Classroom connection

Raise your hand if you know a student who’d like a pen pal.

The Postal Service is working with WeAreTeachers — an online media organization that offers daily articles, videos and giveaways for educators — to introduce the USPS Pen Pal Project, a free program for students in grades three to five, during the 2021-22 school year.

The USPS Pen Pal Project will provide 25,000 classrooms across the nation the opportunity to partner with each other to write 1 million letters with the goal of building friendships and understanding diverse perspectives.

Each participating classroom will receive a USPS Pen Pal Project kit with a teaching poster, cards and envelopes. By participating in the program, students will improve their writing, communication and collaboration skills.

“WeAreTeachers is so excited to work with USPS on this unique program that will share free resources with teachers and give 25,000 classrooms of students the opportunity to have a pen pal experience and build friendships and understanding across the United States,” said Dana Truby, the company’s editorial director.

The program will also show students how to structure and write a friendly letter, properly address an envelope and create stamp designs.

“The program is a way for students to make new friendships and improve their writing,” said Debra Blockinger, a USPS marketing specialist. “The skills learned through letter writing are evergreen with a postal purpose.”

U.S. public, charter and private school teachers can join the USPS Pen Pal Project. WeAreTeachers.com has information and sign-up instructions.

National Update

The Postal Service has published National Update’s latest issue and mailed it to employees’ homes.

The publication is a national edition of Area Update, the organization’s print newsletter for employees.

The latest edition includes stories about new package sorting machines in Michigan and Massachusetts, a Kentucky manager who discovered a family connection to the Postal Service, a Chicago letter carrier who rendered aid to a customer in need, and employee recollections from the USPS 50th Anniversary Oral History Project.

This is National Update’s fourth edition. Previous issues are available on Blue and LiteBlue.

Share your thoughts

The Postal Service is seeking feedback on National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which the organization observed in October.

The annual campaign aims to help employees and contractors learn how to be vigilant and stay safe whenever they are online.

Employees and contractors can complete a brief survey on Blue that will help the CyberSafe at USPS team plan future activities.

The National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Blue page has more resources that employees and contractors can use year-round, including interactive activities and videos.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 96.71 percent during the week ending Nov. 19, down 0.36 percent from one week earlier.

The data was collected Nov. 24.

Central led the four areas with a rating of 97.07 percent, while Southern ranked last with a 96.47 percent rating.

Among the 50 districts, Idaho-Montana-Oregon, part of WestPac Area, ranked first with a 97.95 percent rating, while Puerto Rico, part of Southern Area, ranked last with an 85.08 percent rating.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Postal Service employees must request Informed Visibility access through eAccess.

Delivery data. From July 1-Nov. 12, the Postal Service delivered 91.1 percent of First-Class Mail on time when compared to the organization’s service standard, according to data released last week.

During the same period, USPS delivered 92.4 percent of Marketing Mail and 83.2 percent of Periodicals on time, the figures show.

Let’s chat. Postal Service employees can participate in a live chat with health insurance experts on Tuesday, Nov. 30, from 1-9 p.m. EST.

The chat is part of an online virtual benefits fair that is running during this year’s open season benefits enrollment period.

The Open Season LiteBlue page has additional information.

Safe mail. Postal Bulletin’s Nov. 18 edition features an overview of Hazmat Awareness Month, which USPS recognizes each November.

The latest updates to policies, procedures and forms are also included.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.

Pulse points

Woman examines paper survey

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. Fill in the blank: On the latest Postal Pulse employee survey, the grand mean score — the average score on the first 12 questions — rose to (blank), up from last year’s score of 3.29.

a) 3.32
b) 3.34
c) 3.36
d) 3.38

2. Who recognized the new USPS-licensed ride-on toy with a Best Toy Award?

a) Good Housekeeping
b) The Toy Insider
c) All of the above
d) None of the above

3. True or false: The Postal Service reported $77 billion in operating revenue for fiscal year 2021 (Oct. 1, 2020-Sept. 30, 2021).

a) True
b) False

4. Where can USPS employees can go to update their beneficiaries information?

a) The Life Changes LiteBlue page
b) The Open Season LiteBlue page
c) PostalEASE
d) None of the above

5. Match the USPS product or service in Column A with the organization’s proposed price change for 2022 in Column B.

Column A
a) Priority Mail large flat-rate box
b) Priority Mail padded flat-rate envelope
c) Priority Mail legal flat-rate envelope
d) Priority Mail regular flat-rate envelope

Column B
I) $8.95
II) $9.25
III) $9.65
IV) $21.50

Answers: 1) c. 2) a. 3) a. 4) a. 5) a. IV., b. III., c. II., d. I.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.