First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Elizabeth Oliva of Monmouth Regional High School

Press Release


Pictured Above: Elizabeth Oliva, French Teacher at Monmouth Regional High School

Wall, N.J. – Monmouth Regional High School French teacher, Elizabeth Oliva, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 classroom grant for the 2015-2016 school year.

Ms. Oliva submitted a grant application to purchase digital voice recorders for the Spanish, French, Latin, and English classes in her school. The voice recorders will be used as a tool to provide feedback and constructive criticism to the students’ speaking abilities, as well as assess them for a grade based on their ability to discuss a particular topic. Both students and teachers will benefit from the recorders in order to utilize them in the classroom and also at home.

“These voice recorders would allow students to have more opportunities speaking the language, as well as the ability to hear their pronunciation and annunciation,” said Oliva. “Our goal is to enable our students to communicate in the global world in which we live, to be excited by the differences around the world, and to experience these cultures.”

Since First Financial began with a group of Asbury Park schoolteachers back in 1936, the credit union has not forgotten its educational roots. That is why its Foundation offered current Monmouth and Ocean County educators six (6) classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2015-2016 school year.

“Education has and always will be a pivotal piece of our organization, and we’re delighted to be able to help our local educators enhance their classroom experience,” noted First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan.

Stephan also noted that the Foundation committee had a tough job of choosing just six winning teachers out of the numerous applications received this year. “We received dozens of heartening essays from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs in their schools such as purchasing basic skills materials for struggling students, funding a thanksgiving feast for the less fortunate, integrating digital voice recorders for students to practice second languages, new tables for a classroom, iPads, updated software, and pencil grips for students in pre-K through 2nd grade – to name a few,” said Stephan. “We wish we were able to reward each and every one of our participants, and after extremely careful consideration we selected the six classrooms in which we felt the grant money would have the largest impact.”


About the First Financial Foundation: Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, visit

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