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 - September 10-11, 2010

Weekend Summary
ESLARPers gathered outside of Temple Hoyne Buell Hall at 7am on the crisp Friday September 10th, 2010. Drivers arrived in their respective vehicles and met with their students. Students received their information and driver/project assignment packets. We would not let the pending rain stop us from kicking off the Fall 2010 ESLARP Outreach Weekend effort! 68 UIUC students/faculty/staff departed for a weekend of participatory action research and service learning in ESL. The participating UIUC Courses were: FAA 291, FAA 391, LIS 451 & RST 393. Upon arrival to East St. Louis, the group split up and headed toward their project sites. However, a small group of FAA 291 and RST 393 students, new to East St. Louis, were taken on a tour of the city, led by ESLARP Community Liason, Billie Turner. She stopped downtown, at the Emerson Park Metrolink/Parson’s Place and Pullman Porter Park, amongst passing by many other important sites, before arriving for a tour of The Joseph Center/Eagle’s Nest of St. Claire County. Returning FAA 291 students promptly began work at Opal’s House, where the end goal of the weekend was to have constructed the remainder of the privacy fence. 30” holes needed digging, 4x4” posts needed leveling and setting, quikcrete needed pouring. Under the guidance of Mike Andrejasich, Chip Dana and myself, Jenna Goebig, the students braved the mud and poison ivy and pushed toward setting the stage for panel installation on Saturday. Roadblocks in the form of meeting an all-too-shallow gas-line and thick tree roots were encountered, but we pressed forward. On the other side of town, FAA 391 and 291 students began to dig the hole that will become a Koi Pond outside the entrance of the Joseph Center/Eagle’s Nest of St. Claire County. Residents and “Put Illinois to Work” employees helped in the morning hours with the digging efforts! Everyone convened for the Eagle’s Nest’s traditional Friday Fish Fry for lunch. The East St. Louis Job Corp Culinary Team assisted Chef JR to provide our team with the most delectable lunch! After lunch, the work resumed. Friday projects included a privacy fence build at Opal’s House, Koi Pond construction at the Eagle’s Nest, landscaping at Pullman Porter/41st Street Park, painting at the Mary Brown Center and CTC work at the ESL Park District Office, the Word Café and the Soul Food Café. Friday night, the 68 attendees gathered at the HomeTown Buffet in Fairview Heights. We were graced with the presence of three of our ESLARP Community Partners: Martha Watts (The Joseph Center/Eagle’s Nest), Willie Beard (41st St/Pullman Porter Park) and Leverne Backstrom (Olivette Park Neighborhood Association). Per usual, I initiated a dinner reflection session whereby a student from each project was asked to brief everyone on their Friday accomplishments. Everyone was revitalized after a hearty dinner. The students had free time after dinner. Some went shopping, others went to a movie. 8am wake-up calls came early Saturday morning! The students were treated to a delicious breakfast at the Sheraton in preparation for an intense WORK DAY! Everyone departed the Sheraton in Fairview Heights at 9am sharp! We had a total of seven sites: 41st Street Park, Eagle’s Nest, Opal’s House, Jones Park Community Center, ESL Park District, the Mary Brown Center & Pirtle’s Variety. Check out the photos to see what the teams were up to all day! The ESLARPers and students worked so hard! We were lucky that the rain avoided us for the better half of the day. After the teams finished up their project tasks, ESLARP treated everyone to Pirtle’s Ice Cream!! At around 5pm, we all loaded up and headed back to Champaign. I imagine some listened to the Illinois—SIU-Carbondale football game, and some may have made it in time to see the last half of the game! A sincere thank you to the ESL community for your continued support and partnership! We look forward to our upcoming Outreach Weekend in October -JG

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