts an annual fundraising dinner where education advocates, philanthropists and sponsors share an evening of food, fun and exploration. Guests have the opportunity to experience examples of the hands-on learning activities RAFT creates to help students develop important 21st century skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving.

This year’s dinner is on September 28 and the event at which Jan will be presented with her award. Join RAFT and keynote speaker Allison Goodman, Principal Engineer and Lead Firmware Architect at Intel, to explore how RAFT is shifting gears to add new services and strategies for educators, including makerspaces and other student-centered tools.

RAFT’s CEO Grainger Marburg will be presenting the 2016 Teacher of the Year award to our honoree.

“Teachers are a critical foundation to the success of our children. Teachers like Jan Esaki should be applauded and admired for the energy and enthusiasm they bring to the classroom. They make learning fun and engaging which RAFT feels is key to ensuring students become lifelong learners,” says Grainger Marburg.

Find out more about opportunities to get involved at RAFT at www.raft.729solutions.com


 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 are through hands-on learning. RAFT supports some 7,000 educators in enriching and improving the education of more than 550,000 students each year.

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