Dale Hubert first introduced The Flat Stanley Project to his students at Wilfrid Jury Public School in 1995. The project’s name comes from the eponymous character of the children’s book Flat Stanley. Written in 1964 by American author Jeff Brown, the book centers around the life of character Stanley Lambchop, a boy who is accidentally flattened.
In an interview with CNN in 2005, Hubert explained: “In the book, by Jeff Brown, Stanley gets squashed flat by a falling bulletin board. Stanley’s parents rolled him up, put him in an envelope and mailed him to his friend in California. And that just seemed like a way of communicating that grade-three students might enjoy.”
Students involved in The Flat Stanley Project are read the story of Flat Stanley and are subsequently given black-and-white cut-outs of him for them to color. The students are also asked to write a story about him, including details such as where he is from, his daily routine and his interests, then they mail their Stanley to someone, such as a friend or relative in another country, or a student at another school participating in the program. The person receiving the Flat Stanley is asked to take a picture with the cut-out doll and to send a letter back, either via email or regular mail, to the student recounting Flat Stanley’s adventures along with the accompanying photo. The student then shares the photo and letter with their class.
By the end of its first year there were 13 classrooms participating in the project across the province of Ontario. Classrooms in the United States followed suit and by 2006 the program had grown to 6,000 classes in 47 nations. By 2011 it was reported that at least 88 countries were participating in the program annually.
Nana loves that she’s been included in this international phenomenon!
To learn more about The Flat Stanley Project, Visit : The Flat Stanley Project by Dale Hubert.