Changing Planet

The search for Flat Stanley’s next big adventure

Flat Stanley has become something of an icon in children’s literature, boosting literacy and geography education as young readers have followed the character’s global adventures for more than four decades.

This week Flat Stanley made an “official” visit to the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., where third graders from Washington’s Sheridan School helped induct the first three titles of Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventure Series into the Library.

Flat-Stanley-picture.jpg

Josh Greenhut (center), an author of Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventure Series, reads some of Flat Stanley’s latest book “The Japanese Ninja Surprise,” to third graders from Washington D.C.’s Sheridan School in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building earlier this week.

Photo courtesy Adventures by Disney

Next BIG Adventure

The occasion also marked the launch of a project called “The Search for Flat Stanley’s Next BIG Adventure.”

In this nationwide contest, children ages 7 to 12 can win an Adventures by Disney vacation by creating a specially themed Flat Stanley and a 150-word story about his “Next BIG Adventure,” the organizers, Adventures by Disney and HarperCollins Children’s Books, said in a news statement.

Entries will be judged in three age groups–one for 7 to 8-year-olds, one for 9 to 10-year-olds and one for 11 to 12-year-olds. One winner will be chosen in each age group and each of the three winners can choose one of Adventures by Disney’s 19 worldwide vacations for their prize. The contest runs through November 30, 2009.

Flat Stanley was introduced by author Jeff Brown more than 45 years ago and has inspired a worldwide phenomenon, the organizers said in their statement.

“In what’s become a popular tradition, parents and kids take Flat Stanley with them on vacation or send him to friends and family in different cities.

“Flat Stanley’s picture is taken in various locations, and the children report back to their classes on Flat Stanley’s adventures.

“In Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures, Flat Stanley continues to inspire creativity in classrooms across America with his entertaining adventures that are also lessons in geography.”

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn

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