Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a character named Flat Stanley. Have you ever met him? He is about 10 inches tall and about 8 inches wide. Flat Stanley is the name of a children's book written in 1964 by Jeff Brown. The story as I understand it, is that Stanley was a regular boy until a bulletin board fell on him and made him flat, hence Flat Stanley. Well, a man named Dale Hubert, who was a third grade teacher in Canada, loved reading this story to his students. He loved it so much that in 1995, he began what is now called The Flat Stanley Project. His plan was meant to facilitate letter writing by school-aged children by sending Flat Stanley to different classes so they could document where he had been. The Flat Stanley Project's focus was on literacy. Now, Flat Stanley is traveling all over the world to different people in different places and teaching students all over the world about our diverse world through the eyes of Flat Stanley.
Flat Stanley was mailed to me from a student in Pennsylvania. The student told me a brief story about his friend and asked me to treat Flat Stanley as my guest. I was to document the places and activities we were involved in and send him back to the classroom with a brief journal and photos of his visit. I knew nothing of Flat Stanley, but began my journey with Flat Stanley in a state I was very familiar with and called home.
Now I haven't been in school for many years and I wasn't sure I was looking forward to this little project. I was only able to keep him for about three weeks, but it seemed like so much longer. I really got into the project and took Flat Stanley everywhere with me. We went on family vacations, to the office, and to the local attraction sites in my own town. The whole family got involved with Flat Stanley and every place we would go everyone wanted their pictures taken with him. I have to admit that I was a little sad when it was time to send Flat Stanley home. Flat Stanley had gotten me and the family doing projects together and visiting places we had taken for granted because we lived in the state and didn't see a need to be a tourist. Flat Stanley brought out the kid in me who I had pushed aside between familial duties and work. And for that, I would like to thank the student in Pennsylvania for Flat Stanley.
Maybe one day you will be given the opportunity to take Flat Stanley into your home and take him places in your hometown that you haven't been to in a long time or maybe have even forgotten about. Would you like to participate? If you would, please leave me a comment below and I will get you in touch with the person in charge of the Project.