Blogger Heather Acerro

Program in a Post: Pen Pals

With this post, some simple office supplies, and a few stamps you can connect with kids at home!

Colorful collage of Pen Pal letters & envelopes with RPL custom stickers shaped like hearts and rainbows.
Collage of Pen Pal letters & RPL custom stickers

I don’t need to tell you that this pandemic season has been a challenge, at Rochester Public Library (MN) we had to stop all youth programming this spring during our state’s stay at home order. Realizing that we weren’t the only ones who were lonely and missing the library experience, we reached out through the library’s marketing channels to invite kids to write to us.

Our Pen Pal program has been a simple joy. It is super fun to receive mail for the grown-ups at the library, so imagine how excited the kids are to get a letter!

Screenshot of RPL Pen Pal webpage showing a pictures of a child writing a letter. With the words: Hey kids! Write us a letter, we miss you!
We would love to be your pen pal. Write us a letter and we will write you back!
Please send letters to:
Library Pen Pal
Rochester Public Library
101 Second Street SE
Rochester, MN 55904

P.S. Please remember to include your return address.
Screenshot of RPL Pen Pal webpage

The program is quite simple to set up. We created a webpage inviting kids to write to us with simple instructions:

  1. Write a letter and address it to “Library Pen Pal”
  2. Include your return address

Once we receive a letter it is assigned to a Youth Services staff person who then corresponds with their pen pal. Future letters are addressed specifically to the staffer “Library Pen Pan – Heather”.

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Envelopes
  • Pens
  • Stamps
  • Stickers to decorate letters and envelopes*
  • Coloring pages*
  • Custom library stickers*
  • Colorful markers & pens*

*These are all optional, but they make it more fun!

Cost: .55 per letter

We’ve had so much fun reading about favorite books, summer at-home adventures, gardening, and more!

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