Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting a Flat Stanley? Flat Stanley is part of a literacy and geography project that dates back to 1995. Students are encouraged to send Flat Stanley to friends and family across the US and world. The host family takes pictures of Flat Stanley in interesting places or taking part in ordinary activities or exciting adventures. The host family answers a few questions regarding their part of the world and sends (email works) the pictures and answers to the child so that they can learn more about the world we live in but would not otherwise have the chance to experience. Some host families include postcards or souvenirs unique to their home. Anything that allows the child to connect more with the host family’s town, state or country.
This is my youngest son, Luke. He is 8 years old and in second grade. His class is currently participating in the Flat Stanley Project. I wish all of you could meet Luke personally. He truly has a personality unlike any other. He is outgoing, outspoken, compassionate, funny and has the ability to make everyone he meets smile just by smiling at them. He has received many character trait/good behavior awards at his school because of his amazing manners and desire to help others. But Luke also has his struggles. In kindergarten, he was diagnosed with communicative apraxia, dyslexia and dysgraphia. Most children with communicative apraxia withdraw socially because they are unable to communicate clearly … and they are often the target of much teasing and taunting. Luke is rare in that he insists on being heard and understood. He spends much time with speech pathologists, occupational therapists and reading/writing helpers to help him stay on grade level. Luke is scary smart. The tests indicate that his reading comprehension and vocabulary is off the charts — he is just unable to articulate it clearly in speech or writing.
Luke is my fearless, adventurous leader. He will try anything once. His favorite activities are basketball, baseball and riding his dirt-bike. For the past two years he has also been the team manager for our high school’s junior varsity (9th and 10th grade) basketball team. He walked up to the coach and asked for the job. He takes great pride in helping the team and learning from his “friends”. And yes, the girls absolutely love this child. His brothers greatly respect and admire Luke for all that he has overcome and how he sets the example for them to “never give up”.
Why am I telling you all this personal information about my child? Because I want to see his face light up with excitement when he sees the pictures and receives feedback from the host families for his Flat Stanley. I want him to feel a sense of accomplishment when he creates an album of Flat Stanley’s adventures and he writes about all that he has learned. I want him to know that others in this world have a heart as large as his own. So, I am asking if any of you would be willing to host Flat Stanley for a picture or two and answer 5 simple questions about your part of the world. If you think you would enjoy participating (or have a son, daughter or grandchild that would enjoy it), then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will mail you a Flat Stanley with the questions. Luke needs the pictures and information back by March 28th (again, email would be fine).
Just to clarify, I am not doing his school project for him. He has already successfully sent Flat Stanley to several families in our home state and a family in Florida. He will also be the one that will write about Flat Stanley’s adventures and create the photo album. I am just hoping to surprise him by sending Flat Stanley to other parts of the globe.
**My Mom had the brilliant idea of making many laminated copies of Flat Stanley so that he could be shared with multiple families at the same time! That means you get to keep him as a token of our gratitude!**
Thank you for reading all this. And if you can help Luke, I will be forever grateful!!