About the Dock Street Press Story Project
The Dock Street Story Project was conceived on the same beliefs of independence and creativity that permeate Dock Street Press and Big Fiction Magazine. Our goal is simple: to publish marginalized literature while helping the King County area public school teachers and students.
Dock Street Press and Big Fiction Magazine were founded on the belief that independently minded ventures will always foster creativity, and that independent literature is the vanguard of the publishing world. Unlike commercial presses who concern themselves strongly with the monetary gain, the “what” or “how” of the book publishing process, we focus on the “why.” For Dock Street and Big Fiction, our mission is not the kinds of books we make, or how we make them—these are the results—it is for the reasons we make them that make our books unique. With the advent of the Penguin/Random House merger, the Big 6 becoming the Big 5, the gap between an emerging writer and a lauded published author has grown substantially. With that ever widening gap the amount of gatekeepers focused on profit margins and sales has grown too.
According to a recent story on NPR, a growing number of public school teachers in the King County area are spending an average of $500 or more, out of pocket, on curricular materials, up three percent from the previous year. This onus, coupled with the relatively modest salary of the average public school teacher and the increasing cost of living, puts most teachers in the difficult position of using their individual resources on their classrooms or saving for themselves. With only nine percent of classroom funding coming from the federal government, six billion dollars of inflation adjusted allocated funding withheld, and no COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) added leaves a staggering margin of state and local programs to countermand that vacancy. Public school teachers need organizations and funds they can draw from; The Dock Street Story Project is an organization any public school teacher can apply for, assisting them financially in underfunded school systems.
How it works is simple.
Any public school teacher, administrator, or employee of the public school system can apply or recommend someone. Once accepted, he or she will fill out a “wish list” of the materials they’d be likely to need for the upcoming year. A member of our staff will go out and purchase these items, package them up, and personally deliver them to a school in the King County area. There are no strings attached and no purchases required for acceptance. The Dock Street Story Project strives for a more engaged public school system, beginning with teachers.
Founder of The Dock Street Story Project, Dane Bahr, offered this when asked why he felt compelled to address deficits in the public school system, “Underfunded schools are no longer an endemic problem. The disparities in the public school system, the problems they face, the new ones occurring, have swept through just about every district in the nation. It’s absurd to me that governments are stripping resources from public schools while maintaining the excessively high budgets for things like sporting arenas, for example. I come from a long line of public school educators—my mom is a kindergarten teacher, my brother teaches middle school science, my grandma, grandpa, uncles, and aunts have all taught in the public school sector. We need to refocus. We need to be reminded that not only is education paramount, but also that education—a good education—shouldn’t be awarded to a select few. The Dock Street Story Project began because just as children need good teachers to help them succeed, public school teachers need organizations they can look to when they need help. An education that is free to both students and families is something we’re fortunate enough to have. It’s something that’s incredible, and frankly, needs to be taken better care of.”
If you are a teacher, administrator, or anyone working in the public school system, you can apply or recommend someone who might benefit from this program. Please download an application below and send it to:
The Dock Street Story Project
PO Box 17773
Seattle, WA 98127
All applications will be closely reviewed. Please note that because we have a small staff not all applicants will be accepted, but we consider each application equally and hope to widen our selection in the near future.
The Dock Street Story Project is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of The Dock Street Story Project must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.