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

Outreach Weekend Report - February 27-28, 2009

Weekend Summary

Fine and Applied Arts 391 class continues year-long work with Eagle's Nest

FAA 391 had a very productive outreach weekend in East St. Louis. We are working closely with Eagle’s Nest of St. Clair County, and more specifically the soon to be open Joseph Center. The center will be a homeless shelter for male war veterans, a much needed service in the region. Our class is working on obtaining grant money and donations in an effort to landscape the grounds. Additionally we are working on developing programs for the Center to coordinate with services available in the surrounding area. On the outreach weekend we spent our time working with the Center’s director, Martha Watts, and some of her other staff members. Speaking with them, we were able to gauge the wants and needs of the center and were thus able to prioritize programs/landscape plans for further development. As part of this process, we had a program development meeting and a "designing for home" workshop. We also did preliminary site work to determine placement of a rain garden on the grounds and reviewed landscape plans put together by four of Laura Lawson's Landscape Architecture studio students. We are looking forward to reporting our progress and receiving more direction on our next weekend trip in early April.

Landscape Architecture 336/438 class designs green spaces

Students are working on three design projects: Virginia Park in Alta Sita neighborhood, Sunken Garden in Olivette Park neighborhood, and Community Garden at La Lumier School, Cahokia. During the outreach weekend, students visited these three sites to investigate the existing conditions and collect site information as the initial design phase. Students also met with residents from Alta Sita and Olivette Park neighborhoods and Irma Golliday, Director of the Park District. The meetings provided a great chance for students to understand the neighborhood context, their needs, and visions in the perspective of ESL residents.

FAA 291 students work on mural painting of the East Side Health District logo

The East Side Health District provides preventive health care services to residents of East St. Louis, Stite Township. We began Friday afternoon at 2pm and worked until 4:15pm. After Elizabeth shared the core principles of the East Side Health District, we projected the logo onto the blank wall and began tracing it. After we traced the logo, we secured the floor with protective covering (plastic garbage bags), and we began painting at the base. At 9am Saturday we returned to ESHD focused and ready to continue the logo. Throughout the process we consulted with each other about our progress, from asking for feedback on how we painted a letter or figure, to offering suggestions on how to efficiently complete a task. For example, we decided to make stencils for the repetitive letters – someone offered the idea and another person made it a reality by making the stencils. When necessary, we traded positions to make a difficult location accessible for painting. It was an interesting path of collaboration on so many levels. First, we materialized Elizabeth’s vision by partnering with her to create the logo. Secondly, as volunteers, we worked together to complete the project. By 3pm we finished painting the logo. Elizabeth was very appreciative and looked forward to her staff seeing the logo Monday morning. Through cooperation, focus, and a bit of patience, everyone involved in the ESHD logo project worked together to materialize a vision four-years in the making.

FAA 291 class distributes smoke detectors, organizes and cleans, paint logos, and maps signs.

About 40 undergraduate students from departments across campus participated in a variety of projects this outreach weekend. 18 students worked with the Lessie Bates Davis House to distribute and check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and air filters to elderly and low-income families in East St. Louis. Other students worked with Catholic Urban Programs on Friday and Saturday morning to organize donations at their thrift store, and also assisted the City of Centerville's planning department with mapping street sign locations. A large group of students worked with long-time community partner Opal's House, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence, to organize clothing donations and prepare the house for future clients. And a few very talented students worked with new partner, East Side Health District, to paint a logo (read description of project above).

Action Research Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts
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