Book series inspires teacher

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Every month I attend and report on the Pearl River County School Board meetings. During Superintendent Alan Lumpkin’s monthly report he likes to highlight an aspect of the district and this month Pearl River Central Upper Elementary was spotlighted.

Third grade teacher Shannon Matute shared onto her ongoing projects at the school.

Inspired by the book “Flat Stanley” she has created a cut out of Stanley for students to send to places all over the world and United States.

“Flat Stanley” is about a little boy who becomes flattened after a bulletin board falls on him. In the first book, he travels to visit his friend in California by mailing himself.

Inspired by the series, Matute asks the parents of her students and fellow teachers if they know anyone who lives outside Louisiana and Mississippi who would take Stanley on adventures and photograph him to mail back. In 2009, Matute sent him to the New Orleans Saintsations, where Stanley got to go the Super Bowl and stand on the turf.

One year, Stanley went to China on a mission trip. The person in China not only took pictures of Stanley visiting all these different places, she also mailed a scrapbook filled with information and objects with explanations so the students could learn about China.

Matute said that each time Stanley comes back, she and the students trace Stanley’s journey and how many miles he traveled during the trip to help the students learn math skills. She said she also teaches them about the states Stanley visits.

Matute mentioned during her presentation that she wanted to expand the student’s knowledge of the world.

Most of the students have probably never traveled very far and this is such a great way for the children to learn about the world and their country instead of just reading about it in a book.

It is a learning experience that they have a connection to.

I applaud Matute’s idea and hope to hear more about Stanley’s adventures in the future.