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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service celebrates April as National Card and Letter Writing Month by issuing colorful Forever stamps sheets complete with decorative stickers for personalizing envelopes, letters and greeting cards. The Postal Service is collaborating with Scholastic to provide an educators’ guide on teaching letter writing titled, “It’s a Delight to Write,” that will be distributed to 80,000 teachers and 7.3 million parents nationwide.
The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony took place today at the Friendship Public Charter School - Woodridge Campus in Washington, DC.
“Sure, email and texting is quick and convenient, and Facebook has photos and videos, but nothing beats the thrill and excitement of opening your mailbox and finding a personal letter addressed to you,” said U.S. Postal Service Judicial Officer William Campbell in dedicating the stamps.
“Letter writing improves social and penmanship skills. More importantly, it helps create lasting memories with the people you care about most. That’s what the From Me to You stamps are all about. After all, nothing else cultivates a romance, nurtures a friendship, or helps you stay connected like a hand-written card or letter.”
Joining Campbell in the dedication ceremony were Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); and Senior Director of Scholastic Classroom and Community Group Dominique Young; and Founder and Chairman of Friendship Public Charter School Donald Hense. Radio One DC News Director and Community Affairs Director Ebony McMorris served as master of ceremonies.
”For many of today’s tech-savvy kids, the art of hand writing letters has been cast aside for more immediate digital forms of communication,” said Young. “We are thrilled to be working with the Postal Service to create a program that helps students return to a more personal and meaningful way to reach out.”
"Letter writing connects us in a way that more recent forms of communication cannot,” said Hense. “Especially for our young people, it is imperative to learn how to communicate with others.”
National Classroom Writing Program
The national writing program, “It’s a Delight to Write,” is designed to encourage letter writing through a classroom poster-teaching guide that will be distributed to more than 80,000 teachers nationwide. The guide features lessons on writing letters, plus writing activities for students including: “Mystery Mail,” a fun writing game to get students to learn more about each other. “Post Pocket Pals,” an activity to create pen pals around the world and “Fan Mail,” a guide to writing letters to favorite authors. The program also includes parent take-home activities to encourage family writing night and comes with a cut-out postcard to get kids started. An “It’s a Delight to Write” perforated postcard is included in the April issue of Scholastic Parent & Child magazine, which reaches 7.3 million readers.
Decorative Stickers Deliver Greetings
The limited edition Forever stamps bear the words “From Me To You” in capital letters. Surrounding the 4 rows of stamps in the center of the sheet are colorful self-adhesive stickers. The 11 labels at the top of the sheet, in the shapes of hearts, circles, and rectangles, carry messages such as “Happy Birthday,” “Miss You,” “Thank You” and “Get Well Soon.” Along the sides and bottom of the sheet are 26 decorative stickers including hearts, envelopes, flowers, mailboxes, and a kiss (red lips).
Stamp artist Michael Osborne of Palo Alto, CA, chose bright jewel tones and primary colors to reflect the happy, playful personality of the stamp design. Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, served as art director.
Customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide or visit ebay.com/stamps to shop for a wide variety of postage stamps and collectibles.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
From Me to You Stamp
PO Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers are charged 5 cents each. All orders must be postmarked by June 1, 2015.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
Eight philatelic products are available.
473006, Press Sheet with Die cut, $58.80, (print quantity 500).
473008, Press Sheet without Die cut, $58.80, (print quantity 1,500).
473010, Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, includes a pane of 20 stamps, $11.95.
473016, First-Day Cover, $0.93.
473021, Digital Color Postmark, $1.64.
473030, Ceremony Program, $6.95.
473031, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
473032*, Stamp Deck Card with Digital Color Postmark, $1.99.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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