First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Jennifer Suralik Quintenz of Pinelands Regional Junior High School

Press Release

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Pictured Above: Jennifer Suralik Quintenz, Basic Skills/Intervention Specialist of Pinelands Regional Junior High School

WALL, N.J. – Pinelands Regional Junior High School Basic Skills/Intervention Specialist, Jennifer Suralik Quintenz, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 classroom grant for the 2015-2016 school year.

Ms. Quintenz submitted a YouTube video grant submission to continue the Thanksgiving celebration she’s coordinated in her school for the last 10 years. This holiday tradition was originally a student-only Thanksgiving breakfast, but immediately following Hurricane Sandy it was modified into a feast extended to the families of the students who may have lost their homes or were misplaced due to the storm, and were unable to otherwise celebrate the holiday. With the increase of family members and tripling costs, it is difficult for the school to sustain three years later – the grant money would be used to subside the monetary gap.

“After growing up in Tuckerton for 38 years and now teaching in the same community, I can only hope to help the less fortunate and bring parents and students together for a thankful feast each year, despite any circumstances,” said Quintenz.

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.”

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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 www.firstffcu.com.

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