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Speaking OUT Featured in Advocate Magazine

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Reach And Teach is thrilled that The Advocate, one of the world's leading GLBTQQI magazines, did a story on our recently released book, Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus, published by Reach And Teach as an imprint of the wonderful team at PM Press.

Here's a link to their article and here's a link to where you can purchase the book on our site. 

Travel to Guatemala with Limitless Horizons IXIL

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Our friends at Limitless Horizons IXIL are offering an exciting opportunity for people to visit Chajul Guatemala from July 31 to August 9th. Customers in our shop know and love the incredibly beautiful scarves and other crafts woven by the women of Charjul. This is a terrific chance to get to meet those women, stay in their community, and learn about life in Guatemala. 

First - A Story 

A quick story before I share their invitation. Back in 1999, a dear friend of ours named Stan was raising money to help build clean water wells in El Salvador. He had visited a community there when he was in his 80's and was so moved by the people he met that he dove into a project to help make their lives better. He was stuffing envelopes in our church office one day when I chatted with him. He talked about how he'd waited so many years to do things that he had wanted to do... waiting until he'd gotten settled in his job, saved enough money, or until his work was calmer, or his kids were old enough, or....... His wife had died around a year earlier and it struck him that he'd waited way too long to do many of the things he could have done. He encouraged me to "do things right now, don't wait." A few days later, Stan boarded a flight to Egypt, a place he'd always dreamed of going. He died on Egypt Air Flight 990 when it crashed after leaving Kennedy Airport in New York. We learned of his death at church on Sunday and as tears streamed down my face a friend from the congregation touched my shoulder and said "Why don't you come with us to El Salvador this year and see the wells that Stan made possible?" That, of course, was an impossible invitation to which to say no. Derrick and I traveled to El Salvador that year and our lives were changed. Never had we seen such generosity, joy, love, compassion, from people who had been harmed so badly, for whom life was so difficult. The seeds for Reach And Teach were planted and watered by Stan's wells. 

Could a trip to Guatemala change your life? Is now a "good time" to accept an invitation?

Invitation to Guatemala 

Limitless Horizons Ixil (LHI) works in the Maya Ixil community of Chajul, in the western highlands of Guatemala to develop a culture of literacy and learning. LHI creates opportunities for the indigenous youth, women, and families of Chajul, to develop the academic and professional skills needed to effect change in their lives and community.

From July 31 to August 9, 2015, LHI is hosting a Community Engagement Trip and we'd love for you to join us! It's an amazing opportunity to learn about the Maya Ixil culture and the obstacles faced by rural communities, as well as make a huge impact in the lives of Chajul residents and practice speaking Spanish.

This is a unique opportunity to engage in dialogue with teachers and students, hear from families about their experiences, learn about back-strap weaving from mothers in our artisan program, and contribute to the community by engaging in meaningful service work alongside community members. In a beautiful and remote mountain setting, you will live a range of intimate and unparalleled experiences. The cost for the trip is $1,450, which includes lodging, food, ground transportation, Spanish-English and Ixil-Spanish-English translation, trip guides, and unique access to the homes and lives of Ixil families due to the close relationship we've developed with the community over the past ten years.

This is a great opportunity for anyone who's interested in international community development, education, and non-traditional travel experiences. All the details of the program can be found at

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask LHI's Outreach Director, Nadine Ann Skinner, at or (831) 824-4827.

Love Means Never Having to Say You Forgot Valentines Day

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Sustainable Love, Lucky Birthday Noodles and Nice News...

Happy 2015! Just as we're cleaning up the shop after a really lovely holiday season we are also gearing up for our first author talk with Mei Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles (Saturday January 24th at 1pm) and stocking our shelves with some beautiful gifts to help celebrate Valentines Day.

PLUS, we want to share links to a couple of really nice articles about Reach And Teach that appeared in the SF Examiner and

Read on for information about the book talk, Valentines Day ideas, and links to the articles we're proud to share.

Adoption, Chinese Culture, and Cooking Combine for A Lovely Book Talk Jan 24th at 1pm at Our Shop in San Mateo

We often get asked if we have books about adoption and were really thrilled when the author of Mei-Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles wrote to us and asked if we'd like to have her do a book talk in our shop.

