Fairborn Primary School partnership
Helping tomorrow grow

Primary SchoolAt First Presbyterian Church in Fairborn, one of our most “hands-on” local missions for the past several years, and an important part of the Outreach Ministry at FPC, is the Fairborn Primary School (FPS) Partnership.  As many as 80 of our members participate in the various ministries this partnership provides.

Once we realized that well over half (in fact, as many as 65%) of the children at this huge local elementary school with over 1700 students in kindergarten through third grade are below the poverty level, it seemed that there were an abundance of opportunities to get involved and to enhance the lives of those children and their families.  The school staff (principal, vice principal, guidance counselors, and nursing staff) have been wonderful about helping us identify those opportunities.

  Largely through the donations of church members, but also with the support of local grants and fund-raising programs, First Presbyterian Church’s FPS Mission Partnership is responsible for a wide variety of programs and projects throughout the school year, including:

Helping Hands:  During the first two weeks of the school year, church volunteers assist the young students in finding their way from the school buses to their new classrooms in the mornings and back to their buses after school.

Kick-Off Dinner: Once school has gotten underway, we host a luncheon at church, usually on the 5th Sunday in September, and feature speakers from the school administrators and counselors. Their motivational stories are a great setting for allowing our members to learn more about the opportunities to become involved in the FPS partnership.

Library Aides:  Other church members help as volunteers in the school library and, in 2011, we helped with the huge task of inventorying the library books.  One of the main reasons this is so helpful is that the Fairborn Schools have only one librarian on staff, and she spends only one day per week at FPS.

Reading Program:  Several church members volunteer regularly (usually about once per week) to read with the same student(s) throughout the school year, at the request of specific classroom teachers.

The Boutique:  New and used clothing, shoes, socks, underwear, etc. as well as coats, gloves, and mittens and even hand-made (by church volunteers) fleece blankets and denim quilts are distributed to needy children.  Display shelves were also purchased and volunteers lovingly help to organize the boutique every month so that the children can select items they need in their sizes. Fund-raisers for the boutique have included Sock-it-to-Me Sunday and Undie Sunday.

School Clinic:  Purchasing and providing supplies, equipment, shelving, and even a golf cart (now known as “The Skyhawk Shuttle”) for transporting sick and injured children from the playground or along the more-than-one-mile-long hallways have all been projects for the clinic.

Playground Shed: We donated a wooden shed with a concrete ramp to house and distribute playground equipment to the children for use during outdoor gym classes and recess.

COSI Programs:  For five years, the FPS Partnership has provided the $1000 or more necessary to bring an all-day program by COSI (Center of Science and Industry) in Columbus to the approximately 350 third-grade students.  Church volunteers unload the COSI truck the evening before, set up the various learning centers, staff them, and load everything back into the COSI truck at the end of the day. The 2013 program will feature “Exploring Ecology.”

Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Concerts: Church members’ contributions and fund-raisers such as the Elder-Beerman Coupon Sale (below) help us to provide several concerts by one of the DPO traveling ensembles. The 2012-2013 concerts will bring an orchestra ensemble to present several concerts for the first grade classes.

DPO Volunteers Program: Dayton Philharmonic volunteers present a program for the second graders that teaches them how an orchestra is formed and how to act during a concert.

Dayton Art Institute Field Trip: New for the 2012-2013 school year, we will be sponsoring field trips for nine bus-loads of FPS second graders to visit the Dayton Art Institute. The museum has graciously agreed to fund the cost of one of the buses. Our Elder-Beerman Coupon Sale (see below) and donations from church members will fund the other eight buses.

Literary Night: As a supplement to the monthly “Literary Nights” held by the guidance counselors to teach children and parents the value of reading stories together, we again will be providing coloring kits and new pajamas for the Christmas Party.

Box Tops for Education:  Collecting and cutting out these labels from various grocery items provides funds for the purchase of playground and physical education equipment and balls for learning to play various team sports.

Snak-Paks: Realizing that many of the children (and, in some cases, their siblings) don’t get regular meals at home over the weekend, this ministry by local churches, of which we are one, helps to provide nutritious foods that the children take home to their families for the weekend. For the 2011-2012 school year, over 6100 Snak-Paks were provided to the needy children.

Elder-Beerman Coupon Sales: Twice a year, we participate in the local department store’s sale of coupon booklets as a fundraiser for some of the “big ticket” programs we provide, such as COSI, the DPO performance, and the DAI field trip. Church volunteers sell the booklets to the community, our members, and shoppers at the Fairfield Commons store.

Aluminum Can Collection: Church volunteers take washed and crushed aluminum cans to be recycled so that the proceeds can help to fund FPS Partnership projects.

Denise Lo Cicéro is the staff liaison to the FPS Partnership.  You can reach her at the church office on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or by sending an e-mail to  She will be happy to provide you with contact information for the volunteer(s) heading up the specific program(s) you’re interested in learning more about.