Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Packed house at Winnemac Park Neighbors 1st meeting

The new Winnemac Park Neighbors block club in the Ravenswood neighborhood (Area 2 block club boundary is Damen to Western, Lawrence to Foster) packed the house at Dolce Casa Cafe on Tuesday evening.  Almost 50 new and old neighbors showed up to connect and hear about progress at Chappell and McPherson elementary schools.  We also were invited by the "dormant" Winnemac Park advisory group to rejuvenate community effort at the fantastic four acre park that anchors the block club.

Neighbors sign in at the and mingle.

We learned about increased achievement scores, state awards, top notch facilities, new parent efforts and possible new funding for our public neighborhood schools Chappell and McPherson.  Local School Council members and involved neighbors talked about their experiences with the local schools.  The attendees were impressed!

Chappell Principal Joesph Peila addresses Winnemac Park Neighbors. Cafe owner and neighbor  Ross Outten listens in.                                                                                  

Some of the main points of the evening:
  • Your neighborhood elementary schools in the block club area are a viable option and have great facilities
  • Achievement scores are increasing and neighborhood residents can continue to contribute in many ways from tutoring, helping classrooms, donating and fundraising.
  • There are newer parent efforts forming and accessible "point people" to contact for your schools
  • Winnemac Park has an existing advisory group and can be revitalized
  • Winnemac Park has three "managing bodies", the City (the road), CPS and the Park District and it takes a good effort to coordinate events.  The park has its own superintendent.
  • Concerns were brought up about the Lawrence Streetscape project to start Fall of 2012
  • A new high school advocacy group called  North Side High School Initiative

Winnemac Park Neighbors is a brand new neighborhood group in Area 2 of the 47th Ward (Damen to Western, Lawrence to Foster). No formal structure has been developed at this time. The initial goal is to connect area neighbors, businesses and public resources in a profound way in monthly meetings.  However, the group does send a delegate to the Alderman's Ward Council and we will be developing committees, communications and possibly officers. 

Please email subject Winnemac Park Neighbors to be added to the initial email list. Our next meeting may be pushed to January due to the upcoming holidays.

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