Friday, April 15, 2011

Flat Stanley Comes To Moldova

Flat Stanley is a fictional character that many children are familiar with and have fallen in love with. Stanley is the main character in a children's book. In short, it's about a boy whose bullitan board falls on him while he's sleeping and flattens him. (Sounds creepy, but the author does a good job of making it seem cool.) His parents see this as an opportunity to send him to visit his grandparents and other relatives by putting him in an envelope and sending him through the mail.

Now on to the Flat Stanley Project. This project was started in 1994 by a teacher who had his class make their own "Stanleys", write letters to go along with them, and then send them to other states and countries. Read more about the Flat Stanley Project here at the official site:

I did this project when I was student teaching back in college with my second grade class. We had them each decorate their own Stanley, write a letter, and send it to a family member somewhere in the United States. The family members in turn took pictures with the Stanley around famous landmarks and such in their towns and sent them back to the students, sometimes with souvenirs.

I was contacted earlier in the school year by a friend's mom back in North Dakota who is a teacher of a sixth grade class. She was doing the Flat Stanley Project, and she wanted to send them to Moldova. I said of course! Last week I received the envelope full of letters and Stanleys from her class. I was talking to my ex-Romanian tutor/English teacher at another school here in Edinet about the project, and she asked if her class could participate. And again, I said of course!

When Luminita told her class about it, they were so excited! They couldn't believe that they were going to be getting letters from "real American students!!" They also each created their own Stanley's out of posterboard. Some used yarn, fabric, and other supplies while most colored them with markers. Each wrote a letter to accompany their Stanley. (While they were all excited about the letters, they thought the American names were odd! (Jacob, Camryn, Ryan, etc.) Common names here are Sergio, Ana Maria, Marina, Oleg, Costel. ) Along with the letters, Luminita asked a student to draw a map of Moldova which turned out beautifully! We will be sending the package back to North Dakota on Monday, and hopefully it will get there before the school year ends.

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