Pen Pal Program

Tel: 319-335-3555
Fax: 319-353-2537

2750 University Capitol Centre
200 S Clinton St
Iowa City, IA 52242

Hours: M-F 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Nicholas Creary, Associate Director

Kelly Bridenstine, Secretary

Katie Newcomb, Assistant Director

Sarah Lambert, Academic Coach

Carlos Nelson, Academic Coach

Mike Meginnis- Educational Support Services Associate

Inspire an Elementary Student: Join the Pen Pal Program

The Center for Diversity and Enrichment (CDE) Pen Pal Program is a partnership between CDE and West Liberty Elementary School.

This project matches current UI students with 4th graders from West Liberty Elementary based on shared interests and the future plans of the elementary students. Through the exchange of letters and one campus visit in the spring, these students will have an opportunity to connect with a role model and start thinking about their plans after high school.

Unfortunately, the Pen Pal Program is cancelled for at least the Fall 2020 semester due to COVID-19. We will endeavor to begin the program again as soon as we are able. Please direct any questions to Mike Meginnis (

Some of the goals of the Pen Pal Program include:

  • promoting positive self-esteem for grade school students
  • increasing grade school students' motivation for academic success and interest in college
  • developing and practicing writing skills of grade school students
  • providing all program participants with a greater understanding and appreciation of diversity
  • helping the University of Iowa become more responsive to the needs of the Pen Pal participant communities

What are the benefits in participating?

Your dedicated commitment to volunteering with the Pen Pal Program will have many benefits, such as:

  • making a valuable contribution to a student's learning
  • being a positive role model for a grade school student

If you are a registered student at the University of Iowa, you are eligible to volunteer in the Pen Pal program.

The Pen Pal Program is currently on hold.