[ Update ]
East St. Louis Community Outreach Weekend #1 was a huge success, as 100 students, staff, and faculty completed projects at ten sites across the city of East St. Louis on September 26 and 27. Neighborhood organizations in East St. Louis identified each of these projects and contacted the University for assistance.Students were also given the opportunity to discuss their ideas about the work the East St. Louis Action Research Project has been conducting in the city and how their expectations compared to their actual experiences.
Virginia Park: An architecture studio (Arch 371) led by Professor Jeff Poss completed several improvement projects in Virginia Park.The projects included rebuilding two sandboxes, clearing brush, and picking up litter. The studio class is working on designs for a new pavilion in Virginia Park, and the Outreach Weekend provided the students with the opportunity to make some lasting improvements to their project site.
2999 Virginia Place: Neighborhood Technical Assistance Center
architect Craig Miller led a group of students in this project which involved
refurbishing a house. The students cleared overgrown brush and branches
from the yard and removed a large amount of trash. They also helped winterize
the home and made a permanent improvement by constructing a new deck for
Students cleared three vacant lots that had become dangerously overgrown
in the Lansdowne neighborhood. While managing to (mostly) avoid the poison
ivy, the students worked with Americorps volunteers to help remove the
7th Street: A group of students avoided bee and hornet stings as they painted a house in the Olivette Park neighborhood. After scraping away the badly deteriorating paint on the home, the students applied fresh coats of paint, (grey on the top, white on the bottom), making the residence appear almost brand new.
Dunham Centers: Katherine Dunham must have greatly appreciated the
work that the University students did for her Centers for the Arts and
Humanities.They cleaned and mowed the grounds of the Dunham Dynamic Museum,
removed a rotting back porch from another property, and cleared a large
amount of brush.
Work continued on the Carver Community Center in the Goose Hill neighborhood. The students cleared and cleaned the grounds of the Center in prepartion
for a new playground. In addition, they did some painting on the inside
of the Center and refurbished a basketball hoop. The Carver Center, in
association with North End Missionary Baptist Church also hosted lunch
on Saturday September 27, for which the University is very grateful.
A team of University computer experts led by Abhijeet Chavan and Deanna
Koenigs helped set up several new computers in Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist
Church (Rev. Herman Watson, pastor). The computers were obtained from
University surplus and will provide neighborhood residents with access
to a multitude of educational computer programs. Several neighborhood children
took advantage of Mt. Sinai's "Computer Mania" workshop, as they were instructed on how to use the computers.
Every home in the Edgemont neighborhood had its door knocked on by University students and neighborhood residents.The Edgemont Citizens for Crime Prevention and Community Development were using the University assistance to distribute
flyers promoting the neighborhood organziation.
Students battled bees and other hazards as they cleared refuse, overgrown
weeds, and brush from the East. St. Louis Farmer's Market. The Market,
built with University assistance, is nearing the end of its fourth year
of successful operation. Fresh fruit offered by vendors at the Market invigorated
students during breaks from their hard work.
Students did a quick clean-up of this park, which was built by the Winstanley-Industry Park Neighborhood Organization in partnership with the University.The park has served as a cherished play area for neighborhood children for over four years now.
Document author(s) : Bryan Friedman
Last modified: 15 October 1997, Deanna Koenigs