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 - April 9-10, 2010

Weekend Summary
The Outreach Weekend Team gathered in the atrium of Temple Hoyne Buell Hall at 7am on Friday April 9th, 2010. Drivers picked up their vehicle and received their clipboards. Students received t-shirts, information and driver/project assignment packets. The stage was set. The sun was shining. East St. Louis called. 73 UIUC students/faculty/staff departed for a weekend away in ESL. The participating UIUC Courses were: ARCH 472/473, FAA 291, FAA 391, LA 336/338 & RST 218/393.

This time we took a slight detour to ESL. We stopped in Collinsville, IL to learn about and climb Monks Mound, the tallest of the 120 surrounding mounds that create Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (a UNESCO Heritage Site). Inhabited by the Cahokia sub-tribe of the Illiniwek from A.D. 700 to 1400, Cahokia Mounds was once a thriving civilization, whose disappearance remains a mystery. The students enjoyed the breeze and the view of East St. Louis and St. Louis

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), Christina Fisher (Village Theatre) and Martha Watts (Eagle’s Nest). 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 lunch with our partners, the first-time students embarked on an Interactive Tour of East St. Louis, led by our own staff expert: Billie Turner. The tour stopped at four establishments in East Metro SL: Village Theatre, where Christina gave the students a comprehensive tour of the facility; Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park, where the students experienced the riverfront from ESL using the brand new river overlook structure. They also witnessed the power of the Gateway Geyser shooting as tall as the arch itself! The third stop was Emerson Park/EP Metrolink. Billie gave the students a walking tour of the neighborhood. The final stop along the tour of the city was at the Eagle’s Nest to visit Martha Watts and her Veteran residents. All and all, the students got to see every facet of East St. Louis in an effort to paint, for them, the city’s picture.

Those returning students worked on projects with our community partners during the afternoon hours on Friday. Trees were cut and stacked at the Village Theatre. Leaves and brush were raked at Lincoln Park. Later that evening, everyone reconvened for our dinner/reflection conversation. Our dinner guests included: Reverend and Mrs. Freeman, Laverne Backstrom, Christina Fisher, Barbara Levin and some students from Washington University in St. Louis. We enjoyed an Italian dinner and the students were prompted to converse and share their experiences of the tour.

Saturday was WORK DAY! Our students headed to their sites at 9am. We had a total of five sites: 41st Street Park, Eagle’s Nest, Illinois Ave Playground, Jones Park/Lincoln Park Horseshoe Pits, Jones Park Greenhouses, Opal’s House, Pilgrim Temple Church and a South End Alley Clean-up. Check out the pictures to see what everyone was up to!!! The teams worked so hard, enjoyed a delicious lunch courtesy of Charlie Powell and SENDO, ESLARP and the East St. Louis Park District. After the teams finished up their project tasks, ESLARP treated everyone to Pirtle’s!! As the sun began to set, we all loaded up and headed back to Champaign. A sincere thank you to the ESL community for your continued support and partnership! -JG 

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