A Radio Interview with Dale Hubert

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Click here to listen: ABC Western Australia Radio Interview, March 4, 2005

Clint Eastwood & Flat Stanley

Presenter: Liam Bartlett

Clint Eastwood takes Flat Stanley for an outing.

What was that little thing that Clint Eastwood had in his hand at the 2005 academy Awards ? It was Flat Stanley, and who'd've thought a little guy made out of paper could be such a world-wide phenomenon, and have such an impact on children's interest in reading and writing.

Liam spoke to the Canadian 3rd grade teacher Dale Hubert who is the originator of the Flat Stanley Project.

Dale explains that ,in the 1960s, author Jeff Brown wrote a book where a boy named Stanley Lambchop was flattened by a falling bulletin board. Flat Stanley then wants to visit some friends in California, so his parents roll him up, put him in an envelope and mail him there.

This concept sparked our teacher's imagination, so Dale Hubert came up with the idea of schoolchildren making up their own Flat Stanleys and mailing them to other kids. These recipients would be expected to play host, write a journal of Flat Stanley's time with them, and eventually mail Stanley (with journal) back".

This has worked as a wonderful way to engage a child's imagination, and encourage reading and writing. For some reason, according to Mr Hubert, whilst the old pen pal system just doesn't cut it anymore, children seem to be eager to write and read about a 'special' friend.

So much so, says Dale Hubert, that "the little flat guy keeps popping up in the most unlikely places. Naturally, he's been to the White House, with penguins in Antactica, in a kangaroo's pouch in Australia, and visited a school in France.

Apparently the school in France got a bit of a surprise because it ended up hosting one hundred & twenty Flat Stanleys simultaneously. It coped.

In a sometimes miserable and cynical world, this is one of the best news stories you could ever find. Children can easily participate through their schoolteachers, and there are website precautions to prevent creepy adults getting involved. Please click onto our audio to hear an inspiring educator talk about his great idea, and see the website below for further information.

Oh, and what was Mr Eastwood doing with Flat Stanley ? Clint has a daughter in Grade 3, and Mr Eastwood was taking her Flat Stanley to the Oscars for a night out. Bet that Flat Stanley had a tale to tell.

Audio in RealMedia format ) |  Requires RealPlayer


As heard on the Morning Program with Liam Bartlett.

Related Links:
Some of these links may be to sites outside the ABC and as such the ABC has no editorial control over such sites.

Any further information about Flat Stanley, including how to take part, is on his website.