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Book Drive for Women in Prison

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Book Drive for Women in Prison

Book DriveIn years past we have worked with our friend Sally Lieber, retired Assembly Member (who is currently running for State Senate in California) on book drives for women in prisons. We're doing it again, except this time a bit differently. In the past we asked people to donate any of their own used books. This time, the women have asked for very specific books, AND, they have a wonderful librarian who is committed to helping them get them. This is where you come in! The budget is very limited for the library so we've offered to rally our partners in peacemaking and ask them to help us buy some of the books for the library. The books range from $15 to $30. So, we've set up a page on our web site where you can buy as many books as you'd like and we'll donate them to the library on your behalf! Click here to visit that page. You can also stop by the store and help with this campaign. We're open Monday through Saturday except...... a brief vacation.....

A Brief Vacation

And.... now that we've got this campaign launched (please please please participate) we're going to take a few days off. Our friends Alan and Karina will be running the store on Saturday (please stop by and say hello to our A Team!!!). The store will be closed Monday and Tuesday April 15/16. We'll be back on Wednesday the 17th. 

Thank You!!!!

As we celebrate the beauty of Spring, we are as always grateful to you, our partners in peacemaking, for being part of doing good in the world. We and you are making a difference! 

Together We Make A Difference!

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So Many Ways to Make A Difference!

A kindly pair of nomads travels the country in a van, along with their water-loving dog, and stops by shops like ours to bring us fair-trade treasures they have collected from artisans around the world. We look forward to their once or twice a year visits because we know that they will have products that you will love, and that sales of these products help individuals, families, and communities around the world thrive. 

At Reach And Teach, we see Fair Trade as one of the key ways to empower people to live healthy and sustainable lives, taking advantage of materials that are local, using skills that have been honed for generations, and sharing culture across time and borders.

The chimes in the photo above are fair trade from India. The sounds are beautiful and each time you hear the chimes ring you can know that you've made a difference in the lives of people many miles away.

In this month's newsletter we'll share a few more stories of products that make a difference and we'll let you know about our exhibit at the Home Schooling Conference August 11th and 12th. 


In the last year the folks who create the fair-trade soapstone carvings we get from Kenya have gotten "woke" with the messaging they engrave onto these hearts. One friend of the shop who works with a local non-profit bought "Resist" hearts for everyone on his team. 

There are lots of other hearts with great messages to help you resist, persist, and thrive, plus, of course, you or someone you love might also enjoy some of the wonderful animal carvings we offer including lions, penguins, seals, owls, elephants, hippos, sea turtles, cats and of course dogs!

Solace Mist

Sometimes a product helps the world in a bunch of different ways! Solace Mist sprays help to remove negative energies so that your positive energy can shine through. The essential oil ingredients are fair trade and the family behind the products are among the most loving and caring people in our lives. And, Solace Mist is currently donating all proceeds from sales through our store to RAICES, the Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services. RAICES is on the front lines helping to get migrants out of detention and reunited with their families, and then, representing those families seeking asylum in immigration court. 

Plastic Bags & Utensils? NO!

We've been working with the folks at Chico Bags for almost the entire time Reach And Teach has been around! When you check out at our front counter we offer the opportunity to make a difference in the way you shop for produce and how you eat on the run. 

Our new produce bag sets let you shop for three different kinds of produce and store them in reusable bags that are designed to keep each type fresh and safe. All the bags fit into the handy apple holder! This is a great substitute for those plastic bags in the produce aisle or the farmer's market. 

And. for those of you who need to eat on the go, why use plastic utensils when you can use ToGoWare from Chico Bag? Everything you need for lunch on the go including chopsticks and a handy pouch with a clip for easy transport.  

Peace, Salaam, Shalom

"I have a friend who is struggling with a lot of stuff right now and I want to give her something to hold onto that will remind her that things can get better." 

We hear something along those lines in our shop once in a while and among our go-to suggestions are these world peace marbles. Made from recycled glass by artisans in Mount Shasta, with incredibly detailed images of the earth, each with the word peace in different languages, these keepsakes help us feel good about the world each time we see and hold them. 

Come See Us!

Speaking of feeling good about the world, please know that every time someone walks into our shop it makes us feel a little better about the world too! We hope you'll stop by our shop in San Mateo soon. And... if you happen to be around San Jose August 11th and 12th we'll have a giant booth at the Home Schooling Conference at the Double Tree by Hilton. It is a wonderful gathering of folks from all over Northern California and in the many years we've exhibited at the conference we've felt warmly embraced and appreciated for our progressive products. 

