August 10 2018,  Peabody

Library Pen Pal Program a hit with kids

By Christopher Roberson

A facsimile mailbox hangs in the Peabody Institute Library for children to send letters all over the country as part of the library’s new Pen Pal Program. (Courtesy Photo)

For two months, many of the children who frequent the Peabody Institute Library have been writing letters to other children around the country as part of the library’s new Pen Pal Program.

“We have a pool of libraries all across the country that we can send these really cool letters to,” said Children’s Librarian Alysa Hayden, adding that the idea for the program came from the Association for Library Service to Children.

She said a “cardboard replica of a mailbox” was created for children to drop off their letters. Hayden said about 50 letters have been sent out since the program began in June, adding that letters are put in the mail on a weekly basis.

“I’m always surprised when I check the mailbox and I see how many kids have done it,” she said.

In return, approximately 25 letters have come in from places as far as 3,000 miles away.

Hayden said Maine, California, Michigan and Kentucky are just some of the states with libraries that receive letters from Peabody. “They’re really all over, which is awesome,” she said, adding that the children are always scouring the bulletin board for new letters.

Speaking about content, Hayden said the library provides each child with a form letter, which asks for things such as their name, their favorite color, what they want to be when they grow up and what they like about living in Peabody.

“So many kids talk about the library,” said Hayden.

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