Writing Partners 6 Step Planning & Logistics Outline

Writing Partners Planning & Logistics Outline

Time Frame 

University Faculty 

Elementary School Teachers 

Step 1: Connect with the CCE


Faculty, teachers, and/or administrators should contact the CCE Community Partnerships Coordinator to express interest in the program and to schedule an introduction with a partner teacher at (707) 664-3493 or caroline.banuelos@sonoma.edu 

Step 2: Meet partner teacher


In-person introduction between SSU faculty and elementary school teachers to: 

  • Share contact information (emails, phone numbers and mailing addresses for the letter exchange)

  • Share academic calendars 

  • Exchange student rosters 

  • Address any student needs or preferences (i.e. language barriers, learning challenges) 

  • Share course outlines/syllabi, goals and focus of the letter exchange 

  • Figure out who will start the introduction letters 

  • Decide which teacher will assign partners (usually the Elementary School teacher will semi-randomly assign a university student with one of their students using a roster provided by their faculty partner)

  • Determine how the letters will be exchanged 

  • Discuss ideas for the end of the semester Culminating Event 

Step 3: Develop course materials/planning


Include these in the course syllabus: 

  • The goals of Writing Partners, the outcomes and how it pertains to service-learning  

  • The letter exchange dates in the course calendar 

  • Explain how this program is an assignment and how it will count towards the students’ overall grades 

  • Include the Community Partnerships Coordinator in a class session to answer any questions about Writing Partners 

Discuss involvement in Writing Partners with the principal or administrator 

  • Discuss the details about funding and reservations for transportation 

Step 4: Introduce the project to students and set expectations

Beginning of the semester

  • Introduction of the project and assign students an elementary school partner 

  • Establish rules 

  • Have students start drafting their letters including information about themselves, college, etc. 

  • Have students write the first letter 

  • Clarify dates to exchange the letters 

  • Introduce students to assignment and assign them a writing partner 

  • Discuss the model of a typical letter and the techniques 

  • Establish rules 

  • Have students draft letters to SSU writing partners 

Step 5: Implement the Program

Throughout the semester

  • Collect letters from the students and read them before giving them to the partner teacher 

  • Maintain communication with partner teacher to discuss any problems, questions, etc. that arise 

  • Finalize the event of date for letter exchanges

  • Collect letters from the students and read them before giving them to the SSU professor

  • Maintain communication with SSU professor to discuss any problems, questions, etc. that arise

  • Finalize the event of the date for letter exchanges  


Step 6: Planning the culminating event/site visit 


Roughly toward the end of the semester 

  • Finalize a date and time of day for the culminating event

  • Plan ice-breakers and other activities for the university students and elementary students

  • Identify any conflicts with the SSU students and if they’ll be able to attend the end of semester event 

  • Help partner teacher create campus visit and where to have the event 

  • Contact CCE to arrange transportation details (i.e. parking permits) 

  • Partner with SSU faculty to understand students’ interests

  • Arrange 

transportation and permissions for SSU campus visit