Hello Flat Stanley Fans!
My name is Stacy Bodin and I am a second grade teacher in Erath, Louisiana. Last year, I participated in the Flat Stanley Project and was anxiously waiting to participate again. The recent visit of two Hurricanes to Louisiana delayed me starting the project this year. Hurricane Rita’s tidal surge sent record high flood waters displacing half the children and teachers in Vermilion Parish.
Erath is a coastal parish in Vermilion Parish in Louisiana. My home is approximately 10 miles from the gulf and my hometown was covered with Hurricane Rita’s recent tidal surge. Though the Hurricane itself hit to the west of us, the east side brings water with it and that is what we received. In fact, our small town of 2100 was on CNN and the other leading news shows often the week of Hurricane Rita’s visit.
My sister and her family lived in New Orleans where Hurricane Katrina hit. They lived in the area where the water remained the longest from the levee break. In fact, her home literally sat in seven feet of water for 3 weeks. Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29th and they were finally able to see their home for the first time on October 8th. Of course, it is totaled. They moved in with our family, hoping to find a rent home in New Orleans soon. I have pictures and sites linked to my page if you are interested in viewing them.
Our town is still cleaning up and our children were shipped to another area school. We are platooning our children for the time being. We aren’t sure how long we will be out of our school. FEMA is now in the process of cleaning up for us but that is expected to take a good while.
This past spring, our school had made plans to work with the Flat Stanley project as our reading theme for the year. But with the hurricane visits, we are just looking to survive and that has been put on hold!! Last year, I did participate in the Project and loved it. I didn’t host a Stanley, but did respond to three projects. I was hoping to host a few this year, but will not be able to do that.
Though I don’t have the time to host a Stanley, I don’t mind responding to something. In fact, if anyone wants to participate and I would like to try and respond. We can send links via email and my kids can respond through the mail. I was luckily placed in a classroom at my new school with 12 computers, so we could respond with letters, etc. or via email.
Because I am at a new school and not knowing “how long” we will be here, you could email me at my home email address firstname.lastname@example.org or mail me at my home address at 16007 HWY 685, Erath, LA 70533. I was invited to participate by several teachers at the beginning of the year and I responded yes, however if anything was mailed to us, it was lost in the flood. I just wanted you to know that I am still interested.
A wonderful story emerged through Hurricane Katrina’s visit that you may want to share with your children. My sister and her husband have a set of 12 year old twins. The evacuation was quick and they left their two pets not realizing that the New Orleans levee would break and flood New Orleans. Once that happened, my family prepared them for the death of the two pets. My nephew was extremely upset that his rabbit Bugs died. We grieved with him and for the rabbit for weeks. My sister Janine and her husband Thomas returned to New Orleans on October 8th to finally get pictures for the insurance company and to bury the pets. The rabbit stayed in my nepehew’s room in a large cage. My sister quickly went to his bedroom to take his little body out to bury him and found “Bugs” still alive after 42 days!! My sister had 7 feet of water in her home for three weeks, so we were amazed! The bottom of the cage was plastic, so the cage floated for three weeks. My sister had left him food and water, but not for 42 days. When they called, we were all in awe with the story. His eyes were dull and he was thinner, but he was alive. He is now living at my house and seems to have adjusted to his new country home! I created a powerpoint about my nephew and Bugs’ experience for my 2nd graders. That can be found on my homepage (http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/smbodin ). Click on “A Journey of Hope”. I created several links on my homepage as well.
You can download the powerpoint to share with your children. My kids loved the story and comforted the many who are still displaced at this time.
Last year, I purchased 3 sets of 30 Stanley books to work all year with “Stanley” as my main theme this year. I just adore Stanley!! I was saving until I could afford the next three sets of 30 this year when Hurricane Rita hit. I was going to use one story each six weeks this year in Social Studies, Science, Math and Reading. I had already created cute math lessons with the first book. My plan was to use some of the online lessons and I was going to create more lessons for each. However I lost all of those in the water. When things settle down, I will begin again and buy the books when I can afford them. I did have 3 of the 90 books with me to start planning, so, I can at least read those three Stanley books to them.
Please feel free to send Stanleys to me and my class if you want to learn about Hurricanes or the process of how coastal states handle hurricanes, evacuations, displacement, etc. I am a teacher whose children write daily and work with a large amount of technology projects. I have participated in several state technology conferences and I have also presented at two National (NECC) Conferences, so I am extremely comfortable with technology projects in terms exchanging via email, etc. Either way is fine for me! Just drop me a line if you are interested in sharing information about your area with my class.
To see some pictures are information about what happened our home parish, I have sent some links below. I attached pictures of my classroom. (These were taken about a week after the hurricane).
Dozier Elementary (School Homepage)
http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/smbodin (My own homepage)
We have a children’s parish site that was created this summer by our Technology Camp students. (Our home parish is Vermilion Parish). Our state has parishes, not counties.
Erath Children’s link with information about our town, http://www.vrml.k12.la.us/dozier/vp/Erath/erath.htm
Vermilion (Flood Picture Download from Local News Station)
Henry Elementary Pictures (School South of Erath)
Vermilion Parish has platooned some schools and merged others! Click here for more details!