Ryan Kewageshig with Flat Stanley and the photo of the grade 2
class that made him
Flat Stanley was conceived by a grade 2
class at Abe Scatch Memorial School in the small northern community of
Poplar Hill on the border of Ontario and Manitoba.
"My friend Kirsten Ryan is a teacher at the school," explains Ryan
Kewageshig. "I met her when I was part of the Lieutenant-Governor's
Summer Literacy Camp. We started in Toronto and then flew to Thunder
Bay. It was my first time north and my first time in a plane."
Ryan wrote to Kewageshig and asked he would contribute to the school's
toy drive held last winter. Instead of a simple contribution however,
Kewageshig decided to hold his own toy drive for the northern children.
He ended up filling seven large cartons with new toys and then shipped
As the children opened their gifts, their teacher took photos and made a
scrapbook which she then sent to Kewageshig so he could see for himself
how happy the children were to open their presents, and that's where
Flat Stanley comes in.
23/03/2009 10:01 PM
The students made Flat Stanley and sent him, along with
a photo of the class and a letter, to Kewageshig asking him to take
Stanley around and take photos of the places he went to create a new
Part of the Letter:
"We are a grade 2 class ... there are 14 students in our
class and our teacher's name is Amber. We learn to speak English at
school and we speak Ojibway at home, but our teacher only speaks English
... some of our favourite books are Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard, Bad
Dog Marley by John Grogan and, of course, Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown.
Our community is very small and isolated. People can only get to our
community by plane except in the winter when the water freezes and the
winter road is built. The population is around 400 people. We only have
one store called the Northern. It usually begins snowing here in October
... please take good care of our friend Flat Stanley and then send him
back to us with some information about you and your community."
Kewageshig is hoping to make Flat Stanley part of the 'Explore the
Bruce' this summer and will take him on field trips as part of the
Saugeen Youth Canoe, Camping and Outrigging Program (SYCCOP), where he
is a Recreation Support Worker.
He is then going to create a scrapbook of Bruce County and all the
locations that Flat Stanley has visited and send Flat Stanley and the
scrapbook back to the Poplar Hill school. He (Kewageshig) is also
planning to hold another toy drive this winter for the small northern