Mei-Mei is Chinese—but not Mom and Dad! When she was a baby, Mom and Dad flew all the way to the other side of the world to adopt her and bring her home. Lucky for Mei-Mei, her parents want her to know all about her roots in China's wonderful culture. That's why, on her birthday, her mom always makes her a traditional Chinese treat—long noodles, for a long and happy life. And this year, Mei-Mei is big enough to help her mom make them!

Join author Shan-Shan Chen as she reads from the book and shares some fun activities on Saturday January 24th at 1pm. We'll also have some treats and beverages.

And... since we do love our neighbors here on 25th Avenue we can't complete a story about noodles without a shout out to The Noodle Shop (one of the best restaurants on the street.)

Speaking of Love.... Valentines Day

We've got a wonderful selection of hand-made Valentines Day cards in the shop, including same-gender designs, as well as wonderful delicious organic vegan chocolates from Sjaak's, beautiful hand-carved soapstone hearts from Kenya, beautiful packages of ground or whole-bean fair-trade coffee, and a lovely assortment of aromatherapy candles, just to name a few possibilities for Valentines Day.

Fair-trade, sustainably sourced, some local, some from around the world, and reasonably priced... all things we love and know you do too.

Great Press about Reach And Teach

That last paragraph sums up how we decide what's going to be in our shop and we were thrilled to have two stories written about us in December that really got to the heart of what we do.

Thanks to Monica and Antonia Ehlers for getting the word out about Reach And Teach. Here are links to the two articles that we hope you'll share:

Speaking of writing... we would truly appreciate it if you would share a bit about your experience with Reach And Teach by posting a review on Yelp.

Reach And Teach Lifestyle

As we enter 2015 we want to let folks know that we are planning to expand our line of lifestyle products. People love our Moso Natural Air Fresheners, Skoy Cloths, Refillable Soaps, cookbooks, and other tools for living a more sustainable and frugal life, so we're on the hunt for more products to help everyone do just that. Our main rule for how we select things? We have to love them and use them ourselves. If you have an idea for something we should add, please contact us to let us know. We thrive on your recommendations.

Thanks as always for being our partners in making the world a more peaceful and sustainable place!

Stumped on Gift Ideas? Here Are Some of Our Favorites!

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There's A Story in There

Santa Claus visited our shop in San Mateo on Saturday the 29th and while he was busy taking selfies with little and big kids we got to enjoy spending time with dozens of people wandering through the shop. One of the best parts of our jobs at Reach And Teach is telling the stories behind our products. The other thing we love is having someone say "I've been trying to find a gift for someone who is really hard to shop for..." We then ask about that person and typically, within a few moments, we can find just the right thing. If you've got someone like that in your life, maybe one of the treasures we'll talk about below will spark your interest. If not, you can always call or email us and we'll be happy to help you personally find just the right gift.

Visiting My Nephew...

"I'm visiting my sister's house for a few days and haven't seen my nephew since he was four. He's seven now and I'd love to have something I could do or read with him. His mom says he has a great imagination and is really inquisitive about things...."

That request took us directly to one of our favorite books of all time, Flotsam.

A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam--anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there's no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share . . . and to keep.

Each of David Wiesner's amazing picture books has revealed the magical possibilities of some ordinary thing or happening--a frog on a lily pad, a trip to the Empire State Building, a well-known nursery tale. In this Caldecott Medal winner, a day at the beach is the springboard into a wildly imaginative exploration of the mysteries of the deep, and of the qualities that enable us to witness these wonders and delight in them.

My Granddaughter Just Came Out

"A few weeks ago, my granddaughter came out to her parents. They were pretty shook up by it but are handling it well. I want to do something to let her know how much I love and support her."

While admitting (or bragging) that we're the publishers of this book, we also have to say that we're confident that this is THE go-to-gift for anyone in your life who is GLBTQ, a parent, or an ally.

Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus is a photographic essay that explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people, ages fourteen to twenty-four, identifying as queer (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning). Portraits are presented without judgment or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop. This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject’s personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. With more than sixty-five portraits photographed over a period of ten years, Speaking OUT provides rare insight into the passions, confusions, prejudices, joys, and sorrows felt by queer youth.

They Have Friday Game Nights

"My brother's family has dinner together every Friday night and they love playing all kinds of games. I'm looking for something special... something you won't find in a typical game store or big-box shop that the four of them can play."

