In 2021, looking for a way to advertise the Laurent Clerc Stamp Project 2.0, we came across the idea of creating a "Flat Laurent' figure that could be our mascot of sorts. We got the idea from the very successful "Flat Stanley" project. Our foam-core figure of Laurent Clerc could travel the world, collecting social media for our USPS commemorative stamp initiative. ASL is a visual language and we wished to have more visual representations of support.
As the year progressed, we found that people took to "Flat Laurent", wanting to be in his company and doing creative things with him to demonstrate the importance of ASL and Deaf History. We found the demand for him increasing and he now resides in over 8 states. Housed in private homes, Deaf Clubs, ASL classes, museums and schools "Flat Laurent" is being used to keep alive Laurent Clerc's unique contribution to deaf education and promote Deaf Culture.
During our experience so far, we have found some places that can not afford the cost of a "Flat Laurent". Now priced at $154.47 including mailing they are sometimes beyond the means of destinations. We also are struggling to keep our four (4) "mobile" Flat Laurent figures crisscrossing the United States. These mobile figures are "hosted" for several months where they are used in classroom instruction, history lectures and social events. When the host is finished they mail "Flat Laurent" to his next destination, spreading the word of this important role model in Deaf education.
Our first destination for "Flat Laurent" was at a high school ASL classroom in Wilton, CT (home of Francis Clerc Ogden, great grandson of Laurent Clerc). Mobile figures then made their way to an ASL Classroom in Tennessee, a deaf school in California, a deaf school library and public school in Oklahoma, a community college in Michigan, a museum in Nebraska and even to the Horace Mann School in Boston. Researchers in Deaf History met Laurent at ASD, an elementary school in Phoenix put him their yearbook! Making Deaf History visual again.
Some of our "Flat Laurent" hosts can get very creative in how they use him to promote ASL history among their hearing and Deaf friends. Several have created pages on Facebook devoted to their content. Videos have surfaced promoting Deaf History in Memphis. He has promoted bridging Deaf Culture at an American Library Association Annual Conference. He even made time to go help install a flower garden at his gravesite!
"Flat Laurent" adorns school colors, works the crowd at grade school history classes and even cheers on the Gallaudet University Wrestling Team in his spare time.
So many ways that "Flat Laurent " can be used to raise awareness of deafness among the hearing and Deaf populations and educate them on the unique and special history that experienced by the Deaf in America and beyond.
Please consider helping us spread "Flat Laurent" and his message across the World. All donations will go to the purchase of "Flat Laurent" to needy organizations and to finance mobile units moving across America.