Flat Katelyn helps student stay in touch

Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Flat Katelyn hung around Mrs. Donna Steffens' classroom just in case another adventure arose while Katelyn was hospitalized.

You've heard of Flat Stanley. He's a character that children draw and color on paper then cut out and mail to other classrooms around the world. The students take Flat Stanley on outings and exchange letters outlining Flat Stanley's adventures.

While Flat Stanley is very popular, he's had to make room for a new character at Perryville Elementary School -- Flat Katelyn. She's the star of Donna Steffens' kindergarten class, and she helped a sick little girl stay in contact with her classroom while she was in the hospital.

"My student Katelyn Pittman has been in St. Louis Children's Hospital being treated for leukemia," Steffens explained. "Katelyn was very upset that she would miss events like kindergarten recognition and especially our field trip to Grant's Farm. My students and I talked about ways to include their friend Katelyn, and the children suggested taking lots of photos of the trip to send to her at the hospital. That's when I thought -- let's take a Flat Katelyn, too!

"We drew Katelyn's body and decorated her PES shirt, and I put a big photo of Katelyn's face on the head. Then we headed to Grant's Farm."

Flat Katelyn had a grand time on the field trip! She rode on the school bus, visited the animals, took a tram trip, enjoyed a snow cone, had a hug from Mrs. Triller, and more.

"Katelyn did everything we did," said classmate Caleb Triller. "We had fun!"

Steffens took photos of all of Flat Katelyn's adventures, then created and printed a hard-bound keepsake photo book for the real Katelyn. Steffens and other PES staff members delivered the book to Katelyn and her parents, Chandos and Lisa Pittman, during a visit to the hospital.

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