Entrance to the exhibit hall is free from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 3pm on Sunday. For more information visit the HSC web site.

Announcing Our Retirement - Ten Years from Now

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Eclipse Day and New Lease!

Guessing that the subject line of our email might have gotten your attention, we wanted to let our friends around the Bay Area know that on the day of the eclipse we had a great viewing meetup at our shop AND signed an agreement with our landlord, extending our lease another ten years. Retirement? Yes. By the time that lease is done we plan to be retired (68 and 69 years young). But, between now and then, we're planning to be right here in San Mateo helping you make the world more peaceful, sustainable and inclusive. 

We signed that lease believing that you, our partners in peacemaking, want and need us to be here. Since the election we've heard from so many of you, how difficult things are these days, how frustrated, burned out, worried, outraged, tired, you are. That's one of the reasons we signed that lease, because we want to be an oasis of peace and hope and action. 

So, for our Fall newsletter, we want to mention some of the ways we and you can be working together to make a difference. Ready? 


"I Need My Mother! She's A Dreamer." That's the sign this boy is holding at an immigration rally in Redwood City on September 6th, the day after Attorney General Sessions announced an end to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). 

Hundreds of people gathered, Dreamers told their stories, and local faith leaders pledged to stand by immigrants, even providing sanctuary from ICE should they come to deport our neighbors and friends. If you know of someone who needs sanctuary and don't know where to turn, come to us! We're connected with several local congregations and organizations that will do everything in their power to help, including rapid response teams that can be called on a moment's notice to show up where needed. 

In the shop we have great books about immigration, an Immigration Myths poster that clobbers those pesky "alternative facts" some talking heads like to spout, and plenty of buttons and bumper stickers to help you spark important conversations.

She Persisted

From Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls to Elizabeth Warren's newest book to Girls Who Code, we've got a ton of resources demonstrating the power of women past, present and future. 

And, we continue to offer products made by women's cooperatives around the world, including Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Nepal. From worry dolls to beautiful scarves, we've got products you'll love to wear, use, and display and we'll make sure you can also tell the story behind each product, knowing that your purchase supports women and communities near and far while also empowering YOU! 


With An Inconvenient Sequel in the theaters people are feeling the need to reduce, reuse, and recycle, more important than ever. We've got what you need to do that! Stop using paper towels, stop throwing away food, stop spraying aerosols to clear the air, learn how to eat for just $4 a day and be healthier for it! You can do all that and more by visiting our shop. 

Check out the story we did for our booth at the San Mateo County Fair for more details on how you can.... wait for it.......... save $5,000 a year!

And... if you're inspired to do even more for sustainability, consider joining the Cool Cities team which meets in our shop once a month. 


Reach And Teach was thrilled to support the opening of San Mateo's Pride Center (yep, San Mateo has a Pride center) with a donation of books and in addition to a bunch of posters the center bought we donated a few more! The center is up and running with wonderful programs, support services, terrific staff and volunteers, and is a friendly comfortable place LTBTQQI folks of all ages can simply drop by for a little bit of quiet time or social time.

Craig Wiesner is also on the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission and invites anyone who is LGBTQ, living or working in San Mateo, to make their voices heard by taking a survey about what life is like in this county. Click here to visit the survey page which has links for an adult and youth survey in English and Spanish. 

Craig also recently wrote an op-ed for the San Mateo Daily Journal on gay life in San Mateo and spoke at a County Board of Supervisors meeting where the board unanimously voted to oppose President Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military. Click here and select agenda item 9 to see Craig speak and the supervisors vote.

Toys, Games, Books, Gifts, Chocolate, Tea, Olive Oil

You canvassed, marched, clicked, wrote letters, phone banked, protested, prayed, watched, listened, tuned in, tuned out, hugged, cried, laughed.... Maybe you just need a few minutes of peaceful music, the sound of a gurgling fountain, a warm smile, a cup of tea and a taste of chocolate... maybe a child's laughter... you'll find all of those at Reach And Teach. 

What's new? Lots! Today we got our first bunch of gorgeous Artifact Puzzles, made from environmentally-friendly plywood, laser cut, soy-based inks, from a teeny tiny company in Menlo Park (talk about local)! You have to touch the pieces to believe the quality and beauty of these puzzles. 

So come in and check these out. Or just say hi.


