The kindergarten class at the Felicity-Franklin Elementary School is once again sending Flat Stanley out into the world on his many adventures.
The Flat Stanley Project is based upon a series of children’s books by Jeff Brown. In the original book, Stanley Lambchop wakes up one morning only to find that he has been flattened by a bulletin board that fell on him while he slept.
Now only a half inch thick, incredible things start happening to Stanley. He gets rolled up, flown like a kite, and mailed in an envelope to many places around the world experiencing many fantastic adventures.
“Flat Stanley is very lucky,” said five-year old student Emily Little. “We mail him out to do lots of cool things. He has a lot of fun before he comes back to us.”
The recipients have two or three weeks to complete the journal describing his many adventures and travels before returning Flat Stanley to its original sender, oftentimes with pictures and souvenirs.
Upon his return, a newly decorated Flat Stanley, along with his adventures, are marked on a special map and his journal is shared with the entire class.
"When Flat Stanley goes out, there is nothing on him - he is just an outline," said Felicity-Franklin teacher Michelle Turner. "When he returns, he has been dressed up, transformed, and has had an incredible adventure. People really get into it and the students love it. It is exciting to watch their enthusiasm."
Last year, Flat Stanley spent time in some form of correctional institution and was returned to the school dressed in a black and white striped prison outfit, Turner said.
The Flat Stanley Project was started many years ago by a group of elementary school teachers as a way of providing students with a substantial reason to write and be creative.
With more than 1,000 classes around the world participating, Flat Stanley has become a popular and fun way for children to be exposed to other area cultures as well.
"The project is about education," said Turner. "It exposes the children to other cultures in a meaningful way. Some of these kids have never seen a beach before (Florida is a popular destination for Flat Stanley) so Flat Stanley gets to go on the adventures that perhaps these kids may not ever get to go on."
The Felicity-Franklin kindergarten class is sending Flat Stanley to as many places as possible this school year, thereby assuring that lucky Stanley continues to experience his adventuresome "life in the flat lane."