Every year the second grade classes at Pepperell Primary read “Flat Stanley” as a part of their reading curriculum.
The children’s book is about a boy who became flattened when a bulletin board fell on him.
“He makes the best of a bad situation by helping people in unusual ways and he gets creative about things that he can now do,” explained teacher Peri Jones.
One of the things that Flat Stanley did was to visit people that lived in other cities, states or countries by folding himself up and mailing himself to the people’s homes — because it was cheaper than a plane ticket. Those people would let Stanley stay with them for a while and would show him around interesting areas and take photos of him in front of landmarks.
After reading and discussing the story, each student makes a Flat Stanley character and then mails him to a friend or relative that lives in another city, state or country. The students also write letters to accompany their Flat Stanley.
After taking photos of Flat Stanley the friend or relative writes a letter back to the student and mails the photos, the letter and Flat Stanley back to the student at Pepperell Primary.
“This year I had several students who didn’t have anyone to send their Flat Stanley to, so we sent a class Flat Stanley to Marcus to take photos of him in New York,” said Jones, reffering to former Pepperell High football star and current New York Jets defensive tackle Marcus Dixon.
“We were so excited and thrilled when we got the photos and saw that not only had our Flat Stanley visited the New York Jets’ facility and Marcus, but that Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez had also helped with our reading project by posing with him in front of their lockers one day after practice!” she said. “This is something that my students will never forget.”
Jones and her students made a poster with the posters, and she said it mean a lot to her second-graders to know that these professional football players think that reading is important.
“We feel so proud that they took the time to help our class out,” she said.
Pepperell Primary student Jordan Mayo created the Flat Stanley that made the trip to New York.