Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Flat Stanley Visits Hawaii

We received an envelope in the mail several weeks ago, with Flat Stanley inside. He is part of the geography curriculum for a third grade class in California, who's students are learning about the 50 United States. One of the students chose Hawaii as his State to study, and then found our family to help out, through a teacher friend of Micah's.

The idea behind Flat Stanley is that he can travel anywhere he wants because he can fit into an envelope. On his travels, he can have lots of interesting learning adventures, and get to know the culture and environment. When Stanley returns, he brings back small souvenirs and postcards, which will help the third grade class learn more about Hawaii.

As Flat Stanley's host family, we got to take him on some family outings during our week with him. I really loved this idea and had a lot of fun helping with this project. I feel that these types of creative learning experiences can be powerful for young kids, and hoped that this third grade class, and this little student would get a lot out of it.

We took Flat Stanley to several of our favorite places around Hilo. We went to Onekahakaha beach park and gave him a surfing lesson.
Next we took him to Mokupapapa Discovery Center where he learned about Hawaii's endangered species and the importance of protecting our coral reefs.

We also took him to the Hilo Farmer's Market where we buy our local produce and yummy Asian treats.

Last, we took him to see two of the big waterfalls right here in town; Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots.

We wish we had time to take him up to the volcano, but ran out of time. Afterall, he was only here for a week!
We sent Stanley home with some postcards, magazines, educational booklets, and a beautiful flower lei around his neck. Here is the response we heard back from the third grade teacher in charge of this project:
Dear Jackson Family,
We received your package and Andrew opened it in front of the class yesterday. I wish you could have been there. The pure joy on his face from first seeing Stanley in a lei to the last picture he took out was incredible. It took my breath away to see that joy. He was spellbound, as the whole class was, by every item as it took them out one at a time to show the class. My thanks do not go far enough, but for now it is all I have. I hope you family will consider another visit from Flat Stanley next year. Thank You!

It was our pleasure! We hope to see more Flat Stanley's around here soon!

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