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

Illinois Avenue Playground

To build its membership and its reputation as an organization that gets things done, WIPNO looked for a project that could meet the residents' concerns and be completed relatively quickly. Few of the neighborhood parks had play spaces for toddlers, so the construction of such a playground was a suitable project. Several elderly neighbors had been maintaining some abandoned lots as a place for children to play.

The University assisted with the site acquisition, donation of materials, and playground construction. But the design of the playground came from the youngsters' own ideas of what the "perfect" playground would be.

[Marie Drake]
Marie Drake
East St. Louis Resident
[Sound clip][1.22 M] "...give our children a place to play..."

[Children's drawings]
[Sound clip][0.49 M] "...input from the community..."

[Jeanne Genis]
Jeanne Genis
Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
[Sound clip][0.24 M] "...trees, flowers, grass, someplace to run..."


[Working together]
[Sound clip][0.60 M] "...a living testament..."


Illinois Avenue Playground is a visible improvement in the community. It represents an investment in youth, provides a place in the neighborhood for senior citizens and children to be together, and promotes the development of vacant lots.

[Dorothy Kenney]
Dorothy Kenney
East St. Louis Resident
[Sound clip][0.18 M] "...when I look out across the street..."

[Marie Drake]
Marie Drake
East St. Louis Resident
[Sound clip][0.17 M] "...I'm proud of it..."

[Minnie Reed]
Minnie Reed
East St. Louis Resident
[Sound clip][0.53 M] "...look out and see beauty instead of a wilderness..."

Last updated on 7/22/2011
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