When we hear something like that we grab two of our favorite games to and more often than not, sell both!

From our friends at Blue Orange Games, we recommend Aztack. How will you stack up to the legend of the Aztecs? To win the favor of the high priest, players must build a temple out of inscribed stones according to divine laws. Every added stone must bridge the two underneath and match them by color or glyph. Only the most observant and strategic player will win this stacking game. Block out your opponent and stack the most stones to rise to the top of the Aztack!

From our friends at Atlas Games, Once Upon a Time is the award-winning storytelling card game that encourages creativity and collaborative play. One player is the Storyteller, and begins telling a story using the fairytale elements on her Story cards, guiding the plot toward her Ending Card. The other players use their own cards to interrupt her and become the new Storyteller. The winner is the first player to use all her Story Cards and play her Ending Card. The object of the game, though, isn't just to win, but to have fun telling a story together.

She's Really into Electronics and Games

Looking around our shop with all of its unique wooden toys, board games, books, and other products that seem as far aways as you can get from electronics, one customer came in ready to completely stump us.

"My niece really LOVES dabbling with electronics, has written some of her own 'apps' (whatever that means), and loves playing games on her computer and tablet."

Come over here to our all-in-one touch computer (thanks to Julie McDonald who designed and gave us this machine). Let us show you Makey Makey.

MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between.

My father-in-law..."My husband's father is absolutely impossible to buy for. He always says he has everything he needs. He LOVES riding his bike but I haven't figured out any accessory that he might need for riding.........."

When we heard this from one of our favorite customers we walked over towards our jewelry display and picked up one of our Alchemy Goods wallets, made from recycled bicycle inner tubes. We showed it to him and he burst into the biggest smile. PERFECT! And... we're happy to report that it was a huge hit with his father-in-law.

If you're looking for an extremely durable wallet that treads lightly on the planet, then look no further. Made entirely from reclaimed bicycle inner tubes, the Franklin is slim, durable and stylish. 4 card slots and a full length bill slot. 3.75"(L) X 0.5"(W) X 3"(H)

They LOVE Your Store But... I Don't Know What They Already Have

If someone you know loves our shop, OR, you KNOW they would love our shop if only they knew it existed, how about giving them a gift certificate? Whether they come into our brick-and-mortar in San Mateo or shop online, a gift card to Reach And Teach can help transform their world. Click here to visit our gift certificate page. We'll automatically deliver an email to them to with all the info they need to shop online or at our San Mateo store.

There's Much More BUT, Let Us Stop Now to Say Thank You!

On December 2nd we were privileged to be invited to appear on Other Voices, the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center's monthly TV program. If you're looking for more ideas, please check out the YouTube of the show.

We are serious about you giving us a call or sending us an email for suggestions if you still have someone in your life for whom getting a gift is difficult. As we said on a recent TV show, though, remember that a gift of your time, an experience together, a letter, a phone call, a hug, some home-made jam or cookies, all of these are great gifts! You don't have to shop to show someone you love them! 

With that in mind, we want to thank all the people who have shown us love and support for all these years. That  includes all the amazing people who created the products we share, the folks that do the work to make them, the folks that do the work to get them to our door and to yours. And, we want to thank you, our partners in peacemaking, for doing what you do to make the world a more peaceful, sustainable, and inclusive place.

Whatever holidays you celebrate, or if you celebrate every day as a holiday, we wish you all the best this season and in the coming new year. We would not be here without you!

Shopping for A Better World

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Reach And Teach co-founders Craig Wiesner and Derrick Kikuchi recently appeared on Peninsula Peace and Justice Center's Other Voices TV Program. Here is a YouTube of that show.

Celebrating Veterans Day with Starred Review

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If only this guy (that's Reach And Teach co-founder Craig Wiesner surrounded by friends in 1976) could have stumbled across a book like Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus, back in the day.... But back in that day, the dominant images of "gayness" didn't look anything like him and he felt so isolated, scared, lonely, and helpless that a few years later he ran away from his friends and family in New York and joined the Air Force. 

Starred Review

Today, 38 years later, on Veterans Day (November 11), this veteran is proud to be part of a team that earned a starred review in Kirkus Reviews for a book that can help LGBTQ folks see that they are not alone, that they do not have to be afraid or lonely, that they are not helpless, and they needn't run away.

