GROWCommunity Initiative

Ground Breaking for New Addition at Coonley Elementary School, 1-31-14

Policy Brief on GROW47

About GROW47

The quality of our schools is a key determinant of the long-term success of the 47th Ward which does have some amazing schools with dedicated teachers, staff, parents and “Friends Of” groups. Alderman Pawar is intent on supporting and improving the situation for all schools, working with the principals, parent groups, community organizations, businesses and residents to make sure every school in the 47th Ward is getting everything it needs to provide a high quality education for our future generations.

GROW47 is a community led and driven committee composed of parents, teachers, community leaders, neighbors and the 47th Ward office working together to build and maintain strong neighborhood schools. GROW47 works to create a neighborhood K-12 system by linking elementary schools to neighborhood high schools and building positive messages around all of our neighborhood schools. GROW47 believes that when our neighborhood schools win, everybody wins. And while some schools are hit harder than others, we collectively recognize that a cut to one school impacts all schools. To learn more about GROW47 or to get involved, please click on the documents below or email us at

I am pleased to announce that community leaders Dan Hynes and Paul Rosenfeld will be chairing the public outreach for GROW47.

GROW47 Accomplishments (5/2014):

  • Allocated $16.5 million in TIF funding for Coonley Elementary annex
  • Allocated $2 million in TIF funding for Lake View High School STEM Program
  • Allocated $2 million in TIF funding for Amundsen High School, Chappell Elementary and McPherson Elementary Schools
  • Allocated $10 million in State capital funding for the Bell Elementary annex
  • Allocated $205K in aldermanic menu funding for Audubon Elementary
  • # GROW47 secured over $400K in private grants for neighborhood schools:

> McPherson Elementary … $104K
> Ravenswood Elementary … $110K
> Waters Elementary … $100K
> Audubon Elementary … $50K
> Hamilton Elementary … $50K

  • Partnered with the Kohl Children’s Museum, StoryBus and GROW47 to bring reading enrichment programs to every school in the 47th Ward for grades K-2
  • Partnered with the Friends of McPherson to secure $600K in various funding (including aldermanic menu) for a new campus playground
  • Partnered with the Friends of Ravenswood to help secure $750K in Illinois EPA funding for a new outdoor campus and playground

We are working on building additional partnerships and we look forward to partnering with you to improve all of our neighborhood schools.

Bell Elementary School Addition and Renovation presentation 10/2012

GROW47 Presentation (10/2011)