On days when the store is too quiet we sit and wonder... are we doing the right thing? Are we making a difference? Usually, within minutes of such thoughts, someone comes in the door, someone with a story to tell, someone needing a gift for someone very special in their lives, someone grieving a loss or celebrating something joyous, and they, you, remind us that yes, we are making a difference. 

We'll keep on going then, for somewhere around ten more years now that we have a new lease. Come see us on 25th Avenue real soon! We'll be here, unless we get an urgent call to help one of our neighbors.

Wanna join us? Come by and we'll tell you how.

Retirement? Not quite yet!

Put On Your Creativity Hat and Win Makey Makey!!!

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What would you create if you had a Makey Makey, an invention kit for the 21st century. You could turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with programs on the Internet or write your own programs using Scratch. Makey Makey is a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between. AND, since we're including Makey Makey in our demonstrations at the San Mateo County Fair AND at the Northern California Home Schooling Conference, the wonderful creators of the product at JoyLabz have offered us an opportunity to give TWO away to the most creative inventors in town.... and that could be YOU! 

If you've never heard of Makey Makey, check out this video to learn more about it. Then, read on about the contest and ENTER!!!

After watching the video, you can also get a really good introduction to Makey Makey from an lesson. Click here to check that out. And, the fine folks at Makey Makey have TONS of great lesson plans and ideas on their web site. Click here to visit their lesson plans. (Teachers: You are welcome to enter this contest! Think of all the great ways you can incorporate Makey Makey into your classroom.)

The Contest:

What would you like to create with Makey Makey? Think of something really innovative, truly useful, educational, or entertaining, that utilizes recycled / upcycled materials, or maybe the controllers could be the ingredients for your lunch! Whatever you decide, make sure there's a super-cool factor!

Fill in the form below and tell us your idea and we'll be giving a Makey Makey to the best entry! No purchase necessary. Entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, use of upcycled materials, and clarity and completeness of the entry. Contest is open to U.S. residents only. If you're under 18 make sure you ask your parents before you sign up. Your information will NOT be shared with ANYONE except the judges at Reach And Teach.

Contest entries will be accepted from June 15th, 2016 through July 31st, 2016 August 20th, 2016. Up to TWO winners will be announced on this page on August 2th, 2016. The winner will also be notified by email.

Welcome Drew Durham

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Drew DurhamReach And Teach is thrilled to welcome Drew Durham back to our shop as Assistant Manager. A few years back Drew had worked for us as an intern as he started working on a Masters Degree at San Jose State University. Now... TA DA... he has completed his degree.

Over the last few years, while working on his degree, he has also been working at Linden Tree Books and will now be splitting his time between there and our shop in San Mateo. 

Drew's specialty is Young Adult books and he'll be managing that section of our shop with his keen eye for excellent titles matched with his passion for a more peaceful and just world. 

Drew has a really special gift for being able to listen to someone who is searching for something and matching them up with just the right item. So if you are on the hunt for something special, come on in and give Drew a try! His usual days at the shop will be Wednesdays and Fridays. 

We're really glad to have Drew on the team and hope you'll stop by, congratulate him on completing his degree, and welcome him to 25th Avenue.  

Songs of Freedom Concert January 24th

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In Concert
Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore
Songs of Rebellion by James Connolly
Irish revolutionary socialist, trade union leader, political theorist (1868-1916)

Sunday, January 24, 7:30 PM
First Presbyterian Church PALO ALTO, Social Hall
1140 Cowper Street, Palo Alto
Contributions requested. Wheelchair accessible.

“Until the movement is marked by the joyous, defiant singing of revolutionary songs, it lacks one of the most distinctive marks of a popular revolutionary movement” – James Connolly

Songs of Freedom is the name of the songbook edited by James Connolly and published in 1907. Connolly’s introduction is better known than the collection for which it was written, containing his oft-quoted maxim: “Until the movement is marked by the joyous, defiant singing of revolutionary songs, it lacks one of the most distinctive marks of a popular revolutionary movement, it is the dogma of a few and not the faith of the multitude.” Though most of the songs were of Irish derivation, the songbook itself was published in New York and directed to the American working class, explicitly internationalist in its aims.

From the rollicking welcome of “A Festive Song” to the defiant battle cry of “Watchword of Labor,” Songs of Freedom accomplishes the difficult task of making contemporary music out of old revolutionary songs. Far from the archival preservation of embalmed corpses, the inspired performance turns the timeless lyrics of James Connolly into timely manifestos for today’s young rebels. As Connolly himself repeatedly urged, nothing can replace the power of music to raise the fighting spirit of the oppressed.

