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 26-27, 2010

Weekend Summary
All students departed from Temple Hoyne Buell Hall by 8am the morning of Friday February 26th, 2010. En-route to East St Louis were three UIUC classes: FAA 291, RST 218 and RST 393. With 45 students, faculty and staff in attendance, the Spring 2010 semester’s first ESLARP Outreach Weekend was underway. Everyone arrived at the Mary Brown Center in the heart of East St Louis to join a Community Partner Forum hosted by Billie Turner (ESLARP Community Liaison), Vera Jones (Mary Brown Center), Sharon Ward (SENDO) and Mike Boyd (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity House). The students had the opportunity to learn a little bit about some of the projects that ESLARP has dedicated its efforts toward in the past years. After a delicious pizza lunch, the majority of us embarked on an Outreach Weekend first: an interactive, afternoon long, tour of East St. Louis with a few integral stops scheduled within. Billie Turner, our very own ESL expert, weaved us through the city while filling our minds with historical information. We made our first stop at the Katherine Dunham Museum in Olivette Park neighborhood. The students were given a candlelight tour through the facility by Ann Walker. Fallen victim of the plagued economy, the museum was sans electricity or heat. The students experienced the perils of small, donation funded organizations. I think they dug a little deeper in their pockets to provide a small donation in appreciation of the education received at the facility. Our bus driver, Galen, then took us through downtown ESL, past Parson’s Place and the Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation, and we headed toward Centreville to the Village Theatre. Christina Fisher met us in the parking lot with her always-smiling face! She told the students her magnificent story and gave everyone the grand tour of the Theatre.Those not on the tour were either prepping the Alpha house for our work Saturday (FAA 291 students) or meeting with ESL Park District board members with a proposal for fitness equipment for Lincoln Park (Recreation, Sport and Tourism students). Following the tour, project preparations and meetings we all headed to the Ramada Inn, in Fairview Heights, IL., were we reconvened for a group dinner with community members at 5:30pm. Our guests included: Billie’s mom: Nickey, Irma Golliday and Carolyn Edley from the ESL Park District. After a delicious dinner, Jenna Goebig, Outreach Weekend Coordinator, headed up the recap conversation by having the teams that had projects and weren’t on the tour share their day’s activities. Following dinner, EVERYONE piled back into our vehicles and we headed to the Village Theater for the monthly Community Concepts Talent Show, hosted by Christina Fisher. The show featured local youth that performed an array of acts including singing, dancing and musical skits. We love D-Fresh!!! Saturday was WORK DAY! Our students headed to their sites at 9am. We had a total of five sites: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity House, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 41st Street Park, The Village Theatre and Opal’s House. The projects ranged from painting, cleaning to site surveying. The students enjoyed lunch on-site and had the opportunity to build relationships with both their site supervisors and the community partners. In addition to these activities, Recreation, Sport and Tourism students were busy presenting fundraising ideas to the ESL School District #189. The teams worked so hard that they finished their projects early! ESLARP treated all of the students to the best ice cream in town: Pirtle’s!! We all headed back to campus exhausted, yet educated, encouraged and enlightened. Thank you to the ESL community for your continued partnership! Until April!!! -JG

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