Writing Partners is the brainchild of a non-profit organization called Write to Succeed, Inc. The program was designed to foster mentor-like relationships through literacy. Writing Partners Program was first piloted at Sacramento State in the summer of 2005 by Dr. Catherine Gabor, then with the English Department, a former member of Write to Succeed, Inc. and co-creator of the original Writing Partners Program. Since then, Writing Partners has run every semester at Sac State, in courses such as nursing, teacher education, EOP, first-year student seminars, and composition.
Writing Partners pairs university student writers with K-12 writers in a collaborative letter exchange. Generally, college students encourage their K-12 partners to strive for higher education and give an “inside peek” at college, while at the same time solidifying their own knowledge of the course content and the university itself. K-12 partners often teach the college students valuable lessons as well (e.g. about the socioeconomic realities of the Untied States). All students gain a stronger awareness of the role audience plays in writing. Studies continually show that the more frequently students write, the better the writing becomes. Writing Partners invites all partners to “Write to Succeed!”
Through the program, students learn that writing has the power to help them make connections between communities, and how to connect with others within their community. As a service learning program, unlike pen pals, Writing Partners incorporates academic and social learning goals, and intentionally helps foster literacy skills. Students are asked to think about more than just the basic letter format (though that, too, is important); they are asked to consider how to build relationships through writing, basic document design, and the nature of audience. Because instruction surrounding Writing Partners is more focused on thinking and talking about writing, students move past just developing a friendship and cross-cultural understanding, they build metacognition about writing. Writing Partners enhances creative and critical thinking, and fosters a sense of authority in students as writers and as members of the campus community.
Faculty can tailor Writing Partners to meet discipline-specific learning goals and objectives. For more information and/or to find out how you can integrate a Writing Partners project into your course(s), email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty: Writing Partners @ Sacramento State Program
Community Engagement Center is available to meet with faculty members, one on one, who would like to include engaging, meaningful, and effective service-learning writing assignments in their classes.
- Energize your classroom environment
- Encourage active learning
- Enhance critical and creative thinking
For more information on Writing Partners and the Writing Partners @ Sacramento State Program:
- Writing Partners Wiki