Spotlight . . .


Community - Campus Day of Service

April 5, 2014

On Saturday, April 5th, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign kicked off National Volunteer Week with an inaugural Community-Campus Day of Service. Over 60 students, faculty and staff worked with six community partners on seven projects to complete pre-construction projects, community garden spring preparation projects, flyering in the community, reorganizing classrooms at Tap in Leadership Academy, cataloging choral literature, and preparing a Bee Garden. A big thank you goes out to all who helped on April 5!


Enriching perspectives through community engagement

ESLARP Partners

ESLARP’s service, research and teaching agenda is set by a strong belief in the value of real life experience and knowledge held by the residents of East St. Louis. This means that residents are viewed as the real experts on solutions to the problems experienced in the City and as the best instructors students can have for acquiring the skills needed to find effective solutions to pressing neighborhood problems.

Additionally, ESLARP strives to enhance the capacity of community organizations to engage in neighborhood development issues and provide students the opportunity to learn about real life dynamics and situations. Our partner organizations are therefore vital for all aspects of ESLARP’s work. Below are links many of the partners who work with ESLARP, from individuals starting up non-profit service agencies to local government entities.

View by Partners  

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41St. Neighborhood Action Group

The 41st Street Neighborhood Action Group was established in 2001, by East St. Louis residents who wanted to make their neighborhood a better place to live. The group drives come from wanted to repave streets and sidewalks of 41st street. The 41st Street group has also cleaned up vacant properties, rundown houses, and abandoned vehicles in the area. Since the establishment of the group they have coordinated several neighborhood cleanups, tree and flower plantings, and other beautification projects.

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Alta Sita Neighbors, Inc. (ASNI)

Alta Sita Neighbors, Inc. (ASNI)
1460 State Street
East St. Louis, IL 62205
Phone/Fax: 618-875-1030
The 1999 Alta Sita Revitalization Plan

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Brooklyn-Lovejoy police station

See the Brooklyn Illinois Archeology Project for more information about the town of Brooklyn.

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Catholic Urban Programs

CUP in association with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, is dedicated to alleviating the pain and suffering of the poor and elderly. Our ministries are as comprehensive and as universal as the needs of human society. They take us wherever they are needed. Our efforts are concentrated in the Diocese of Belleville, particularly St. Clair County.

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Community Technology Centers

Various sites in and around East St. Louis working with LIS 451 to create and install community technology centers.

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Concerned Citizens of Precinct 12

Mission Statement
The mission of the organization shall be to create an outstanding urban neighborhood characterized by a diverse population living, working and playing peacefully in an atmosphere of trust, respect and friendship.

Timeline of Precinct 12

For the past four years, Precinct 12 has conducted seasonal clean-ups around the neighborhood. These clean-ups involve residents and students from the University of Illinois aggressively cleaning up vacant lots in the neighborhood. The organization has paid for 30-yard dumpsters to facilitate removal of trash from the area at no charge to the residents. Precinct 12 has also taken care of tire removal in the neighborhood, eliminating over 700 tires from the area in one clean-up. Annual initiatives include distribution of food baskets during the holiday season, Easter egg hunts for children, and candy for Trick-or-Treating on Halloween. The organization has also been determined to get neighborhood streets repaired and deteriorating housing stock removed.

Concerned Citizens of Precinct 12
3218 Lincoln Avenue
East St. Louis Illinois 62204-1241

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DigitalESL Collaborative

The Digital East Saint Louis Collaborative is a partnership of individuals and organizations dedicated to improving opportunities for residents of East Saint Louis and surrounding communities through the coordinated distribution, use, and support of information technologies. This site is a resource for all people and projects that share our vision and is hosted and maintained by the Prairienet Community Network at the University of Illinois.
DigitalESL partners are committed to bringing the information age OPPORTUNITIES to RESIDENTS of the East St. Louis metro area.

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Eagle's Nest of St. Clair County

Mission Statement:

The Eagle's Nest of St. Clair County is a not-for-profit project that will provide transitional housing and support for homeless male veterans and non-veterans. It is one of only three sites in the nation that will offer around-the-clock, long term care and counseling for homeless military veterans. This project will create 18 units of housing where homeless men can stay in a supportive environment while getting their lives back on track. Men will leave this residence as independent, responsible, contributing members of the community.