On October 1st, 2014, Reach And Teach, as an imprint at PM Press, released Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus, a photo-essay book representing ten years of work by Rachelle Lee Smith. Here's what Kirkus has to say about it in their starred review:

Speaking OUTArt, activism, individuality: the spectrum of queer youth, speaking in their own words. Smith presents her artwork as a photographic essay exploring the amazing diversity among young people (all 14 to 24 at the time of their photographs) identifying themselves as queer, gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual or questioning.

Originally displayed in 2007 at the opening of the then-new campaign headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign as "Pride/Prejudice: Voices of GLBT Youth," all the photographs for this collection were taken against a white background. The subjects were asked to write something, anything, about themselves, their opinions, viewpoints or experiences in the whitespace of the photo. Some feature only the photo and words originally written. Others feature a few sentences to a paragraph contributed seven years later. A few aren't totally legible, but ranging from a simple declaration to a manifesto, the words of the subjects are illuminating.

The collection features a foreword by Candace Gingrich, who saw and was moved by the original art show, and an afterword by Graeme Taylor, who at 14 spoke to his school board about supporting LGBTQ students and won awards when that speech went viral. This presentation simultaneously highlights the individuality of the subjects and proves to those who may be isolated by geography or culture that they are not alone. An important work for queer youth and those who support them as the future they represent.

Foreword and Afterword 

Having Candace Gingrich write the foreword and Graeme Taylor (his photo from the book on the right) write the afterword, with all the photos and words of queer youth in between, shows how much progress we have made over the last few decades. Yet there is still much to do! But for a moment, let's celebrate some of the good. So much has changed, with marriage equality the law in many states and Don't Ask Don't Tell gone. A few weeks ago a Navy recruiter spent an hour in our shop in San Mateo and we had a wonderful talk about how the military did NOT fall apart when the ban on gays serving was lifted.

From Witch Hunt to Freedom - It Gets Better

Those who know me well have heard about my Air Force experience, after I had confided to some friends in Korea that I was gay. I had never uttered those words to anyone before. Around a week later, another person in our unit in Korea, tired of being in the closet, told the commander he was gay. The commander launched a witch hunt to find out who else might be gay, threatening people with court martial if they didn't name names. My closest friend was shown a picture of his family's house and told that if he didn't give them a name, any name, his parents would lose their house because of the money they would have to spend on lawyers to defend him. Despite the threats, no names were named.

Even after things had calmed down, I was cornered by a security NCO who suspected I might be gay. He warned me that I was going to have to take a lie detector test at my next assignment (the NSA at Fort Meade Maryland) and they would ask me if I was gay. Fearing that lie detector test, I took a different assignment and spent the next four years in Monterey, teaching Korean.

Sadly, while I was in less danger of being outed there, my students weren't. Over four years I stood helplessly by as incredibly gifted young people were accused of being gay and kicked out of the military. As my second term in the Air Force wound down, I realized that I couldn't live with the threat of losing everything if someone accused me of being gay, so I left the job and a lot of people that I loved.

Getting out and finding work in high-tech I was still deeply in the closet. I still had no idea what gay life could be like and was still scared and more lonely than ever.

One afternoon I went to have lunch in our company's cafeteria and I found a newspaper at the table where I usually sat, open to a page about the Billy DeFrank Gay/Lesbian Community Center in San Jose. I have no idea who left it there, open to that page with the headline "Gay Life in the Slower Lane", but discovering that center and going to a support group there was my first introduction to gay life, and within weeks I was out of the closet and never going back in. It has been a good life since that day.

My hope is that people will find a copy of Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus in their school library, in a doctor's office waiting room, at the dentist, in a barber shop (or hair salon or nail salon), on a cafeteria table, in their pastor's study, on a coffee table, in their parent's living room..... but that's up to you! Buy copies of this book and get them out in the world. Gift them far and wide. Take a copy to your dentist leave it in the waiting room. Take one to your hair salon and leave it with the other magazines. Be the angel who helps someone, somewhere, realize that he or she is not alone.

A bunch of wonderful people donated $25,000 to help get this book published so that the cover price could be just $14.95, the price of a nice lunch. That means it doesn't cost much at all for you to be an angel! And speaking of angels, isn't Christmas coming????

