Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley? It’s a children’s book about a young boy who woke up one morning to find that he had been flattened by a bulletin board that had fallen on him during the night. The book chronicles the neat things the now-flat Stanley can do, including being mailed to his friend’s house across the country.
My friend, Leila, bought the book for my boys last June, and they each enjoyed reading it earlier this school year. Sometimes, students who read the book create their own Flat Stanleys and mail them to their family, friends and fellow students, who in turn create journals of his adventures. The journals, the Stanleys and any mementos — oftentimes photos of people posing with the Stanleys — are returned to the senders. It’s a great way to get kids interested in reading, writing and geography.
As the school year draws to a close, my boys and I will be revisiting the Flat Stanley concept — with a Catholic twist.
I learned last week that Catholic Extension has launched a "Flat Francis" project to help welcome Pope Francis to the United States this fall. The pontiff will attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and make stops in New York and Washington, D.C.
Catholic Extension’s goal is for Catholics from all 50 states to show the face of American Catholicism by taking photos with cutouts of Pope Francis — which can be downloaded from the organization’s website — and submit them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #FlatFrancis.
What a great way to give the pope a warm welcome to the U.S.! My boys and I will be saying hello from the Finger Lakes, and we can’t wait to see what our fellow Catholics will be doing!