Local grant to bring more caring canines to Fairfield Schools

FAIRFIELD, FAIRFIELD TWP. —The generosity of a Fairfield-based organization will make it easier for more emotional support dogs to be purchased for local schools.

A $50,000 grant from the Fairfield Community Foundation’s (FCF) Community Grant Fund will add more caring canines to Fairfield Schools in the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.

Fairfield Schools, which enrolls 10,000-students from the city and Fairfield Twp., currently has one “facility dog” at Fairfield South Elementary.

School officials cited the dog’s presence as “a major contributor to a remarkable 50% reduction in behavioral issues at the school, illustrating the significant impact of these four-legged companions.”

Andrea Goins, a guidance counselor at Fairfield South and handler for the dog, whose name is “Warren,” said: “Warren’s unwavering affirmation and acceptance have significantly improved the mood and behavior of our students, promoting a conducive learning environment.”

Each facility dog costs approximately $10,000 for initial placement, covering the training of the animal and specialized handler training for school staff. A staff member is responsible for each dog, taking them home after the school day.

The FCF’s grant is the first since its recent affiliation with the Hamilton Community Foundation, said officials in a recent statement announcing the grant.

“We want to be able to fund even more projects like this,” said Justin Krueger, FCF board chair. “Every dollar gifted to the fund leaves a lasting impact here locally without fees.”

“This particular project serves both the city and township through the schools and is a wonderful opportunity for us to give to a really good initiative,” said Krueger. “We want the Fairfield community to know that we are their partner in philanthropy.”

The Fairfield Leadership Class of 2023 established the “Fur Fund” at the foundation to extend the positive effects that Warren has had district-wide and provide for them on an on-going basis.

Central Elementary will be the district’s second school to receive a support dog, and the animal is already being supported in part by this new fund at the foundation.

The $50,000 FCF community grant will provide up to five additional facility dogs, bringing the total in the district to 7 out of 10 school buildings having a furry friend.

The Fund has a healthy start with the Fairfield Community Foundation gift, but further donations to the ‘Fur Fund’ will not only support new facility dog placements but will also cover ongoing expenses, such as emergency vet visits.

Sami Brandenburg, a representative from the Fairfield Leadership Class of 2023, conveyed the hope that “every student graduating from the Fairfield City School district will have experienced the benefit of a Facility Dog throughout their schooling. The influence these four-legged ‘staff members’ can have throughout a student’s educational journey is profound.”

Donations to the Fairfield Community Grant Fund or ‘Fur Fund’ can be made through the Fairfield Community Foundation by mail to 701 Wessel Drive, Suite A, Fairfield, OH 45014 or online at www.fairfieldcommunityfoundation.org under the Donate Now tab on the lefthand side.

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