Today is Veterans Day and our book just got a starred review. The only thing that could make this timing even better would be for folks to buy a whole bunch of copies of the book and spread them far and wide and know that someone, somewhere, might be sitting down to lunch to discover this book sitting on her table. So..... click here and buy some! Right now, at this very moment, there's someone out there who really needs it. Buy the book

Help Support Ebola Relief Efforts

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Ebloa relief EffortsSo many people feel helpless in the face of the Ebola crisis in West Africa but there are ways we can help. Starting today (October 29th) we'll have local kids selling snack bars and fruit chews outside our shop in San Mateo with all profits going to Doctors Without Borders to support their Ebola relief efforts in Africa. 

Stop by Reach and Teach on 25th Avenue in San Mateo (Monday through Saturday, 11am to 6:30pm) and buy a few healthy snack bars or fruit chews and we'll donate all profits to Doctors Without Borders. Our goal is to raise $1,000.

If you'd like to donate directly, PLEASE DONATE NOW on our page at the Doctors Without Borders web site

We'll also have some games set up inside and outside our shop. Bring a playmate to the shop and make a friendly little... financial challenge. Whoever doesn't win (there are no losers) gets to donate the challenge amount to the campaign!

You CAN make a difference! Join Reach And Teach in supporting the amazing and courageous work of Doctors Without Borders providing much needed medical relief in the Ebola epidemic.



Elephant, Turtle, and the Morning Cup of Coffee - A Fair Trade Story

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Early one morning, Elephant and Turtle were planning to meet at Elephant's house in San Mateo for their morning ritual of drinking hot coffee and sharing tall tales about all the other creatures in town. Tu Tu Turtle (shown above) had gotten a pretty late start and needed a little help getting to Elephant's house on time. Fortunately, Holly the Whippet needed some way to work off her breakfast and she agreed to pull Tu Tu along until Tu Tu reached her destination (carrying a string in your mouth has some advantages). Elephant, who went by the name Ms. E. Pooh, was in her kitchen when Tu Tu arrived. 

"Have you made our coffee yet?" Tu Tu asked. "No. I don't think we should have my coffee any more." Ms. E. answered.

"Why not?"

"Well, it isn't 'Fair Trade' coffee." Ms. E. replied. "You see, last evening I had guests over to dinner and when I got ready to serve dessert my friend Cubby the bear said he couldn't drink the coffee because the people who grew the beans weren't paid fairly, worked really long hours, and were exposed to lots of pesticides."

Then, Ms. E. slid her Kobo tablet in front of Tu Tu and said "Here. Watch this video. It's all about the difference between the coffee we usually drink and 'Fair Trade' coffee."

After watching the video, Tu Tu had two questions. "What's a peso? And, where can we get Fair Trade coffee?"

Ms. E. and Tu Tu headed over to 25th Avenue in San Mateo and visited Reach And Teach where they found several different kinds of Fair Trade coffee as well as cocoa, chocolate, crafts, toys, and lots of other products that were certified fair trade. 

They bought some Proud Mama coffee and went back to Ms. E.'s house, brewed it up, and launched into their usual gossip session and, as the story goes, they lived happily ever after. Ms. E. was especially happy because while she was at the shop, she learned a whole new use for something that had been piling up around her back yard for years.... pooh. Who knew you could make an entire business out of elephant pooh? Results of her hard work can now be found at Reach And Teach!


We encounter many people who have never heard of the term Fair Trade. For a Few Pesos More is a wonderful animated music video, and a perfect way to introduce people to the injustices of "Free Trade" and the alternative justice of "Fair Trade." The video was created by the British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS) in coordination with Pangea (Rome, Italy) with co-financing from the European Union.  Reach And Teach discovered this great animation through the Fair Trade Resource Network in Washington D.C. and got permission from them and BAFTS to make it available to our web site visitors, along with a teacher guide which you'll find after the lyrics below.


All year long the farmer tills his soil
To harvest a product that’s as precious as oil
One year’s work without hope or means
What did he get for his coffee beans?
Just three pesos, pesos just three
For one year’s work and his crop of coffee.

