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In this study, fifth grade students participated in a pen pal project with pre-service teachers where they blogged for eight weeks about the book, A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park. Partnerships were established to provide fifth grade students with an authentic audience in an effort to increase engagement in reading and writing. The authors posit that individualized instruction, access to an authentic audience, and the utilization of technology contributed to students' growth as readers, writers, and global citizens.