If you have ever wished you could travel the world just by mailing yourself to exotic locations, you can identify with Flat Stanley, a much-loved character created by author Jeff Brown in 1926. The Flat Stanley Project – where children mail Flat Stanley to a famous place or person in hopes of getting him back with photos and a journal of his experiences – is one of the most successful literacy programs on the Internet, not only for its simplicity but also because it gives children a chance to practice literacy skills while connecting with their world in new and exciting ways. In 1999, Flat Stanley even went to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Discovery!
Personally, I love to open an envelope and have Flat Stanley jump out. It means that I have a friend to accompany me through my day at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and I always try to catch a few pictures of Flat Stanley as he explores the spacecraft and other exhibits here before returning home. Sometimes, I even have two Flat Stanleys visit at the same time. That’s fun because they can pretend they are Gemini astronauts. (When three visit together, they pretend they are Apollo astronauts.)
If you know Flat Stanley plans to visit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, here are a few tips you should share with him:
- Don’t wait until the last few weeks of school to come out on your visit. Sometimes we are very busy launching rockets and we might not have time to give you a tour right away.
- Tell us a little bit about the students with whom you will be sharing your adventures. What grade are they in? What state are they from? Why did they want you to visit the space center?
- Finally, make sure you mail yourself to the right address. Otherwise, you could be sealed in that envelope for a long time as it gets forwarded from one place to another. Use “Education Department, KSC Visitor Complex, Mail Code DNPR, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899” if you want to visit me.