From the desk of Deena Murphy, Education Director
There are lots of ways to take a vacation if you are creative. You don’t have to get in a car or on a plane to experience new places and make new friends. This summer, King Street students designed and colored flat versions of themselves to send off for summer vacations by mail.
We were inspired by the book “Flat Stanley” written in 1964 by Jeff Brown and the subsequent online site “Flat Stanley Project” (www.flatstanleyproject.com) begun in 1995 and masterminded by teacher, Dale Hubert, For decades students have been reading about the adventures of Flat Stanley, and classrooms have joined the Flat Stanley Project, mailing paper Stanleys to far away places, — visiting Jackie Chan in Hong Kong, penguins in Antarctica, standing in front of the Sphinx, and having a photo op with Barack Obama at the White House.
Wherever Stanley goes, he mails back selfies chronicling his adventures. With addresses of willing recipients provided by friends and families of our summer tutors, and friends and staff at King Street Center, our students sent out their Flat doppelgangers to 26 states. We got back lots of mail — including photographs, postcards, stickers and letters. We had some great adventures!
One lucky student got a stack of photographs of her flat self visiting all the tourist spots in Naperville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Who would have thought there were so many? Flat Emilia went to the Riverwalk, to a candy store, visited sculptures of Dick Tracey, the Cat in the Hat and Abraham Lincoln. The highlight of her trip was visiting with her host, Susan, and seeing the photo of Susan’s own son holding his Flat Stanley from 20 years ago!
Flat Khaled visited Times Square in New York City and has a selfie overlooking traffic from the 22nd floor of a New York City office building. Flat Rohan stopped by a favorite pizza place in San Francisco before heading to the Golden Gate Bridge. Flat Elly saw alligators in Carolina Beach, NC. Flat Kanchan watched a pelican sitting on a pole in Pensacola, FL on the Gulf Coast. Flat Mohamed took a car ride down Daytona Beach after a relaxing day sitting in lounge chairs on the sand. Flat Rahma frolicked in the pool with her new friends from Dennisport, MA.
When students received their letters, they located their vacation spot on a big map of the United States and put a dot with their name on it. We also posted our photos, letters and postcards from our travels to share our adventures. It’s been a busy summer. We have had lots of great adventures right here in Burlington, but our flat selves also got a chance to visit many new places and meet many new friends all over the country.