ESLARPEast St. Louis Action Research Project
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Community Outreach

Spring 1997 Work Weekend#1

On the weekend of March 7-8, 106 students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign traveled to East St. Louis, Illinois to assist neighborhood organizations and non-profits with a variety of projects.

Students arrive at Farmer's MarketResidents help students clear abandoned lots

Carver Community Center

The Carver Community Center

Students from Professor Mike Andrejasich’s Architecture 372 worked with Rev. Andrew Jackson and members of the North End Church on the Carver Community Center. The purpose of this project is to rehabilitate an old school into a community center for area residents.

Scraping . . .Painting ...

Students work at the Carver Community Center

A great deal of painting, scraping, and plastering was accomplished over the weekend; students will continue to work on this project over the course of the spring. The U of I students wish to thank the members of the Carver Community Center for providing breakfast and lunch.

Residents prepare lunch for the students

Olivette Park Lot Cleanup

Students from Professors Brian Orland and Stephen Wierzbowski’s studio cleared two badly overgrown lots strewn with trash in Olivette Park.

Trash cleanup

Clearing ...The Olivette Park Team

Jackie Joyner Kersee Center Site Visit

These students also conducted a thorough site visit for their studio project—the Jackie Joyner Kersee Center in Lansdowne. Students also talked to East St. Louis children about their studio project.

Students and children at NTAC

Resource Manuals for ESL-NTAC

Students from Professor Ken Reardon’s Neighborhood Planning course conducted interviews and research for a series of resource manuals they are producing for the Neighborhood Technical Assistance Center. These manuals will provide neighborhood groups and non-profits with critical information regarding affordable housing, non-profit management, community center development and community organizing.

Students and children at North End Church

Alta Sita Mini-Park

Members of the Federation of Christian Athletes worked on a variety of projects in the Alta Sita Neighborhood, including creating flower beds in the local mini-park and cleaning up an abandoned lot.

Alta Sita Mini-ParkMaking flower beds

TV crew interviewed studentsCleaning an abandoned lot

Mt. Sinai Youth Service Computer Center

ESLARP staff installed new computer hardware and software at the Mt. Sinai Youth Service Computer Center as part of the Youthlink initiative.

Computers at the Mt. Sinai Baptist ChurchChe Watson is a regular Mt. Sinai computer user

Women from Wartburg College, Iowa, spent alternative spring break in East St. Louis painting, scraping, and cleaning for the Winstanley/Industry Park Neighborhood Organization.

Our thanks to all of the students and residents that participated in the weekend projects. The remaining fall community outreach weekends are scheduled for April 4-5, April 18-19, and May 2-3. Contact Angie Morgan at if you are interested in participating.

More images are available online.

Community Outreach

East St. Louis Action Research Project
ESLARP mailing address