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 - October 15-16, 2010

Weekend Summary
Friday October 15th yielded a beautiful day to start the final Fall Outreach Weekend of 2010! Faculty, staff and students gathered outside of Temple Hoyne Buell Hall as the sun peaked her head over the eastern horizon. Students discovered their weekend schedules, were introduced to their ESLARP Supervisor and gathered in their respective vehicles. 78 UIUC students/faculty/staff departed for a weekend in East St. Louis participating in community outreach and service learning. This weekend’s participating courses were: FAA 291, RST 393, LIS 451 and UIUC’s Minority Leadership Group. With the weather on our side, the Outreach Weekend started with nothing but enthusiasm and energy!

First in the lineup of events for the weekend was an ESL city tour led by ESLARP’s Community Liaison and lifelong ESL resident, Billie Gloria Turner. The students were taken all around the city to sites including: downtown, the Emerson Park Metrolink/Parson’s Place, Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park’s River Overlook. The group returned to The Joseph Center/Eagle’s Nest of St. Clair County for the famous Friday Fish Fry, organized and executed by Martha Watts, Director, and Chef JR.

Post-lunch, the ESLARPers headed to their afternoon worksites! There was a team continuing the Opal’s House privacy fence build, Fall cleaning at the Village Theater, Koi Pond construction at the Eagle’s Nest, Curb/Parking painting at the ESL City Hall, Neighborhood cleanups with Concerned Citizens of Precinct 12 (CCP12), data collection for The Shoulder’s Project and a continuance of the creation of Community Technology Centers by Library and Information Science graduate students. As the sun began to set, we headed to the hotel to check-in, cleanup and gather for dinner.

ESLARPers invaded the local HomeTown Buffet for a dinner and reflection session on Friday evening. We were honored to host one of our ESLARP Community Partners: Christina Fisher, who is the Director of the Village Theater in Centreville, IL. After a filling dinner, the students reflected upon their day’s work and shared their experiences with the entire team. We discussed Saturday’s projects and events prior to going our separate ways for the remainder of the evening. A large group of students went to the City Museum in St. Louis, while others went shopping and socialized at the hotel.

7:30am came fast on Saturday morning, and with that were the wakeup calls to the entire team! The students were treated to a delicious breakfast to fuel the start of their day! All ESLARPers departed the Sheraton at 8:45am sharp! We spread out over East St. Louis at nine different sites. Work continued for FAA 291 students at Opal’s House, Eagle’s Nest and the Village Theater. FAA 291 and Minority Leadership Group students spread out in the Lansdowne Neighborhood, working to clean it up alongside the Concerned Citizens of Precinct 12. Others painted picnic tables, benches and playground equipment at Jones Park. Recreation, Sport and Tourism students hosted a career training session, as part of their Shoulder’s Project, with young women in the community. LIS students headed back to continue work at Pirtle’s, Opal’s House and the ESL Administrative Office, implementing technology centers.

As the sun began to set on the western horizon, the teams finished their work, returned their tools and headed to Pirtle’s Variety for a yummy ice cream. With bellies full of their favorite ice cream, the teams headed back to campus. Another productive and collaborative weekend in East St. Louis came to a close. Students left with open hearts and minds, ready to reflect upon their experience with their classmates. Until February. -JG

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