On Thursday afternoon, young students from Stratford Elementary for the first time met the pen pals they have been corresponding with regularly this school year. The pen pals, from around the Stratford/Stanhope area, gathered at the school for a song by the youngsters, treats, and a chance to get to know their correspondents in person. Above, Mona Follmann, Stanhope, visits with pen pal Seth Nelson. Teachers in the class are Andi Berglund and Deb Bergman, who told those assembled how much her students enjoyed receiving the cards and letters from their pen pals. “I hope that each of you will be willing to do this next year,” she said. “My class will be bigger next year, so we’ll need more pen pals. Please encourage your friends and neighbors.” The program is coordinated through RSVP. According to Becky Koppen of RSVP, during this school year the pen pal program was in place in Webster City, South Hamilton, and St. Thomas schools.