A “Magical Mailbox” is a student-owned and student-operated receptacle for student work. The strategy of “Magical Mailbox” began as a means to encourage student writing and has grown to include opportunities for sharing visual art, songwriting and music composition.
In HOT Schools, students learn to identify exemplary samples of their own work. They are encouraged to submit that work for peer review. Each school designs a receptacle or “Magical Mailbox” to receive student work. The “Mailbox” is placed in a prominent school location familiar to all students.
All work submitted is reviewed by a student board. Each board develops the criteria by which student writing and other means of expression will be reviewed. The board also decides how work will be celebrated. Selected work might be sent to an art, theater, or dance group for interpretation or highlighted in a literary magazine or writer spotlight. As part of the peer review process, submissions might be returned to students with suggestions for revision.
Selected work is often highlighted at Town Meetings. The opportunity to be featured within the school community encourages students to submit work. The prominent location of the “Magical Mailbox” is a constant reminder to students that the “Mailbox” is there - waiting for their best work.