Flat Stanley came to Roselle Park by way of a little girl named Jazmin all the way from California at the end of November by way of her mother, Chrissy.
Having read “Flat Stanley” in class, Jazmin and her schoolmates were each given their own paper “Flat Stanley” to mail somewhere in the world. Since then, the ambassador to modern-day letter-writing has been throughout our small Borough in New Jersey from Tommy’s Joint to the Roselle Park Museum to Mimi’s Pizza to Art & Soul Galleries to our town library to our schools to even Mastapeter’s Funeral Home. Additionally, Stanley visited the Thomas Edison Memorial Tower in Edison, NJ, marched in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, went shopping, toured the “Top Of The Rock” at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, met NBC’s Today Show hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, and even was honored with the Key To The City from Roselle Park Mayor Joseph Accardi.
The whirlwind experience is courtesy of Roselle Park Alicia Marino and the Flat Stanley Project which started almost 20 years ago in 1995 as a way for schoolchildren to communicate with other students throughout the world. The project itself is inspired from the “Flat Stanley” series of books written by Jeff Brown, which started half a century ago. Students create a paper Stanley and mail him off to people who sign up to accept their Flat Stanley (link).
Alicia stated that Chrissy reached out to her to become a host after seeing Alicia’s Facebook page because, “She sees I that I try to make everyday life an adventure.”
As part of the project, Jazmin had to research Roselle Park while Alicia, as host, sent postcards and kept a journal of what Stanley was up to while visiting.
Alicia came to realize that the project was a learning experience in itself for her as well, saying, “Through Flat Stanley I saw Roselle Park through new eyes. I researched the history of the town and even became a member of the Roselle Park Historical Society. I learned about how equipment for the Marconi wireless company was manufactured here and that Robert Gordon School was one of the first poured concrete buildings in the world using the Thomas Edison method.”
The rest of the town became not only interested, but wanted to be a part of Stanley’s journey. Alicia took Stanley everywhere with her and soon enough, Alicia got to see just how wonderful Roselle Park was, more than she already knew. She commented, “One thing that I saw happen [which] was incredible…. The whole town really came together to welcome Stanley and share in his adventures. Everyone wanted a visit from Stanley. People asked me on a daily basis ‘How’s Stanley?’ He was welcomed by all the local businesses. He was awarded the key to the city from Mayor Joe Accardi and even interviewed and given a voice by former Roselle Park Mayor Joe DeIorio on his ‘Out & About with Joe & Thos’ online show.”
“I was really touched how everyone came together to make Flat Stanley’s stay in Roselle Park such a welcoming whirlwind of fun and adventures,” Alicia said, being thankful that Flat Stanley showed her as much about her town as she showed him, “One of the reasons I love living in Roselle Park is the incredibly wonderful people who make our town the special place that it is.”
Flat Stanley’s adventures in Roselle Park can be seen on his Facebook page (link).
Below is a video collage and over 100 photographs that highlight Flat Stanley’s time in Roselle Park.