StopWaste supports Resource Area for Teaching in upcycling repurposed materials into inspiring hands-on learning tools
Thanks to funders like StopWaste, RAFT is able to repurpose donated materials and makes creative educational kits available to more than 7,500 RAFT members, educators of all types, including over 700 educators who work in Alameda County. “The Reuse Operating Grant, was created so that organizations like RAFT could receive solid support without having to create new projects to keep their mission going,” says Meri Soll, Senior Program Manager for StopWaste.
Governed by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority, the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board, and the Energy Council, StopWaste takes a comprehensive approach to reducing Alameda County’s waste accumulations. The organization’s work influences decisions made by people at every phase of the materials management cycle, from purchasing and consumption choices, to what happens when products are discarded.
Since 2004, StopWaste has provided seven grants to RAFT. Funding has been used to improve RAFT’s capacity to receive, collect, sort, and distribute donated materials from local businesses to transform them into innovative teaching supplies and activity kits for teachers. The grants have allowed RAFT to expand its reach into Alameda County, increasing the total collected materials available for upcycling into inspiring hands-on learning resources for more RAFT members and their students.
“With strong and constant support from community members like StopWaste, RAFT is able to focus and build on one of its key tenets — to help educators, students, and the planet. An added benefit is when young learners see first-hand how simple materials help work out design problems to complex problems. Those are skills worth learning early on,” added Grainger Marburg, RAFT CEO and father of two young sons.
RAFT was founded in 1994 on a simple yet powerful idea: students learn best when they are active in the learning process. Hands-on learning has proven to deliver a richer, deeper understanding to students, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects.
RAFT provides educators with the ideas, inspiration, materials, training, and support to bring hands-on learning into the classroom, providing affordable hands-on education tools that engage students and increase their learning comprehension. This mission is achieved by upcycling donated materials from local businesses that would otherwise end up in landfills. Upcycling delivers an abundance of affordable hands-on learning materials and supplies for educators and their students while also diverting roughly 400 cubic feet of materials from landfills each and every day.
About Resource Area For Teaching
RAFT believes the best way to spark the love of learning for the next generation of thinkers, innovators, problem-solvers, and creators, is through hands-on learning. A nonprofit organization since 1994, RAFT serves 12,000 educators each year who teach over 900,000 students. Find out more about RAFT and how to get involved at http://www.raft.729solutions.com.
StopWaste is a public agency responsible for reducing the waste stream in Alameda County. The agency helps cities, business, schools and residents reduce waste through source reduction and recycling, market development, technical assistance and public education. StopWaste is governed jointly by three boards, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority, the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board, and the Energy Council.