The guy who buys his coffee doesn’t speak his lingo
He’s a smooth talking, hard selling, tight-fisted gringo…
If it’s cotton, bananas, cocoa and café
What do you think he gets for his pay?
Three thousand pesos, a thousand times three,
For a quick slick chat to buy some coffee. (Repeat)

Cotton, bananas, cocoa and coffee
take a month to cross the wide blue seas
the London dealer gets three million clean
For a two second sale on his PC screen.
The sweatshop boss yells from his office:
“Lay off some workers! We’re losing our profits!”,
he looks at his Rolex – it’s getting late –
back home to a mansion on his country estate.

3000 pesos are no longer enough;
Now it starts at a million and (it) keeps going up. (Repeat)

A scientist arrives from the US of A
and studies our bean in a whole new way.
“Try out this spray with added genes.
It’ll make it grow better – though it won’t be too clean.”

The TV ads use a famous star,
who struts her stuff for a coffee jar
with flying coffee beans in a sexy pose
she gets a cheque with seven zeros.

One little bean of all that coffee
Costs more than farmer, field and crop all three. (Repeat)

The smooth exporter… plays his trick
The London trader… gets rich quick
The sweatshop boss… puts his feet up
The US expert… rejects his cup
Manager, actress, banker, ad-man… are happier and richer than beforehand.
But all the work done by the poor farm hick
Earns just three pesos – and one penny tip. (Repeat)

One way we can improve the global plot
is to treat people fairly and improve their lot.

Part of the world has been plundered for years
by those who don’t care for their victim’s tears,
the only things that turn these cheaters on
are stock-exchange prices, not human lives gone.
But lucky for you, in trade these days
We can show you a better way out of this maze. (Repeat)

Another farmer worked a year on his lands.
Instead of going to market he took power in his hands
By meeting someone else, just a guy down to earth,
someone who pays him what his work is worth,
he knows that an hour should be paid just the same,
for an ordinary farmer or a famous name.
His goods are now sold in ‘Fair Trade Shops’,
that pay a proper price for work and crops. (Repeat)
Outside the trap of the free trade maze
united in the justice of the fair trade ways. (Repeat)


Original Italian lyrics: Dario Iacobelli
Italian executive producer: Marco Massa
Music: Daniele Sepe
Animation: Maurizio Forestieri (Graphilm, Matitaly Consortium)
UK executive producer: Richard Holgarth
English translation: Simon Knight
Further adaptation of lyrics: Jokey Lloyd & James O’Hanlon
UK singers: PaulHoward/Sarah Ross

Teacher / Facilitator Guide

Click here to download the teacher/facilitator guide with activities designed for 8-11 year olds, 11-14 year olds, and High Schoolers and adults.

October is Fair Trade Month

To us here at Reach and Teach, Fair Trade is one way to an equitable and just world economy, which provides living wages and improves quality of living standards for all the artisans, farmers and laborers involved. Our friends at Green America have a great page that explains what we mean by "Fair Trade." Click here to check out that page. (NOTE: We are certified by Green America as a green business, which includes us adhering to fair trade practices. We are also a California and San Mateo certified Green Business which means that we need to be intentional about the effect that everything we do and sell has on the planet.)

Reach And Teach sources our crafts and gifts from organizations that are either certified as Fair Trade or from organizations with whom we have a direct relationship. 

In addition to whole heartedly endorsing and selling Fair Trade products, we encourage each and every one of us to do our part to make our world equitable and increase the economic quality of living for all our fellow humans.

When you purchase something, take a look at where it is made and consider the people who made it, starting with the raw materials, to the finished good, to the transportation that got it from where it was assembled to where you are shopping, and look around at the hands that are helping you in that shop. Is it possible that you could somehow make choices that would be more helpful in creating the world you wish to see?

Here are some resources to help you get there.

Reach and Teach on Other VoicesA few years ago Paul George of the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center invited us to be on his monthly TV program, Other Voices, to talk about Fair Trade. It was a lot of fun AND very educational.

Other Voices TV: Shopping With a Conscience from PPJC Videos on Vimeo.

e-Books @ Reach And Teach

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Old school meets new school as Reach And Teach dips its toes into the e-Book world. Some lament that younger people aren't reading as much anymore, but they are, and in increasing numbers they're doing their reading on "devices." Another trend we're noting is the number of books that are going out of print, important books, which we hope to help give new life through the creation of e-Books. 

