NISKAYUNA: Flat Stanley gives students a unique view of world

Bradt Primary School second-graders in Laurie Welch's class are experiencing different communities and parts of the world in an interesting and creative way through the Flat Stanley Project.

Flat Stanley is a children's book written by the late Jeff Brown. In the book, a bulletin board falls on Stanley, flattening him. In his new flat form, Stanley can do things regularly sized people can't, such as travel in an envelope and fit through small cracks.

The Flat Stanley Project expands on the book's premise and allows students to connect with people all over the world by sending a flat version of themselves to other places.

In Welch's class, her students made flat images of themselves and created a journal about their experiences as flat people. One of her students, Curt Roscou, 8, sent his flat self along with a few of his flat classmates to his uncle, Stephen Sieck, who is a staff sergeant in Iraq.

We sent five flat kids in a box to Uncle Stephen with snacks, toiletries, baby wipes and a few cameras, said Welch.

Sieck spent a few weeks with Flat Curt and his friends, wrote about his experiences and sent back pictures, a flag and other memorabilia from Iraq. Sieck wrote that the flag was flown over Iraq as a tribute to Welch's second grade class.

Welch said the Flat Stanley Project connects with social studies, literature and teaches responsibility.

Through the pictures and a letter from Sieck, the students got a better idea of what it's like to be in Iraq. Sieck sent pictures of the flat people doing different things around his base, such as flying in planes, sleeping in the bunks and playing in the desert. Sieck also drew a map of Iraq to give the students an idea about where he is stationed.

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