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Writing Partners

Campus Program Spotlight, February 2009

Writing Partners Student - Teacher writing with elementary school student.

Writing Partners is a literacy program in which university and K-12 students partner in a semester- long letter writing exchange. Designed a decade ago by Dr. Cathy Gabor and Write to Succeed, Inc., Writing Partners is extending the boundaries of learning at Sacramento State and exposing many local K-12 students to the possibility of a college education.

In the 2008/ 2009 academic year, 600 Sacramento State and local K-12 students participated in this letter exchange through courses spanning the Foreign Language, English, Ethnic Studies, General Studies, and Nursing departments as well as CAMP and EOP.

The versatility of the program allows instructors to meet and expand multiple course goals including, but not limited to, re-emphasizing course content, providing writing practice and technique building, enhancing community involvement and social awareness, and increasing student commitment within the classroom.

Jessica Green, an English Instructor at Sacramento State said Writing Partners is “one of the most enjoyable and beneficial aspects of the course. Seeing students bond and learn from each other throughout the semester, and then wrapping up Writing Partners by meeting on campus for a culminating event of touring Sac State and saying goodbye, is memorable in a way that is unmatched by other aspects of my curriculum.”

Luisana Pasillas, a Sacramento State student concurs: “I love writing the elementary students and waiting for their letters. It is great to see how excited they are about college and I am glad that we are able to give them some advice. I have done Writing Partners twice and will be glad to do it again.”

Writing Partners Student - College student writing with elementary school student.

Kelly Bartlett, another Sac State student, summed up the experience: “Because we aren’t just writing papers, we are also writing to younger kids it makes the course more fun.”

Janel Robinson, a 5th Grade teacher at David Reese Elementary said “I find participating in the Writing Partners program is helpful in providing many opportunities to discuss and connect students with college in an engaging way.  Writing Partners makes going to college a possibility for my students, and writing to a writing partner allows my students to practice their writing skills.”

The ways in which Writing Partners enhances learning at Sacramento State will continue to grow as more creative and dynamic instructors adopt and tailor this service learning program to best meet the needs of each course. 

To learn more about Writing Partners, visit



Each year, more than two thousand Sacramento State students, faculty, staff, and alumni participate in programs and projects sponsored by Community Engagement Center. Programs such as Alternative Break, AmeriCorps Students in Service, Sac State Serves, and Service Learning fulfill our mission to facilitate learning and engagement by linking campus and community for mutual benefit. Through Spotlight, Community Engagement Center will highlight outstanding individuals and programs advancing community engagement in the Sacramento region.

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last updated: 2/24/2009