Alhambra School District
Alhambra, CA

March 26, 2002
Office of Public Information
Century Students Welcome Special “Guest”
Century High School

For Immediate Release

In the book, Flat Stanley, by Jeff Brown, Stanley Lambchop is squashed flat by a falling bulletin board. Stanley discovers that one of the many advantages to being flattened is that he can now visit his friends by being mailed in an envelope.

Century High School students recently received a Flat Stanley in the mail from Jazzmen, a first grader in Philadelphia. Jazzmen asked the students in Michelle Leddel’s Humanities class to let Stanley spend the day with them and to write back to her about his adventures.

Leddel’s students embraced the project and wrote to Jazzmen about Stanley’s exciting escapades as they created stories, drawings, and books about his day in Southern California.

The students wrote and illustrated stories that took Flat Stanley to local fast food restaurants, movie theaters, theme parks, and the homes of friends and family members. Stanley ate hamburgers, fries, pizzas, sushi, and even flat pancakes. Leddel also joined in on the fun and took Stanley on adventures to the Getty Center, the Santa Monica Pier, and downtown Los Angeles.

Student writings were vivid with descriptions about going swimming in the Pacific Ocean for the first time, feeling the air while on a fast moving skateboard, and learning new ideas in math and history classes. Some students even made Stanley traveling companions, Flat Stacie and Flat Sarah. In several stories, the juniors and seniors wrote detailed accounts of Stanley and the many animals of Century High School’s popular petting zoo. The students made sure to send Jazzmen a picture of Stanley meeting the school’s newly-born lamb.

This project, “…allowed me to have a wonderful adventure,” says Van Nguyen. “When Jazzmen receives my Flat Sarah I hope she will like it and I also hope that one day, Jazzmen can come and visit us.”

The students are now anxiously waiting to hear back from Jazzmen. They included self-addressed stamped postcards to help her start corresponding with her 27 new pen pals.

According to Leddel, “This project has helped to enliven the students’ writing because they were writing for a purpose: they had a curious little girl in Pennsylvania who was waiting for their responses.”

Jazzmen’s pen pals had a wonderful time during Stanley’s visit. “We got to help a little girl by telling her stories of what we did while her Flat Stanley was in California,” explains Dexter Erise. “I feel good that I got the chance to do something for someone, especially for a little girl across the country in Philadelphia.”

Century students show off their “Flat Stanley” projects, which will be mailed to their new pen pal in Philadelphia. From left to right: Domenique Chayra, Jenny Mac, Jessica Rocha and Teacher Michelle Leddell (holding book written by Dexter Erise).