Cast Your Hope Here
It looks like a ballot box, but it's covered in a decoupage of book pages instead of stars and stripes. It's the submission box for Friends Community School's new literary magazine, and it's waiting for your contribution on the theme of "hope."
Students in grades K through 8 are invited to submit entries: short stories, poetry, artwork. Also invited to contribute are teachers, parents, and grandparents—everyone in the FCS community. Submissions are due by February 28, and the inaugural issue is expected to be published by Grandfriends’ Day in April.
The literary magazine is a new venture for FCS, unprecedented for at least the last 9 years, which is as far back in school history as any of the graduating 8th-graders working on it can recall. When 8th-grade language arts teacher Jennie Claiborne floated the idea, her students jumped on board, volunteering for responsibilities as editors, designers, proof-readers, and promoters.
A long list of possible themes for the first issue was generated by brainstorming. Ideas included “death,” “food,” and “technology.” Through the Quaker process of consensus, the choices were narrowed down to one: hope. The magazine’s topic segues naturally from the “Hope Board,” the white board in the middle-school hallway that students contributed to after the presidential election. “It ties into prompts we’ve been seeing this year around the middle school,” explains Christina, who is one of the book designers. Adds Isaac, who is one of the fiction editors, “We wanted our magazine to be cheerful. This topic is literally inspiring.”
Since the team producing the literary magazine includes both 7th- and 8th-graders, it’s possible that the project will continue next year and beyond, becoming an FCS tradition. “I hope so!” says Editor-in-Chief Aidan, who graduates this spring.