In the coming weeks and months, Reach And Teach will create online e-Book categories in our web store where we will curate titles that have a focus on peacemaking, gender equality and sustainable living. The recommendation pages we create will be a mix of old school and new school, current titles that fit our niche and which we believe our partners in peacemaking, young and old, will love, plus out-of-print titles that we'll help resurrect through the creation of e-Books. 

We're doing this through our partnership with the American Booksellers Association and its KOBO program, our publishing partners at PM Press, and through a crowd-sourced "Save This Book" project which will provide an opportunity for people around the world to help edit, page by page, scanned pages of books that are out of print. 

Kobo - The FREE e-Reader App

If you own an iPad, Android, or other tablet, Linux, Windows, Android or Mac, you can download a free app which will allow you to purchase/collect millions of e-Book titles. You can load the app on all of your devices and your entire library will be available wherever you are. AND, you can support Reach And Teach every time you buy an e-Book by creating your Kobo account through this link. Once you do, any time you purchase anything from the Kobo store, Reach And Teach will get credited. 

One of the things we really love is the portability of content. Purchase a book from your browser on your laptop, read it there or on ANY device on which you load the Kobo free app. Every title you buy can appear everywhere you want, any time, and it will keep track of where you left off on your reading. 

Get the Kobo Aura H20 Directly from Reach And Teach!

The ABA has given us a special opportunity to be among the first stores to offer the waterproof Kobo Aura H20 e-reader to our customers, available in November.The BW e-reader is $179.00 and offers a superb reading experience which you can take to the beach or into the bath without worry.

Kobo Aura H2O is the first premium eReader to have a waterproof and dustproof design that allows you to take it worry-free from the beach, to the bath, to your bed. Plus, with up to 2 months of battery life, you have the freedom to keep reading, wherever you go. So if you drop it in the bath or accidentally spill a drink on it, your Kobo Aura H2O will still work like new. Just use the included drying cloth to dry the screen, so you can get back to reading.

Click here to view the details about this product.

Reach And Teach has an opportunity to pre-order these for delivery in November. Click here to email Craig Wiesner to let him know if you'd like one. Once you have it, every time you buy an e-book you'll not only have an awesome reading experience but you'll be supporting Reach And Teach in its mission to transform the world through teachable moments. 

A Word from Craig about E-Readers

Golden BoyAs booksellers, we certainly have mixed emotions about the whole concept of e-Readers, including mixed feelings about uppercase and lowercase and dashes (E-Readers, e-Readers, eReaders, EReaders). The reality is that the number of people of all ages using their devices for reading is growing every year. While many of us absolutely LOVE the feel of holding a book in our hands there are also many benefits to books finding their way onto our devices. 

Often a customer/friend will come into the shop and sheepishly admit that she no longer buys hard copy books while looking around and discovering titles that she didn't know existed. "I feel bad finding a book like this and then buying it on my e-Reader." DON'T FEEL BAD! But please, buy it from US by using the Kobo App on ANY device and setting it up to support our bookstore!

Our Commitment to Excellence

Our commitment, to those who love their printed books and those who simply love reading using whatever tools are available, is the same. We will hunt for the best of the best content, publish some of our own, and make Reach And Teach a place where you can find that best of the best. Whether you come into our shop in San Mateo or browse our site, you will know that there's a story behind every single item you find under our roof, virtual or not. 

Golden Boy just recently arrived in our shop in print. It is absolutely fantastic. Having seen the word "intersex" as part of our rainbow of diversity LGBTQI (Lesbia, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex), it was terrific to have a book that got at the idea of what being intersex rerally meant. 

Here's the Scoop on Golden Boy:

Max Walker is a golden boy. Attractive, intelligent, and athletic, he's the perfect son, the perfect friend, and the perfect crush for the girls in his school. He's even really nice to his little brother. Karen, Max's mother, is determined to maintain the façade of effortless excellence she has constructed through the years, but now that the boys are getting older, she worries that the façade might soon begin to crumble. Adding to the tension, her husband Steve has chosen this moment to stand for election to Parliament. The spotlight of the media is about to encircle their lives.

