Partners in Literacy describes the process, research, relationships, and theories that guided a three-year partnership between the Purdue University Writing Lab and two community organizations in Lafayette, Indiana: the Lafayette Adult Resource Academy and WorkOne Express. This partnership resulted in a new section of the globally known Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and the Community Writing and Education Station (CWEST), which featured adult literacy resources in the areas of GED preparation, English as a Second Language, and workplace and job search literacy. Using an empirical and iterative design process, the authors worked closely with their community partners to develop, test, revise, and launch these resources.
In Partners in Literacy, the authors argue that writing centers can be effective spaces from which to work with the community and that writing centers’ missions of sustainability, outreach, and research-driven practice can offer valuable philosophies for civic engagement. To support this argument, the book discusses the research methods and findings, the process behind developing and sustaining the three-year engagement project, and the personal relationships that ultimately held the project together.