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5K to benefit Fairmont Christian School

FAIRMONT– Fairmont Christian School has continued to grow from the bottom up. The school, located inside Bethel Evangelical Free Church, has been adding one grade each year since it opened in 2017. This weekend a Harvest Hustle 5K will take place as a fundraiser for the school.

The idea to start a school came from the preschool program– Small Sprouts. Parents who sent their children there asked about adding additional grades beyond preschool and in 2017, Fairmont Christian School was born when a kindergarten and 1st grade class was added.

The school has been steadily growing since then. 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 through fourth grade.

Kim Niestrath, Teacher Administrator and Educational Specialist at the school, said, “Our plan is to grow to fit the needs of our families. We hope to be able to go through 6th grade.”

She said that Bethel has been generous in allowing them to use different rooms in the church building as the school has continued to grow. This year, they added two new rooms.

“We added a book nook library this year,” Niestrath said.

The other room is for the 3rd and 4th grade class, ‘Strong Saplings.’

Students bring their own lunch two days a week and Niestrath said in the last month they started a trial lunch program for the other days through the Ranch Family Restaurant in Fairmont. Niestrath said students can opt into the program or not.

“They’ve been great to work with. We really wanted to go with someone local,” she said.

In addition to standard classes, they also offer Spanish, P.E. and music classes.

As for staff, the school has four full-time teachers, a specialty teacher, a part-time teacher and a secretary.

While the school is housed in Bethel, it’s not affiliated with the church. Niestrath said they have children who are churched, and some who are un-churched.

“We strive to educate every child who comes through our doors, no matter what their background is,” she said.

Niestrath shared that they’ve had some generous donors who have allowed them to offer scholarships to students.

This Saturday, a Harvest Hustle 5 K will take place at Fairmont Christian School. The new event will serve as a fundraiser for the school.

Kaylynn Steinkamp, an organizer of the event with children at the school said, “It’s the first time that we’ve done a 5K as a fundraiser. We were looking for a way to get families together and have a good time of fellowship that would help benefit the school.”

She said they wanted it to take place near the holidays but are holding it this weekend because there are some other local races on Thanksgiving Day.

The registration money will all go toward the school and Steinkamp said there will also be a donation box there the day of the race as well.

Pre-registration has been open and at last count, Steinkamp said there were around 50 signed up for the 5K and around 20 children signed up for the Kids K, which is a short race before the regular 5K.

She said people can register the day of the race. The fee is $35. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The Kids K starts at 10 a.m. and the 5K starts at 10:15 a.m.

“We’re trying to work out the kinks and the planning but we hope to keep building on this for the next several years to come,” said Steinkamp.

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