PEPPERELL -- Students of Mrs. Mihill's fourth grade class at the Varnum Brook Elementary School in Pepperell met their year-long "grandparent" pen pals for the first time last week.

Each child received a memorable gift and each grandparent received a marigold flower. After a luncheon provided by the parents, everyone played board games and got to know their pen pal better.

The pen pal program has been in existence for about 15 years. Mihill said that the children love receiving their monthly letters and she sees a great improvement in the student's writing skills. The "grandparents" think the program is wonderful and look forward to the program next year.