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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!

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Enriching perspectives through community engagement

Outreach Weekend Report - October 28-29, 2011

Weekend Summary
East St. Louis Outreach:

This weekend 30 University students, faculty and staff travelled to East St. Louis for what might very well have been our last official ‘Outreach Weekend’ in East St. Louis. The group was comprised of students from three courses, Martin Wolske’s LIS 451 graduate students, Vicki Eddings’ FAA 291 group of undergrad students from across campus and Prof. Robert Hughes’ FAA 291 HCD group of Human and Community Development Freshmen students.

Upon arrival at Eagle’s Nest Martha Watts (founder and Executive Director) joined us and gave the students a wonderful overview of the Veterans shelter followed by a tour of the facility. Billie Turner soon joined us for her legendary ‘tour’ of East St. Louis where she treated the students to lots of stories and historical facts about her city. After lunch the students were eager to begin their weekend projects at Pirtle's, Village Theatre and the Public Television Station. Patrick Hatch, ESLARP alum currently working as an auditor with HUD came to work with us for the weekend. It was fitting that he joined us this weekend as he has been with ESLARP almost since its inception. Here are tid-bits about our projects: Village Theatre – Patrick and Bob Hughes took on the siding project which turned out to be much more than they bargained for. The two leaders, with assistance from Christina, and six undergrad students got right to work and before the weekend was over they had successfully accomplished their goal! The students learned new skills and made new friends – it was an excellent experience just to watch!

Pirtle’s – Pirtle’s is becoming a new favorite project spot for our students. The undergrad students worked with LIS grad students to install desks and vinyl flooring in both the new computer room and the ice cream store. They had a blast this weekend. Mr. Pirtle treated everyone to free ice cream and lots of positive feedback about their work. Public Access Television Station – Friday, some of the FAA 291 students worked with LIS grads painting and preparing for a new computer lab. This project is a new venture and we’re looking forward to seeing the results of the LIS 451 students’ technical efforts.

ESLARP tool move – A few of the students volunteered (?) to help pack and clean up ESLARP’s tool shed in preparation for the move to Champaign. Although the work was dirty and sometimes heavy lifting was involved, they were great and hung in there with me as we went through all the tools and other things we had stockpiled over the years. By the end of Saturday the U-haul was packed with tools ready to be brought to their new home with Action Research.Illinois in Champaign . . . progress can be good but sad! Many thanks to those who helped this weekend – you know who you are! I’m looking forward to all the new adventures in East Central Illinois. –Vicki Eddings

Champaign-Urbana Outreach:

Our first outreach weekend in the Champaign-Urbana area was a raging success! We were also able to send a team of students to East St. Louis to continue or work there. With students in action in both cities, there was hardly a dull moment to be found!

In Champaign students participated in three drastically different city tours led by our awesome tour guides, Will Patterson, Sharon Irish, and Sang Lee. On each tour the students were able to see the city from the eyes of our tour guides, each offering unique perspective, through personal stories and experiences. Several of the stops on the tour included, the Dobbins Downs neighborhood, the Champaign County Archives, Douglas Park, and First Street Prosperity Garden. At each site, students were given the opportunity to walk around and interact with the sites. Following the tour, we held a panel discussion over lunch with several community members and advocates. During this time, students, GA’s and Faculty could ask our panelists questions about the city, and the specific projects they are involved in. In talking with several of the students, they thought that this was one of to most informative and eye opening activities of the weekend. Following the panel each group and their site supervisor took off to their assigned sites. They had a chance to talk with the coordinators of each project and understand the impact of the work they would be doing.Our first outreach weekend in the Champaign-Urbana area was a raging success! We were also able to send a team of students to East St. Louis to continue or work there. With students in action in both cities, there was hardly a dull moment to be found!

In Champaign students participated in three drastically different city tours led by our awesome tour guides, Will Patterson, Sharon Irish, and Sang Lee. On each tour the students were able to see the city from the eyes of our tour guides, each offering unique perspective, through personal stories and experiences. Several of the stops on the tour included, the Dobbins Downs neighborhood, the Champaign County Archives, Douglas Park, and First Street Prosperity Garden. At each site, students were given the opportunity to walk around and interact with the sites. Following the tour, we held a panel discussion over lunch with several community members and advocates. During this time, students, GA’s and Faculty could ask our panelists questions about the city, and the specific projects they are involved in. In talking with several of the students, they thought that this was one of to most informative and eye opening activities of the weekend. Following the panel each group and their site supervisor took off to their assigned sites. They had a chance to talk with the coordinators of each project and understand the impact of the work they would be doing.

On Saturday morning students arrived at Noble Hall ready for the hard work to commence. They then made their way, with site supervisors, to their respected sites. At noon everyone closed up shop for a couple hours for arguably the most exciting part of the weekend. We organized a community picnic and outing for everyone in the surrounding neighborhoods and community sponsors. We had bar-b-cue catered in by Lord and Lacy, a local bar-b-cue restaurant. They brought in a huge smoker and set up shop, with delicious smells filling the air. Students had the opportunity to spend time with and talk to residents of the community, as well as play sports and outdoor games with local children. We all had a blast running through the park and interacting with the residents. One boy said, “This is the best day of my life, because I get to play with older kids.” After the bar-b-cue, everyone made their way back to each project site to finish off our work. –Chase Miller


 
Action Research Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts actionresearch@illinois.edu
326 Noble Hall, MC-549 1209 South Fourth Street Champaign, Illinois 61820 (217) 265-0202 Fax: (217) 244-9320