Local kindergartener receives reply from White House

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A special delivery from the White House has made its way to West Michigan.

The recipient is none other than a local kindergartener.

Six-year-old Carter Denton attends Riverside Elementary School in Battle Creek.

As part of a class project, he was asked to send a "Flat Stanley" paper doll to a friend who lives in an interesting place.

The goal is to get Flat Stanley back, along with some pictures of the doll's travels.

"Carter said he was sending it to the White House and I was like, 'Oh, okay!'" recalls Carter's teacher, Jessica Day.

Day says she didn't think much of it.

After all, many of the students' Flat Stanleys never get returned.

So when a first-class envelope came in the mail, it took a second to sink in.

"I looked at it and it said 'The White House,'" Day explains. "I was a little shocked!"

The Presidential mail was addressed to none other than Carter Denton.

"A letter from Michelle Obama!" Carter exclaims, holding the letter with pride.

The letter reads, in part: "Dear Carter, our family always enjoys having visitors here at the White House, so thank you for sending Flat Stanley to visit us. Flat Stanley was greeted in the morning with an affectionate lick from our dogs Bo and Sunny. Flat Stanley showed up to the White House ready to learn with a smile on his face and I hope you bring that same energy to your classroom at home each day. Remember with the right attitude and enough hard work, you can reach your dreams."

"That's like graduation board material already!" says Carter's mom, Sarah Denton.

Sarah says she had brainstormed with Carter about cool places to send Stanley and ultimately decided to ship him off to a girl she knew from high school who's interning at the White House.

"We wanted to do something a little overboard and I guess we kind of did in this case," Sarah laughs.

The Dentons figured Flat Stanley may get lost in the mail or caught in red tape but hoped they'd at least get back some pictures of him in front of a national monument.

Pictures of Flat Stanley on the White House steps came as a pleasant surprise.

"Look, he's inside the gates!" Mrs. Day points out to Carter.

According to the letter from Michelle Obama, Carter's Flat Stanley also visited the State Dining Room, the East Room, helped care for the White House Gardens and met with the President in the Oval Office.

And there's more: the first family sent Carter a whole stack of goodies, including a signed family photo and pictures of their dogs.

"I got a lot of cool stuff back," Carter notes.

Day adds, "The upper grades got to see the letter and stuff and they were like, 'Oh my goodness!' They're all high-fiving Carter as went through the hall."

"It's definitely stuff we'll keep forever, for sure," Sarah says.

Although Carter may not fully understand the significance of the Presidential seals and signatures until he's a little older, even a kindergartener knows what to say after receiving a package like this one.

"Thank you to Obama's family," Carter says with a smile.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off