[ Update ]

Alternative Spring Break

Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan

February 27-March 6, 1999

On Saturday, 6 students and 1 "mom" showed up on the doorstep of the Bride of Christ Church in the Alta Sita neighborhood of East St. Louis. They were greeted by NTAC's acting Director, Craig Miller and the Pastor's of the church, Carl and Lily Prude. The students were invited to sleep over in the church all week. They accepted the invitation, even thought it meant they had to drive to Belleville to take showers at the YMCA.

On Sunday they all attended the church services and were able to try some awesome soul food, as the church was celebrating...Later, staff from the University of Illinois ESLARP, Deanna Koenigs and Sarah Duffy joined them and took them on a tour of East St. Louis and the Katherine Dunham museum.

The rest of the week was spent demolishing, drywalling, painting, and getting dirty. They were involved the rehabilitation of the basement of the Bride of Christ church so that it might be used as a meeting room for its members. It was an extremely physical task, and the volunteers did an incredible job of fixing up the once drab green and dilapidated-looking room. The walls needed to be smoothed with mud and sand in order to get them ready for paint, while the ceiling needed drywall to be mounted even before it was taped, mudded, sanded, and painted. The group worked very diligently in fixing up this old basement, and also had fun while doing it. ESLARP staff, Yong Wook Kim and Edgar Flagg took over for Deanna and Sarah halfway throught the week.

After a few hard days of working, the entire group headed out for a night in St. Louis across the river. Some of the group was able to go shopping at University Park, near Washington University, while others elected to stay in town. The entire group met up at Union Station for more shopping before heading to Planet Hollywood for dinner to finish up the first half of the week. They all had fun sightseeing in St. Louis, visiting the arch, LaClede's Landing, Union Station Mall, and University City.

More photos from the week.

Thanks to all who volunteered during this eventful week!

Grand Rapids Communtiy College Participants:

Comments from Grand Rapids CC Students

Document author(s) : Sarah Duffy, Deanna Koenigs
Last modified: 20 April 1999, Deanna Koenigs