College student and elementary school student reading their pen friend letter together

WSU students work closely with local elementary school students through the CCE Pen Pals program. Spring 2023. 

Literacy Programs

Offering WSU students service-learning opportunities to work with children and youth in the community.

Available Opportunities

Pen Friends

Pen Friends is a weekly letter exchange program that promotes literacy development in local elementary schools while giving WSU students a chance to become civically engaged.  Over the past twenty years, the Program has continued to grow and expand since its inception in 1998.  In one year, WSU students and elementary-aged youth exchange over 3,000 letters during the sixteen weeks of the Program.  This popular program continues to be in high demand across campus and throughout the elementary schools in our region.  

Opportunities to register will be available on the CCE-Led Projects GivePulse page.  Please contact our team with any questions.

WSU students are encouraged to serve as Letter Writers or Classroom Mentors. In order to participate as a Letter Writer, you must attend an orientation session, commit to writing six letters according to the posted deadlines, and attend a final reflection session. The Pen Friends Program is only offered each spring semester for eight weeks.  

For questions, please contact our team

CCE-Led After School Program Mentoring

CCE staff lead weekly projects to assist with several local after school programs for children and youth. At these programs, WSU students will assist children with homework, play games, and mentor them. The CCE provides free transportation for students, and background checks are generally not required for these projects.

In-Class Academic Mentoring (CCE-Led & Semester Placements)

The CCE has both semester-long placements and weekly CCE-led projects to provide local elementary students with academic support. This is a great way to gain valuable experience working one-on-one with students under the guidance of a teacher. You will have the opportunity to contribute to your community by providing students hands-on help.

All academic mentors are required to complete a background check before they can participate in these projects, so be sure to complete your paperwork a minimum of four days prior to the project date to ensure you can join us on these great projects. More information on background checks is available in the project descriptions.

Special events: PTO/PTA Childcare Assistance

To ensure local parents can participate in monthly Parent Teacher Organization/Association meetings, the CCE holds special projects where WSU students provide childcare during the meetings. This allows parents to stay civically engaged while WSU students have the opportunity to mentor local children. The CCE provides free transportation to these projects for WSU students.