The Walkers are hiding something, you see. Max is special. Max is different. Max is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won't his parents talk about it? What else are they hiding from Max about his condition and from each other? The deeper Max goes, the more questions emerge about where it all leaves him and what his future holds, especially now that he's starting to fall head over heels for someone for the first time in his life. Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Will anyone ever want him-desire him-once they know? And the biggest one of all, the question he has to look inside himself to answer: Who is Max Walker, really?

Written by twenty-six-year-old rising star Abigail Tarttelin, Golden Boy is a novel you'll read in one sitting but will never forget; at once a riveting tale of a family in crisis, a fascinating exploration of identity, and a coming-of-age story like no other.


Click here to order the e-Book from Kobo (and your purchase supports Reach And Teach). Click here to order a print copy of the book from Reach And Teach.


The Case of the Disappearing Card Game and Missing Turtles

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Goodbye Bully Machine Card GameWhen we launched Reach And Teach one of the key things we hoped to do was discover excellent tools for peacemaking, promote them, and if we ever spotted something that was in danger of disappearing forever, to rescue it.

In this month's newsletter we'll share some products that we have rescued which we want to offer you "first dibs" on (as we used to say on the playground in Rockaway NY).

Goodbye Bully Machine Card Game

This anti-bullying game was created by our trusted friends at Free Spirit who, after many years, declided to stop the presses and focus more on their wonderful books. So..... we told them we'd take every single game they had left because we love it.

This interactive game allows players to take turns breaking down the Bully Machine, piece by piece. As players draw cards, they discuss what they’d do in bullying situations, are asked to talk about conflict resolution skills, compliment other players, and practice empathy. Each time a player gives a response, he or she gets to take away one piece of the Bully Machine from the game board. Watch out, though: someone might draw a Mean Moment card, which will suggest that a player has done something mean to help build up the Bully Machine. Then the player has to replace one Machine Card. When the machine is totally dismantled, everyone wins.

While other web sites are selling their remaining copies of this game at incredibly high prices, we want you to be able to still get it at the regular retail price of $12.99. Click here to order yours now. Supplies are limited and once they are gone, seriously, they are gone.

Tu Tu Turtle, Ma Me Pa, and Cubby

Years ago we discovered Maya Organics toys while visiting Ashland Oregon and fell in love. These hand-made wood beauties are crafted by artisans in India, using natural dyes like spices for their vibrant colors. Last year the folks that imported these products into the United States retired and we were left with no way to get Tu Tu TurtleMa Me Pa, and Cubby the Stacking Bear.

What to do?

Well, we became direct importers! We are now the only place in the U.S. where you can get these certified fair-trade, child-safe, fun, beautiful toys. Click here to see all our Maya Organics offerings. 


MapsThere aren't many companies out there making maps anymore, and very few shops where you can find them. We believe that maps are critical tools for teaching about the world and also know that people's perceptions about countries and cultures can be shaped by maps. That's why we're SO happy to partner with our friends at ODT Maps to bring you amazing ways to see the world.

This map (above) is the Pacific Centered Peters MapVisit our web site to learn more about what makes this map special AND, if you'd like to order one you can have it for 50% off by using the coupon code "peter" when you check out.

Give Us The Chance to Dance for You

With the disappearance of GLBTQ bookstores across the country and world, it is becoming more and more difficult for people to find high-quality GLBTQ fiction and non-fiction.

Check out our GLBTQ section where we've got some treasures worth noting.

A Rescued Video and Teacher Guide on Fair Trade

Around a decade ago we discovered a wonderful video cartoon musical called For A Few Pesos More that we felt did an outstanding job teaching about the merits of "Fair Trade."  We bought copies of the VHS tape and digitized the video and uploaded it to the web with the creators' permission. We also rescued a great teacher guide to go along with it. The video and teacher guide are available for free through our web site. Click here to check them out. 

Share Your Treasures!

Do you have a book or other product that you believe is special and should be part of the Reach And Teach family? Please let us know! We're always on the lookout for unique products that promote peacemaking, gender equality, and sustainable living. We're especially happy if those products are produced ethically and if the companies creating them help make their communities and world better.

Click here to contact us to let us know about a product you think we ought to be carrying.

And as always, we want to thank you for being our partners in peacemaking! We hope you'llspread the word about Reach And Teach. Here are two  ways you can do that:

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