Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Flat Stanleys

I doctored this photo to look like this gnome (think "Amelie")
is ready to board a cable car in San Francisco. A variation of Flat Stanley.

Flat Stanley arrived in my mailbox the other day. What is Flat Stanley, you ask? That depends. There are many variations on the idea, but basically, it’s a travelling figure that helps the originator connect with other places in the world. It’s usually a project done with school-aged children. They send “Flat Stanley” off into the world and learn a little more about the places he travels as the project progresses.
The Flat Stanley that arrived in my mailbox was a little different than other Flat Stanley projects we’ve participated in at my house. This one was a flat cut-out cartoon boy figure sent by the originator, a boy named Ben who lives in California. Ben collected the names of people around the world (sometimes these are limited to the U.S.) who are willing to participate. Then, Ben mailed out Flat Stanley with a mailing list of the participants. He asked that when each of us received Flat Stanley in the mail, we’d send a postcard of our town to his Elementary school class and then mail Flat Stanley onto the next person.
In other Flat Stanley projects, participants have been asked to take pictures of Flat Stanley in and around town, and then mail those pictures back to the originator, or school. The idea is for the kids in the class to learn more about different parts of the world. It’s usually tied into a geography lesson. It’s definitely a fun way to learn.
So Flat Stanley arrived at my house and is ready to move on. He’s travelling to Japan as soon as I can get to the post office. While he’s in Asia, Ben’s class should receive my postcard from Cincinnati, Ohio.  I’m sure they’ll all be excited about that! J

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