Golden Apple: Laporte 4th Graders Travel The World As Flat Stanleys
Laporte 4th graders are traveling to all different corners of the world with a little help from their flat friends.
“’You have now visited the famous state for potatoes. That’s right, Idaho,’” says 4th grader Tyler while reading a letter sent from his Flat Stanley recipient.
From murals in Australia to the slopes of Montana, Laporte 4th graders don’t need a plane ticket to see the world, thanks to the Flat Stanley Project.
“I traveled to Duluth, MN and I went every place there,” says 4th grader Piper.
Kalli, whose cousins took her Flat Stanley to Germany say, “They took me to this Porta Nigra, it’s this adventure they were going and it’s this really old place.”
Laporte has been sending Flat Stanleys out into the world for almost 20 years now. It’s pretty easy to be a part of the project: the kids write a letter, asking the recipient to take pictures with their Flat Stanley to different landmarks around town. Then, the recipient is asked to mail them back. The Flat Stanley is made to look like them so it’s as if they’re actually there.
“First of all, I started out with a giant piece of paper. I layed on it with my pose,” says Dayne, whose Flat Stanley went to Ohio.
“They color their clothing realistically and I take a picture of their face and then we glue it on,” says Steve Booth, a 4th grade teacher at Laporte.
Because of the Flat Stanley project, Laporte 4th graders have been able to travel anywhere their heart desires. During the process, they learn some basic knowledge of the US Postal Service and get to make contact with family and friends who live in different areas.
“I sent it to my pen pal, and I thought that was probably a good idea because I hadn’t written back to him for quite a while,” says Tyler.
Jadyn, who sent her Flat Stanley to her aunt and uncle who live in Florida, says, “My aunt and my uncle, […] They went on their honeymoon and they went on a cruise boat across the Pacific Ocean.”
Since Laporte started doing the Flat Stanley project, kids have had their picture taken in historic places like the Great Wall of China and the Eiffel Tower. Seeing how far their classmates have traveled makes them think about other places they’d like their Flat Stanley to go in the future.
“I’d like her to go to Germany because that’s where my uncle lives,” says Jadyn.
“I would rather go to Washington, D.C,” says Kalli.
And when their Flat Stanley returns from their trip, kids say it really feels like they were there with them.
“I just think it’s been a great way for them to make connections away from Northern Minnesota. They get to know other parts of the country or the world. They get to see where other kids have gone and it really becomes a – I mean, it’s more than a virtual trip because it almost feels like part of them is traveling,” says Booth.
Dayne certainly recommends it. “I think you guys should try this. Send it to whoever you want. Your loved ones.”