Giving expression to Connolly’s internationalism, musical influences ranging from traditional Irish airs to American rhythm and blues are combined here in refreshing creativity. As for the songs themselves, nine have lyrics by Connolly, three were written about Connolly, and one, “The Red Flag,” was chosen by Connolly to be in the original Songs of Freedom songbook of 1907, subsequently becoming a classic song of Labor.


Mat Callahan is a musician and author originally from San Francisco, where he founded Komotion International. He is the author of three books, Sex, Death & the Angry Young Man, Testimony, and The Trouble With Music. He currently resides in Bern, Switzerland.

Swiss vocalist Yvonne Moore burst onto the scene in a major way with her debut release Walkin’ the Blues, where she was heralded as the “best blues voice in Switzerland”.

Sponsored by
Reach and Teach, PM Press and Peninsula Peace and Justice Center

The Reach And Teach Personal Gift Advisor

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We LOVE it when folks come into our shop and tell us about someone special in their lives for whom they are trying to find the perfect gift. The feedback we've gotten over the years is that we do a pretty good job at that. If there's someone in your life for whom you are looking for just the right gift but you can't visit our shop in person, please use this form and we'll do our best to help you. Even if we think there's something someone else has to offer, we'll point you in the right direction.

Santa Claus! Saturday December 5th 1pm to 3pm

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Santa Claus is coming to 25th Avenue in San Mateo and will be hanging out at our shop on Saturday December 5th from 1pm to 3pm. Stop by and tell Santa your wishes and also take a photo or two. FREE

We are also collecting new toys for Bay Area kids in need through San Mateo's Samaritan House holiday project. Bring along an unwrapped toy and put it in the barrel and we'll make sure it finds a very happy home. 

Thoughtful Christianity: Book Talk with Ben Daniel November 14th

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We are thrilled to have friend, pastor, and all around great guy Rev. Ben Daniel speaking about his newest book at our shop! Please join us for what promises to be a wonderful converstation about thoughtful Christianity. Snacks and beverages will be provided and there will be copies of the book available for purchase and signing.

If you can't make it to the talk please click here to order a copy of the book.

About the Book:

"The next revival must be an awakening in the intellect of Christians ready to mark the life of the church and of the broader society with a thoughtful faith."

Thoughtful Christianity provides a guide to Christian faith that honors tradition while embracing modern thought and valuing critical reflection. Daniel examines the extreme polarization of Christianity in the last century and argues that American Christians are in need of an awakening of the mind. He suggests a way of life that includes commitment to education, high value placed on curiosity, and instruction from "those with the courage to be corrected." Divided into three parts, the book explores how science can inform faith, the marks of a thoughtful life, and some suggestions for living a thoughtful life. Daniel shows us how we can move forward, unbound by labels, to know and serve God better.

About the Author:

Pastor Ben DanielBen Daniel is pastor of Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California. He is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and provides commentary for KQED FM, the largest NPR affiliate in the United States. He is the author of The Search for Truth about Islam: A Christian Pastor Separates Fact from Fiction and Neighbor: Christian Encounters with "Illegal" Immigration, named Religion Book of the Year by ForeWord Reviews.

Click here to order your own copy of the book from Reach And Teach.

Who Is A Chimpanzee Book Talk May 5th

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Reach And Teach is excited to have the authors of Who Is A Chimpanzee coming to our shop to do a book reading and discussion on Tuesday May 5th at 7pm. The Half Moon Bay review wrote a story about the authors and the book that helps tell their story so well that we'll share part of it here (and you can read the rest there). 

The authors will read from the book, have a brief discussion and Q&A, and will have the book available for sale and signing. This is a family-friendly event so bring the kids! Light refreshments will be served. FREE


It all started in La Honda in the 1970s, with Jeff the chimpanzee, bears, bobcats, a mountain lion or two, a wolf, Wally the wallaby and more.

Some of them were there for rehab. But all of them became unofficial but effective educators for the wildlife awareness program School Jungle Safari.

For about a decade, School Jungle Safari, owned and operated by BettyLynn Egan and husband Lou, was populated by animal ambassadors that promoted environmental awareness for endangered species.

The animals and the program aren't there any more, but their legacy will live on with the creation of the first of a planned series of books called "School Jungle Safari Real Safari Tales."

Click here to read the rest of the story. 


Green America approved