Writing a Bigger Story: Award-Winning Nonprofit Literacy Organization Open Books Introduces StoryPort

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Open Books is proud to announce the launch of StoryPort, a new venture to connect educators, students, and the power of writing.

StoryPort: Open Books' new education endeavor.
We’re very happy to have incubated StoryPort... and are looking forward to sharing in its success as it transforms writing instruction for countless students and teachers. - Natalie Weiss, Executive Director of Open Books

Open Books, the award-winning nonprofit social venture devoted to transforming lives through literacy, today announced an initiative to help expand its popular writing programs nationwide. The new project, a for-profit company called StoryPort, empowers K-12 students to create stories of all kinds, educators to connect those stories to academic objectives, and parents to participate in the process.

“We know that writing is a key part of effective education, and that it can be a challenging topic to teach,” said Dustin Walsh, co-founder of StoryPort. “Over the last eight years at Open Books, we’ve helped tens of thousands of students tell their stories. StoryPort connects that experience to educational standards in a nationally available format.”

At the StoryPort website, students can choose from a host of ways to inspire their writing, from creative StoryStarters and Quick Pick ideas through teacher-created assignments aligned to the Common Core State Standards. As they complete their work, they share it with teachers and parents, who offer edits and encouragement for future revisions. About 100 Chicago-area students and their teachers are participating in the pilot program this fall, with regional and national rollout scheduled for mid-2015.

“As a social venture, we are always looking for new ways to support our literacy programs — and, true to our mission, we want to expand the reach, impact, and magic of those programs as far as we can,” said Natalie Weiss, Executive Director of Open Books. “We’re very happy to have incubated StoryPort for both of those reasons, and are looking forward to sharing in its success as it transforms writing instruction for countless students and teachers.”

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Open Books is a nonprofit social venture that provides literacy experiences for thousands of readers each year through inspiring programs and creative capitalization of books. Through instructional and book grant programs, the organization works with more than 5,000 students annually, supported in large part by the sale of donated books in its stores and online.

StoryPort is an educational, entertaining, and empowering writing portal for young authors and their guides. Its rich online writing environment empowers K-12 students to create stories of all kinds, educators to connect those stories to academic objectives, and parents to participate in the process. Now participating in the Impact Engine social enterprise accelerator program at Chicago’s 1871, it will open for national use in mid-2015.

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Noah Cruickshank
Open Books Ltd
+1 312.475.1355 Ext: 160
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Dustin Walsh
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