Education is one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against poverty; it is
also a gateway to hope and opportunity. However, for many inner-city children, educational
attainment is too often an elusive goal.
Since its inception in 1891, the Northwestern University Settlement Association
has nurtured, educated and inspired children, families and seniors in Chicago’s
needy West Town community, empowering them to take personal responsibility and attain
self-sufficiency. In 2008, Northwestern Settlement partnered with John and Jeanne
Rowe, Exelon Corporation and Bain & Co. to create Rowe Elementary School, a Chicago-based
charter school with a visionary approach to fostering educational success.
Rowe’s mission is to prepare students—known as “scholars”—to successfully graduate
college. From the moment a scholar steps through Rowe’s doors, he or she is immersed
in an academically rigorous environment that cultivates the desire and expectation
to continue their education. From college campus tours that begin in kindergarten
to college-prep coaching along the way, children are given resources, tools and
encouragement to help them reach their fullest potential.
Because family involvement is a vital factor in achieving generational change, parents
have access to Northwestern Settlement’s education, social services and arts programs.
These include extended hours during the year; emergency services that provide food,
clothing and other assistance; and summer camp and arts programs that help keep
children actively engaged and away from the dangers of inner-city life.
Rowe currently serves 700 scholars in grades K–7. When the school reaches its full
K–8 capacity, it will enroll up to 1,100 children. However, scholars are already
meeting or exceeding yearlong growth goals across a number of measures, including
Northwest Evaluation Association standardized assessments in English and math.
“Rowe is among the best of Chicago’s public and charter schools,” said Ron Manderschied,
President of Northwestern Settlement. “We look forward to expanding our program
further, using a holistic approach to education to help other charter schools prepare
their students to successfully navigate the road to college graduation.”