FAIRMONT– Fairmont Christian School has continued to grow from the bottom up. The school, located inside the Bethel Evangelical Free Church, has added a year each year since opening in 2017. This weekend, a Harvest Hustle 5K will be held as a fundraiser for the school.
The idea to start a school came from the preschool program – Small Sprouts. Parents who sent their kids there asked to add additional classes beyond preschool and in 2017 Fairmont Christian School was born when a Kindergarten and Grade 1 class was added.
Since then, the school has continued to grow. A 2nd grade class was added in 2018 and a 3rd grade class in 2019. The school added a 4th grade class this year.
There are currently 36 students enrolled in Kindergarten to Grade 4.
Kim Niestrath, administrator teacher and education specialist at the school, said: “Our plan is to grow to meet the needs of our families. We hope to be able to pass in 6th.
She said Bethel had been generous in allowing them to use different rooms in the church building as the school continued to grow. This year they added two new bedrooms.
“We added a book corner library this year” Niestrath said.
The other piece is for the grade 3 and 4 class, “Strong Saplings”.
Students bring their own lunch two days a week and Niestrath said last month that they have started a trial lunch program for the other days through the Ranch Family Restaurant in Fairmont. Niestrath said students may or may not enroll in the program.
“They have been great working with them. We really wanted to go with someone from the area ”, she said.
In addition to the standard courses, they also offer Spanish, physical education and music lessons.
On the staff side, the school has four full-time teachers, a specialist teacher, a part-time teacher and a secretary.
Although the school is located in Bethel, it is not affiliated with the church. Niestrath said that they have children who are clergymen, and some who are not.
“We strive to educate every child who comes through our doors, regardless of their origin” she said.
Niestrath shared that they have had generous donors who have enabled them to offer scholarships to students.
This Saturday, a Harvest Hustle 5K will take place at the Fairmont Christian School. The new event will serve as a fundraiser for the school.
Kaylynn Steinkamp, an organizer of the event with the school children said: “This is the first time that we have organized a 5K as a fundraiser. We were looking for a way to reunite families and have a good time together that would benefit the school.
She said they wanted it to be near the holidays, but are holding it this weekend because there are other local races on Thanksgiving Day.
All registration money will go to the school and Steinkamp said there will be a race day donation box as well.
Pre-registration has been opened and at last count Steinkamp said there were around 50 registered for 5K and around 20 kids registered for Kids K which is a short run ahead of regular 5K.
She said people can register on race day. The fee is $ 35. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Kids K starts at 10:00 a.m. and 5K starts at 10:15 a.m.
“We’re trying to fix the issues and the planning, but we hope to continue to build on that over the next few years. “ said Steinkamp.