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Flat Stanley comes to the Philippines – and had lots of fun!

Looks like someone just had more fun in the Philippines!

Sometime last March, one of my cousins living in Roseville, California asked if I can take part in her 7-year old daughter’s Flat Stanley school project. My niece is studying in Vencil Brown Elementary School. I had to do some research to know more about this. Wikipedia says that Flat Stanley is a character in an eponymously-titled children’s book written by Jeff Brown in 1964.

Flat Stanley’s real name is Stanley Lambchop. One day, his father gave him and his younger brother Arthur a bulletin board where they can display pictures and posters. The father placed the bulletin board on the wall just over Stanley’s bed. One night, the bulletin board fell from the wall (which means that in the first place, it should not be placed there :-)), flattening Stanley in the process.

The accident actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Stanley. Because he is flat, it became easier for him to go to his friends by being mailed. He even visited different places, including art museums! Ultimately, Stanley was reverted to his normal state by his younger brother through a bicycle pump!

In 1995, Dale Hubert, an elementary schoolteacher from Canada, started the Flat Stanley Project.  After reading about the story of Stanley Lambchop, children would create their own Flat Stanley. School administrators and/or teachers can register through www.FlatStanley.com to find other parties they can team-up with for the project. In the case of my niece, her school allowed them to choose wherever they want to send Flat Stanley – provided he can return by May 11, 2012!

Thanks to the efficient Philippine mail delivery service, it took three weeks before Flat Stanley arrived in our residence. Aside from Flat Stanley, the package also includes a brief letter from my niece as well as a journal where the cute little traveler will write about the places he checked out (with pictures, of course!). Teachers are encouraged “to publish stories, describe local traditions and scenery, talk about Stanley’s adventures, and post pictures” about Flat Stanley’s journeys online.

This is certainly a fun way to learn not only geography but also a little bit of history. I wish Filipino elementary teachers would also be able to try this cute project. By the way, here are some pictures from Flat Stanley’s visit to the Philippines. Luckily for him, he didn’t have to walk a thousand miles to get here. Haha:

Flat Stanley went inside Museo Pambata, a popular children’s museum in the country.

Flat Stanley tried riding on a “calesa,” the local equivalent of a horse-drawn carriage.

Flat Stanley at the famous Jose Rizal monument in Manila. Rizal is the national hero of the Philippines.

According to my cousin, her daughter’s sharing in class went well. I am happy because I was able to tell American kids about the Philippines, though indirectly. Otherwise, these children might never have the chance to know who Dr. Jose Rizal is. Learn more about the Flat Stanley Project by clicking this link.

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