Pen Pal Program

Collage of three photos: one of a large group of children smiling for the camera; another of a young woman and a young girl smiling while chalking sidewalk; and another of two young girls smiling towards the camera.

The Pen Pal Program partnership is an early intervention program for fifth grade student participating in the Leal Elementary School Bilingual Education Program in Urbana.

Children are matched with students at the University of Illinois based on similar interests and hobbies. Through the exchange of letters, the children have an opportunity to interact with college students while improving their writing skills. The U of I participants have an opportunity to serve as role models and encourage the students to think about college as part of their future. Volunteers write to their assigned pen pal once a month (October-April) and attend an event on campus in April to meet their pen pal in person.