Located in the Joseph Center
5020 State Street
East. St. Louis, Illinois

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Emerson Park Development Organization (EPDC)

Mission Statement
The mission of the Emerson Park Development Corporation is to assist the residents of the Emerson Park neighborhood and its surrounding communities in achieving their full human potential by offering high quality programs in three areas:
Housing and Economic Development
Education and Job Training,
and Community Building

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ESL Park District

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Friends and Families for Virginia Park

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Katherine Dunham Centers for the Performing Arts

Mission Statement
The Center's fundamental purpose is to promote research and training in the arts and humanities, leading to 1) Arts-based communication techniques for people of diverse cultures, and 2) A multi-arts training program to humanize and socialize individuals as well as provide them with marketable skills.

Katherine Dunham is probably best known as a legendary dancer who propelled the awareness of the cultures of the African Diaspora via her choreography. Her famous dance technique reflects a fusion of many cultures. Miss. Dunham was a true renaissance woman. She was an artist, anthropologist, author, activist, manager, movie star, producer, educator, wife, mother and so much more. The world needs to know about her wonderful life story and there’s no better learning environment than the Museum and Centers for Arts and Humanities she created.

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Landsdowne Steering Committee

2001 Lansdowne Revitalization Plan

1992-1996 Lansdowne Community Development Block Grant Proposal
1992 Lansdowne Neighborhood Improvement Plan

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Olivette Park Neighborhood Association (OPNA)

Mission Statement
To identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the Olivette Park neighborhood. To involve neighborhood residents, community leaders, business people, and social service providers in developing a comprehensive stabilization and development plan that builds on the neighborhood's strengths in order to attack the area's most pressing problems. To assist neighborhood residents in building a strong neighborhood coalition with sufficient organizational capacity and membership necessary to carry out the comprehensive plan.

Timeline of Olivette Park
Residents act on that commitment by participating in the Olivette Park Neighborhood Association (OPNA). The OPNA is a concerned group of neighborhood residents dedicated to improving the quality of life within the Olivette Park neighborhood. The neighborhood association was organized on April 7, 1995 by a small group of Olivette Park residents. Some of the initial activities of the OPNA included the development of the Bolden Community Garden and organization of youth activities, including a Halloween party. The Olivette Park Neighborhood Association firmly believes and practices its motto that "By Working Together, We Are Keeping East St. Louis Together." The Olivette Park Neighborhood Association is currently led by the following four officers: Ms. Mamie Bolden, president; Mr. Rocco Goins, vice-president; Ms. Mildred Drisdell Brown, secretary; and Ms. Rose Henderson Williams; treasurer. In addition, Mr. John Wright serves as the group's chaplain, and Ms. Minola Brown as social chair.

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Opal's House

ESL Women’s Shelter was founded in February 2003 as a domestic violence intervention agency and shelter program serving women and children escaping domestic violence. The Shelter will provide a safe and nurturing environment for domestic violence victims of St. Clair and Madison counties, yet will aid any victims who seek help. The staff will consist of a team of specially trained and dedicated individuals committed to bringing about positive change in the lives of those served. Through six interactive components, they will provide a foundation of hope to empower women and children to live a life free of domestic violence.

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Second Chance

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South End New Development Organization (SENDO)

Mission Statement:
To improve the social, economic and physical conditions in the South End neighborhood, through community development strategies. To serve as an advisory and coordinating body through which business, public and private organizations, government, and individuals may work together for the redevelopment and beautification of the South End. To preserve the beauty and South End environment of East St. Louis, through educational efforts. Promote other activities aimed at combating community deterioration. To solicit and receive grants, contributions, gifts of real and personal property from individuals, foundations, partnership associations, government bodies and to maintain use and apply the whole or any part of the income for community improvement or betterment purposes.

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Village Theatre/Community Concepts

Mission Statement:
The Village Theatre takes pride in presenting some of the best. Live up close and personal Entertainment in the metropolitan area. They opened their doors May of 1997 with a line up of nationally known comedians from Black Entertainment Network. From that time we have brought Live Concerts featuring Gospel, Jazz, Blues and a little bit of country, Play/ poets. This 200 seat community theatre offers you a choice in Entertainment, with cable Television broadcasting "The Village Theatre Series".

500 Old Missouri Ave.
Centreville, Illinois 62207
Phone: 618-334-7611
Fax: 618-337-9643

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Winstanley Industrial Park Neighborhood Org.

Winstanley Industrial Park Neighborhood Organization

WIPNO was established in September of 1991 to help residents take action to enhance the quality of life. In the spring of 1993, over fifty children and adults from WIPNO and the Concerned Citizens of Precinct 19 constructed a playground on the corner of 26th and Illinois with the help of the University of Illinois.

Action Research Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts
326 Noble Hall, MC-549 1209 South Fourth Street Champaign, Illinois 61820 (217) 265-0202 Fax: (217) 244-9320