‘Flat Jason’ has new mission at Brewster ElementaryBREWSTER — The students in Beth Baumgard’s kindergarten class are quite enamored of their classroom celebrity.
BREWSTER — The students in Beth Baumgard’s kindergarten class are quite enamored of their classroom celebrity.
And they haven’t even met the real thing yet.
For the 5- and 6-year-olds, the 3-foot cardboard cutout of Sgt. Jason Anderson, their teacher’s son-in-law, is nearly their size. And through their correspondence with the army man this year, they’ve gotten to know him like a classmate.
Baumgard inherited the cutout after her daughter Angela adapted the popular “Flat Stanley” concept for the couple’s three girls.
“That’s where she got the flat daddy idea; so they would have time with him,” explained Baumgard. “He’s gone to the Mall of America, he’s been out to eat, he’s been to our house every Christmas.”
The students exchange weekly e-mails with the Balaton resident serving in Iraq. “They just ask him questions. When it’s snowing they always have to ask him if it’s snowing over there,” Baumgard said. “He enjoys hearing from them.”
She has taught the kindergarteners a bit about Iraq, and read the class “Night Catch,” a book by Barbara Ehrmantraut about a deployed soldier who uses the North Star to play a nightly game of catch with his son.
Anderson, a supply sergeant for the 151st Artillery Battalion, or rather his placeholder “Flat Jason,” has done a tour of duty around Brewster Elementary School as well.
“He’s been all over our school, too. He’s been to lunch, to our Christmas program, to the computer room and music class,” Baumgard said.
The students enjoy hearing from their far-away friend, who has been abroad since July 2009. He will be home for a break next week, and Baumgard hopes the students can eventually meet him. Four years ago, her students participated in a similar correspondence and Anderson visited the class in person.
“I like that we can see him,” said Kendra Gilbertson, 5 ½, “Once I wrote ‘I’m going to audition for a play.’ ‘King Arthur’s Quest,’” she explained.
Six-year-old Skylar Fisher said she wrote to Anderson about her two younger sisters. “I like to think about writing to him,” she said.
To read the students’ recent correspondence with Anderson, visit www.dglobe.com.