RAFT and Ravenswood School District Tackle Math Teaching Challenges in East Palo Alto With Help From HP

August 6, 2010

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ —

News Facts:

  • Ravenswood School District and RAFT have joined forces to celebrate great teaching and bring hands-on STEM teaching skills, workshops and programs to Ravenswood School District teachers.
  • 2009 marked the first year of the HP-funded initiative with a successful pilot program that RAFT conducted to define and tackle the most difficult math teaching challenges among a select group of K-8 Ravenswood educators, including special education teachers.
  • Based on the success of the pilot program, RAFT received an HP grant to expand the program to reach more Ravenswood District teachers this year, offering training workshops, materials, RAFT memberships and professional development support at RAFT’s Redwood City and San Jose teaching resource centers.
  • Increasing teachers’ confidence and ability to engage and motivate students with “hands-on” teaching activities is a proven method of increasing learning and ultimately educational achievement. According to “The Nation’s Report Card,” teachers who conduct hands-on learning activity out-perform their peers by more than 70% of a grade level in math and 40% of a grade level in science (U.S. Department of Education, 1999).
  • At RAFT’s “Celebrating Great Teaching” event, Mary Simon, RAFT’s Executive Director, will thank HP for its support in expanding the pilot program to reach additional teachers and increase STEM educational excellence
  • The new San Mateo County Superintendent-elect of Schools, Anne E. Campbell, will kick off the speaking program by sharing the excitement that hands-on teaching brings to San Mateo County schools and students every day.
  • Ravenswood Education Foundation Executive Director, Charles Scandlyn, will share his vision for what young learners at Title 1 schools can achieve when they have access to hands-on learning resources and the support of community leaders to foster educational outcomes for Ravenswood School District students that are on par with those in surrounding communities.
  • Aaron Williamson, Ravenswood District’s Math Coordinator, will share the impact that the pilot program has had on teaching and student achievement at Ravenswood schools and express appreciation for HP’s support in bringing STEM teaching innovations to local schools.
  • Nearly 9,000 teachers and community-based educators have joined RAFT to find solutions for making science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and other classroom concepts come alive and motivate learning and achievement among young learners. RAFT provided more than 50,000 hands-on education project kits last year.

Event Details

  • The program will be held today, August 6th, at RAFT Redwood City, 101 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City, Calif. A Cajun lunch provided by Louisiana Territory caterers and networking will begin at 11:30 am. The speaking program will commence at 12:00 pm.
  • Beginning at 12:30 pm, a select group of Ravenswood and RAFT member teachers will lead the crowd in purchasing their class materials and hands-on science and math activities for the new school year.
  • At the same time, prospective members and others will be able to experience some of the most popular RAFT ideas and activities through on-site demonstrations.

Supporting Quotes:

“Thanks to retiring County Superintendent Holbrook’s vision and efforts, RAFT now has a vital presence in San Mateo County,” said Anne E. Campbell, the new San Mateo County Superintendent-elect of Schools. “Over the past year, teachers from throughout our county have used RAFT to design wonderfully engaging hands-on learning experiences for their students. It’s great to see the impact RAFT has had in one brief year and to witness first-hand the special partnership that has developed with the Ravenswood School District. I enthusiastically support the great teaching that RAFT helps make possible, especially in the key areas of science and mathematics.”

“Under-served school districts such as Ravenswood face special challenges that are exacerbated in the current economic climate,” said Charles Scandlyn, Executive Director of Ravenswood Education Foundation (REF). “REF’s goal is to help foster educational outcomes in our school district that are on par with those in surrounding communities. RAFT’s partnership in providing affordable, hands-on learning resources and materials supports our teachers to help students get engaged with science and math and raise their achievement levels.”

“We are excited about expanding last year’s pilot to include even more teachers,” said Aaron Williamson, Ravenswood School District’s Math Coach. “The workshops tackling math teaching challenges have built our teachers’ confidence and given them new skills. Teachers know that students truly learn when engaged, and this program creates a more dynamic classroom environment where fun, inquiry, and learning all coexist. Ravenswood students will definitely benefit from this program! Thank you, HP and RAFT!”

“Today, we are happy to announce that HP has funded a grant to enable RAFT to reach additional Ravenswood teachers,” said Deborah Nelson, Chief of Staff, Sales and Marketing, HP Enterprise Business. “HP is committed to helping teachers effectively engage, educate and inspire students to pursue math and science and become 21st Century thinkers, scientists and engineers.”

About RAFT

Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) is a non-profit organization that transforms the classroom experience by providing teachers with the materials, training, and support they need to increase student achievement. RAFT’s hands-on resources make learning more engaging, memorable, and real for pre K-12 students. The organization offers professional development workshops, how-to demonstrations, low-cost classroom supplies, and pre-packaged classroom activity kits in math, science and art. RAFT impacts 600,000 children each year by “repurposing” materials commonly used in the day-to-day operations of a wide variety of businesses. By supporting RAFT, these companies minimize their footprint on the environment and enable teachers to offer curriculum-based, hands-on activities for pennies per student. Founded by former math and science educator Mary Simon 15 years ago, RAFT serves 8,000 teachers in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit www.raft.net or call RAFT at (408) 451-1420.

About HP

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.

About Ravenswood Education Foundation

The Ravenswood Education Foundation (REF) was incorporated in June, 2007 as a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its vision is to help the Ravenswood City School District develop educational outcomes that are on par with students from the surrounding communities. The Ravenswood Education Foundation collaborates with all our stakeholders–school administrators, teachers, city officials and business leaders–to generate more support for improvements to the Ravenswood City School District. In addition to monetary contributions, the Foundation’s work fosters increased volunteering, advocacy, and community trust.

    Media Contact:
    Andrea Corry
    TopMind PR and Marketing
    (925) 640-5482

SOURCE Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT)

Source: newswire

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