Ear Hustle’s collaboration with the Flat Stanley Project
About Ear Hustle
Ear Hustle is a podcast that brings you stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it. The podcast is a partnership between Nigel Poor, a Bay Area visual artist, and Earlonne Woods, currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and was co-founded with fellow inmate Antwan Williams. The team works in San Quentin’s media lab to produce stories that are sometimes difficult, often funny and always honest, offering a nuanced view of people living within the American prison system. Ear Hustle was the winner of Radiotopia's Podquest contest in 2016, chosen from more than 1,500 international entries. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.
About the Flat Stanley Project
The Flat Stanley Project has become the longest-lasting literacy project on the web. Kids send a letter and a “flat visitor” — a cutout of Flat Stanley, a character from a children’s book — to a school, a celebrity, a family member, a politician or anyone of interest, and the recipient returns the little flat guy along with a completed journal and perhaps some souvenirs, such as postcards, photos or special items. Former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all hosted a Flat Stanley while they were in office. The Flat Stanley website has Flat Stanley templates and a sample letter for classrooms to send to hosts.
In September, six elementary school classrooms will send letters to the Ear Hustle P.O. box containing a paper cutout of a cartoon boy — known as Flat Quentin, for this episode, but usually referred to as Flat Stanley. The six letters and Flat Quentins will be given to people who spend their days inside the prison. The idea behind the project is that one correctional officer and several inmates who choose to participate would keep a diary of Flat Quentin’s day — what he did, what he ate, and so on — and if possible, take a few pictures with Flat Quentin to send back to the classrooms. The people who participate in the project would also talk to Ear Hustle for the podcast episode about it. It’s a nice way of talking about what an average day in prison is like for the various people who spend their days there.
For some examples of past Ear Hustle episodes, check out “Thick Glass,” which looks at parenting in prison, as well as “Catch a Kite” and “Catch a Kite 2,” where guys inside answer questions from listeners. Our episodes contain strong language. We can provide bleeped versions, but please preview episodes before playing them for kids.
Flat Quentin is an exciting opportunity for the right classes. There is a podcast called Ear Hustle that is produced by Radiotopia from San Quentin State Prison. The Flat Stanley Project is collaborating with Ear Hustle so that a few classes can send a Flat Quentin to specially selected inmates who would receive the letters and reply.
The letters would be received by Ear Hustle staff and hand-delivered to the carefully chosen San Quentin inmates. Student safety and privacy are paramount and the inmates would not have the address of the school or the last names of the students. The inmates who are taking part have been carefully selected by staff.
If you are interested or for more information, please contact Dale Hubert. We hope to begin the Flat Quentin portion of the Flat Stanley Project in September 2018. There is a limit of only 6 classes, so please apply soon if you are interested.