Flat Stanley returns from a visit to the White House 2011.02.23

Written by David Green.

flat_stanleyBy DAVID GREEN

Life wasn’t looking very good for Stanley Lambchop after a large bulletin board fell off the wall and onto his bed one night. He awakened as a very different person—as Flat Stanley.

In time, the character in author Jeff Brown’s book discovered that his new shape wasn’t so bad after all. He could slip under the door of a closed room. He could serve as a kite for his brother. Best of all, he could be folded up and travel by mail.

That’s the Flat Stanley that third grade students in Beth Schaffner’s Fayette classroom know. They’re sending him for visits around the country.

The Flat Stanley Project is a world-wide literacy effort that encourages reading and writing, and getting to know someone from far away. There’s also a geography component in which students learn about the city that Stanley visits, about how far away it is, and what there is to see there.

The students in Mrs. Schaffner’s who read the book created their own Flat Stanley’s and sent them off to locations ranging from California to Florida—and even a few closer to home in Ohio. The person receiving Stanley in the mail is encouraged to keep him around for a few days and fill out a journal that tells what he’s been doing as a guest at someone else’s house.

Zoee Keiser was the first student to have her Flat Stanley returned with a journal to read. Her uncle in California sent Stanley back to Fayette last month.

Gabe Maginn had his eyes on Washington, D.C., when he folded Stanley and addressed his envelope to President Barack Obama.

“On Wednesday we received an envelope from the White House,” Mrs. Schaffner said. “It was Gabe’s Flat Stanley returning back home.”

Pres. Obama not only send Flat Stanley back to Fayette, Mrs. Schaffner said, but he also included a letter describing the activities that Stanley took part in during his stay at the White House.

There was also a photo of the President, a photo of the Obama family, a photo of his dog, a map of the White House and various activity sheets.

The President described Gabe’s Flat Stanley as an engaging and interesting boy. He said the visitor showed up at the White House each morning with a pencil in hand, ready to learn.

Gabe learned that even the President of the United States can make some time for the famous Flat Stanley.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Front.batter

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017