Meet Flat Stanley! For those of you who are familiar with Mr. Flat please bear with me but for the rest of you....
Flat Stanley is a world traveling, accident prone, 2 dimensional fashion faux pas who, after a tragic bulletin board squishing incident, realizes he could travel to see his all friends by mailing himself in an envelope. Weird... yes. Creepy... try not to think about it. Incredibly educational... an extra helping please!
I was intrigued... so then I Googled (like I do with everything... which usually is a BAD idea) and, instead of pulling up 17 different kinds of Russian porn, I found the Flat Stanley Project...
"In 1994, Dale Hubert began the Flat Stanley Project in Ontario, Canada. Hubert had the brilliant idea of having children create their own Flat Stanley paper cutouts and mailing them to friends and family around the globe, in order to foster authentic literacy activities for kids and get them excited to write about Stanley's adventures. Hubert invited other teachers to take part by "hosting" Flat Stanley visitors in their classrooms as they arrived in the mail, and encouraging students to keep their own Flat Stanley journals. Jeff Brown, author of the original book, Flat Stanley, was delighted with the Flat Stanley Project. An enormous resurgence of interest in the character of Flat Stanley followed, eventually resulting in a new sequel by Brown, almost 40 years after the original book's publication. Hubert and Brown remained good friends until Jeff's death in 2003. Today, the Flat Stanley Project is a uniquely multi-generational, global literacy activity that engages hundreds of thousands of children on a daily basis. The Project encompasses more than 6000 schools registered in 88 countries around the globe, and is included in the curriculum for more than 15% of elementary schools in the US."
Tres badass, nons?
My son's preschool has, of course, altered the idea to fit the fact that these kids would rather eat pencils than write with them. Parents, friends, and family have been asked to take pictures of Stanley doing everyday/fun/ridiculous things in their home/area/town. Last year, someone sent in pics of a relative who had taken Stanley to the Palace in London! I love this idea as the world as we know it is no longer defined by the edge of our country, and I make it a major point in my house to try and explain that there are as many ways to go about your day as there are Cheerios in a box... and to a 3 year old that means an uncountable number.
As I gazed into Mr. Flat's blank little eyes, envisioning all the ways I could make this a fun project (and completely inappropriate.. . thank you Elf Shaming), I suddenly had a thought. Now, this doesn't happen very often, aaaaaand it hurt a little, but what if... WHAT IF I enlisted the help of all my wonderful Bloggy friends? Talk about a fantastic and geographically varied group of creative noggins! The possibilities are endless! This could be huge! I am a GENIUS!!!! *Ahem*
So... could you, would you help me... please? Just print the little guy out, snap a quick pic, and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 22nd and I will pass them along. It could be in your back yard, next to your breakfast, at school, anywhere you would like to showcase your daily-life-difference and/or fantastic-ness. We want to know... what makes ya'll, ya'll? (And, if it's next to shoes, because you think Nashvillians don't have any... we have them. Now, if it's next to, say, something liberal-oriented... yeah... feel free... 'cause red is EVERYWHERE down in these parts.)
Whoa! Lighting strike of brilliance! I will also post them here on my blog and link back to you, if you'd like! I can't wait to see what you come up with!