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Correspondence with President Obama

Students send book character to Washington, D.C.

November 8, 2010
By EMILIE NELSON, Messenger staff writer

Flat Stanley has become a favorite project in June Bacon's third and fourth grade classroom at Community Christian School, but he has never come back from his travels with as exciting and interesting of a souvenir as he did this year.

Stanley was sent via mail to Washington, D.C., and paid a visit to President Barack Obama and the White House.

Based on the children's book by Jeff Brown about a boy who becomes flattened by a bulletin board and mails himself to a friend in another state, Flat Stanley is a flat, paper figure that each student creates and mails to a family member or friend in another state.

Article Photos

Community Christian students from left, Mason Bockoven, Chris Hatton, Zach Schwering, Joshua Wunder and Christian Macek, discuss Flat Stanley’s travels to Washington, D.C., as they check out a map of the White House in June Bacon’s third and fourth grade classroom. The class sent Stanley to President Barack Obama, and within just a few weeks, received the paper character back with plenty of souvenirs from his special visit.

As he travels the country for about two months, students keep track of him with any letters, photographs or memorabilia that are returned along the way.

This year as each fourth-grade student created their own Flat Stanley, and two decided the class should send a Flat Stanley to visit Washington, D.C., and the White House. They created a character wearing a shirt saying "we love the president," and sent him on his way, unsure of what they might hear in return.

"The students wanted to try something fun and different," said Bacon. "We've never sent a Flat Stanley to the president."

A few weeks later, Flat Stanley returned to the class safely in a package from the White House, along with a letter from the presidential staff, photos of President Barack Obama, a map of the White House and a photo and facts on the Obama Family dog, Bo.

Each of the 11 students received photos of Obama and Bo to take home, and will be discussing Flat Stanley's travels in class at a later date.

"The letter was very educational and encouraging," Bacon said. "It's very neat for the students to have sent something off to the White House and receive a response. And each of them have pieces to take home."

While they haven't had much time to discuss Stanley's travels, Bacon said the students showed quite an interest in learning more about Bo.

"They were wondering how he got his name," she said. "They decided maybe Bo was for Barack Obama's initials."

Bacon said her students should be getting their own Flat Stanleys back soon, and once they have returned, they will be creating displays for a Flat Stanley day presentation for parents and students that is usually held in January or February.

Contact Emilie Nelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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