It's been a long and interesting adventure. In 1994, I was teaching grade 6 and decided to switch to grade 3. I wanted to find a way to encourage my students to engage in literacy and knew that the best way to do this was to offer them authentic and meaningful opportunities. At the same time, I was the teacher on staff who looked after the computer network at my school. It was a newly built school with over 800 students, but only one computer that would go online, and that was with my personal email account on a dial-up modem.

The Home & School was paying $35 a month for a dedicated phone line and they wanted something to show for their investment. The Internet was in its infancy, and there wasn't much in the way of kid-friendly material available, so I decided to come up with something on my own.

I'd come across a vague reference to “Flat Stanley” and for some reason it resonated with me. The book was almost out of print and I had to special order it. When it arrived, I realized that the part where Stanley visited his friend in California by travelling in an envelope could be the hook I was looking for to engage my new students. I persuaded one of my former grade 6 students, Daryl Hunt, to teach me some HTML and the original Flat Stanley Project was born.

It was a big hit with my students, and by the end of the first year the List of Participants had 6 classes from Canada and 7 from the USA. During the summer, people kept contacting me asking to be put on the list for next year and the numbers eventually rose to the hundreds. I had to hand-code each person's name, address, email address into the List of Participants and manually sort it and send a reply confirming they'd been added. It would take about ten minutes per new applicant and once this got into the hundreds it became quite a drain on my time.

A few years later, Jeff Brown, the author of the original Flat Stanley book, contacted me because he'd noticed a huge resurgence of interest in his book. To show his appreciation, Jeff came to my school as a guest author and invited me to visit him and his family in Connecticut for a couple of weeks. Jeff credited me with helping him become a million-selling author. We remained very good friends until his death.

Welcome to the Original Flat Stanley Project!
Created, owned and operated since 1995 by Dale Hubert, M.Ed.
Welcome to the Original Flat Stanley Project!
The Longest-Lasting Literacy Site on the Internet