First Pres

    Rev. 2/19/16
















Giffen School

First Presbyterian Church formed a partnership with Giffen MemorialElementary School in 2012. Giffen is located in a low income area in South Albany.  The student population is primarily African-American and immigrant. We have about 20 tutors working with the students during the school day.

In addition to the tutoring, we organize an Author & Illustrator Day  in the spring where Giffen students can earn 1-3 free books and have them signed by the authors and illustrators who visit that day.

Another outreach is giving hand made children’s quilts and blankets to parents who complete a 9-week parenting course taught at the school.

If you are interested in helping with any of these projects, please contact the office. (

Tutoring, literacy, parenting classes, quilting, playground- building.  We're just getting started.

On Saturday, April 9, 2016 from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm we will once again celebrated AUTHOR/ ILLUSTRATOR DAY.  

Joining us this year:

Click here for details.


In 2015  we celebrated with four Albany area authors/ illustrators:

  • Katherine Paterson
  • Alexis O’Neill
  • Lesa Cline-Ransome
  • James Ransome (illustrator).

Click here  for details

In 2014 we celebrated with four Albany area authors/ illustrators:

In  2013  there were six participants

During the fall and winter, Giffen students had the books in their classrooms, read them, and became familiar with them. With the support of their teachers, members of our congregation guided them into projects that related to the books in some way – the students drew pictures, created their own books, made up songs or stories, or even wrote a play.


Jasmine N. Brown, a South End native and graduate of Albany High School, is the principal at Giffen Memorial Elementary School.