Flat Stanley tags along with mayor
August 27, 2008 · Updated 5:09 PM
ARLINGTON Hes a two-dimensional globe-trotter, and for a month last year, he hitched a ride in Arlington Mayor Margaret Larsons purse.
Flat Stanley is the title character of a popular childrens book read by Mary Shays first-through third-graders at Stillaguamish Valley School, and the subject of a long-running program to teach geography and social studies to students, by having them send Flat Stanley paper dolls across the world.
In October of 2007, one of the Flat Stanleys made by Shays students accompanied Larson to a number of community events, including the ribbon-cutting of Olympic Avenue, and Larson brought him back to Shays classroom Jan. 8 to talk about their shared travels.
As the mayor, Im kind of like the principal of the town, said Larson, as she showed the students photos of herself and her Flat Stanley at various events around town. I chose to take Flat Stanley with me in October because of the number of events that were taking place then. It had been close to 70 years since Olympic Avenue was new.
Larson explained that she also introduced her Flat Stanley to the City Council and staff, and reassured one student in particular that he was comfortable.
Did he get scared of the dark in my purse? Larson said. No, because I said hi to him every morning.
Shay told Larson that her students had learned about history through Flat Stanley, by dressing up their own Flat Stanley dolls in period clothing, including that worn by Pilgrims. The students had also interacted with other cultures, by mailing their Flat Stanleys to different cities, states and countries, as far away as Holland, Africa and Thailand.
So far, the only one weve gotten back is from Egypt, Shay said. We hope the people we sent them to will take pictures of themselves with their Flat Stanleys, so that we can put them on our bulletin board. We hope the Flat Stanleys have fun learning about their jobs, and we know our classes will enjoy learning about the Flat Stanleys adventures when they return.