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Mailbox becomes source of excitement

Gavin Magill sent his Flat Stanley to the White House and received a packet of information including a picture of the president.

Flat Stanley is a children's book character who was a normal boy, but got flattened by his bulletin board one night was he was asleep.

"'Gosh!' said Arthur. 'Stanley's flat!' 'As a pancake,' said Mr. Lambchop. 'Darnedest thing I've ever seen!'" the book reads.

Since the book's release, multiple classrooms have taken Flat Stanley's adventures by making paper Flat Stanley dolls and mailing them across the country and sometimes across the globe.

Last week, a Sunnyside Elementary School kindergarten class huddled around their teacher as she read the adventure Flat Stanley had taken to the White House, one he embarked upon when kindergartner Gavin Magill put him in an envelope.

Typically, students send them to relatives or family friends who live in areas a distance away, teacher Nancy Prahl said.

But since, "we had just talked about the elections and air force one," Prahl said Magill had a different idea. He sent his Flat Stanley to President Barack Obama.

Magill colored his paper doll like the American flag and, with a letter that described how Flat Stanley was supposed to take adventures and be returned to him, Prahl put him in the mail.

"We mail them from school and then they're mailed back to the child's home and I've always had 100 percent," she said. "People who receive them are really excited to do this. It's really quite funny what you see."

Not long later, an envelope from the White House appeared in Magill's home mail box.

"I tore the whole top off," he said. "I was screaming my head off."

Magill brought his new mail to class the next day to share with his peers. Inside, there was a map of the parts of the White House that were open to the public, a picture of the Obama family's dog, Bo, a description of what a day in the life of Bo was like, an official letter from Obama and, Gavin's favorite part, a signed picture of Obama.

"We learned lots of things about the president and the White House and Bo," Prahl said -- including the fact that Obama is a "lifelong student" and that he learns something new every day.

"I'm sure they'll remember that forever," she said.

Other students have received their Flat Stanley's back in the mail and have brought them back to class to share their adventures .

"We learn a little bit about different states and different cultures throughout the united states," Prahl said.

Piper Gulden's Flat Stanley "got to go on a trip" to California. Owen Quiboloy's Flat Stanley visited cousins in New Jersey. Quincey St. Dennis' Flat Stanley traveled all the way to Germany.

"They love it and every time a new Flat Stanley comes in they're so excited to map it out and for me to read the adventures," Prahl said.