Flat Stanley Adventures Begin at Matthew Paterson Elementary

One school plus one book equals more adventures than you can imagine.

Students at Matthew Paterson Elementary recently kicked off the One School, One Book initiative, which promises tons of reading fun.

What book will all the students be reading? The choice was kept top-secret until a recent special assembly. Presented with green foam crowns, bearing resemblance to a certain iconic New York City statue, as they entered the cafeteria, the young readers waited patiently for the reveal. After much fanfare, the students learned that they would be reading “Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures, Lost in New York.”

Students attend presentation to find out what book they will be reading

To their delight, special guests Flat Stanley, portrayed by Principal Mike Kirk, and the Statue of Liberty, portrayed by Physical Education teacher Lisa Palmieri, appeared on stage to provide the students with more information about the book. The school community learned that Flat Stanley is heading to New York City to visit the United Nations where he will meet with children from all over the world to sign the Declaration of Friendship.

“I love being flat because I can fit in an envelope and travel the world by mail. I’ve been all over the globe,” said Kirk as Flat Stanley.

The students were told that they would receive their own Flat Stanley to mail to a family member or friend in another part of the world so that he can have even more adventures.

“Your family members and friends are going to take Flat Stanley on an adventure in their town or city so we can all learn more about where they live,” Technology Coach Michele Love, who is leading the initiative, told the students.

As letters and photos of Flat Stanley adventures are mailed back to the students, they will plot the adventure locations on a collaborative and interactive map and display the adventure tales around the school.

After the grade-level assemblies, students returned to their classrooms to help open a top-secret envelope to find their own Flat Stanleys to decorate and a classroom copy of the book to read.

Third-grade students in Ms. Boalt’s class opened their envelope and immediately began brainstorming places to send each of their Flat Stanleys.

“I am sending mine to St. Croix because my mom’s parents live there,” said Hannah L.

“I don’t know where I am sending my Flat Stanley, but it’s at least 10 hours away,” said Lucas B.

“I’m sending mine to my grandma’s house,” added one student. “She lives really far away.”

“I want to send mine to Germany because in September I am going there,” added another student.

Other places that the students plan to send Flat Stanley include Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Texas, California and even Camillus, N.Y., a suburb outside of Syracuse.

Over the next several weeks, Flat Stanleys will depart from all classrooms at Matthew Paterson Elementary School bound for new cities around the world and will report back with adventures to share!