Writing Partners

Writing Partners matches SSU classes with 5th grade elementary school classes through fun and engaging letter exchanges throughout a semester-long period. By pairing university students with 5th grade students, each writer learns how to communicate with an audience that is different from their teachers and peers, and thus allows each student to think more critically about how to engage through written language and maintain a new relationship by adapting their content and tone to their partner’s interests and needs. Students from both groups learn how to practice meaningful communication with one another, to think creatively, and most importantly, to have fun and build connections. Having students then share their letters (and their partners’ letters) in class heightens class enthusiasm and provides for revision strategies and audience analysis skills to be practiced. At the end of the semester, the 5th grade class comes to campus and the writing partners meet and connect in-person for a Culminating Event.

This program was adapted from Sacramento State’s Writing Partners Program, and has been at SSU since the fall of 2016. The SSU Writing Partners program aims to connect our students with young students from low-income districts, and our program has continued to grow and be a transformative experience for students throughout the years.

“I enjoyed their interactions and seeing them on campus...I would definitely do it again” - Rob Smith, Leadership Instructor

Goals and Learning Outcomes

For SSU students:

  • How to format personal letters.

  • How to adjust writing for a younger audience.

  • How visual and verbal language work together to convey meaning.

  • What it means to develop an ethos (credibility, character, and authority) through writing.

  • Learning to include visual designs to liven up the letters. Visuals help to reinforce and enhance the meaning of written text.

  • Students become more aware of their audience and how to carefully, ethically, and effectively address different audiences.

  • How to connect with others within their community and how this is an important part of being an active member of society.

For 5th grade students:

  • That college is a possibility.

  • Become connected to college culture in a deeper and more meaningful way. 

  • The format and function of the traditional letter. 

  • How to connect with others within their community and how this is an important part of being an active member of society.

Learn more about our program and find out how you can participate by visiting one of our links below:

SSU Faculty

Elementary School Teachers and Administrators