First Graders Break Quarantine

By Amilia F., Parent of Online Otter Zara and Masked Pug Lilah


For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown, let me fill you in… Stanley is a boy who accidentally gets flattened when a bulletin board falls on him during the night. But what initially appears a disaster quickly becomes the source of great adventure. Stanley can slip under locked doors, fly like a kite, and he even gets folded up and mailed to friends in California.

In 1994, this classic children’s book inspired Dale Hubert, a third grade schoolteacher in Ontario, Canada to create the Flat Stanley Project. He had children create their own Flat Stanley dolls and mail them to friends and family around the world. “In the book,” Hubert explained in 2005 CNN interview, “Stanley gets… put in an envelope and mailed him to his friend in California. And that just seemed like a way of communicating that grade-three students might enjoy.”1 Hubert enlisted teachers from other schools in his endeavor and the project quickly gained enormous popularity. Today the Flat Stanley Project is a “global literacy activity that engages hundreds of thousands of children on a daily basis. The project encompasses more than 6000 schools registered in 88 countries around the globe, and is included in the curriculum of more than 15% of elementary schools in the U.S.”2

The Flat Stanley Project is designed to get kids reading and writing in a real-world setting. Students are immediately engaged and excited because they have a personal connection to their flat doll’s adventures. But this project encompasses so much more than literacy education. Students learn geography, history, and culture. They gain an interest in diversity, learning about people and places around the world in a very direct and personal way.

This year, our Village 1st graders crafted flat dolls in their own likenesses and mailed them to family and friends around the world. COVID may have halted travel for us mere mortals, but our Flat First Graders were undaunted. They have been traveling far and wide — across state, country and around the world — exploring and reporting back on their adventures. Check out all of the places our Flat First Graders are hoping to visit below, along with some photos from their most recent adventures.


Oh, The Places We’ll Will Go

Take a look at all of the places, both home and abroad, that our flat dolls are slated to travel.


Flat Friend Adventures

Flat Niralya had a grand adventure with her grandparents in Tamil Nadu, India.


Flat Juliet visited the beach, met a horse and even stopped by the Madonna Inn.


Flat Shahar learned to ski, visited the beach and hung out by the fireplace with friends. He also had a playdate with fellow Cosmic Kitty, Flat Christian. What an adventure!


Flat Klara flew all the way to Vermont to see her grandparents. She also visited relatives in New Jersey and St. Louis, making a few new flat friends along the way!


Flat Eldon went on a cruise. He even got to meet the ship’s captain!


Flat Dylan attended a virtual Parkour class. Mom was impressed by his mad skills!



  1. The Flat Stanley Project, Wikipedia
  2. Flat Stanley, Website


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