First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Laurie Peters of Bayville Elementary School

Press Release


(L to R): Michael Conforti, Assistant Principal of Bayville Elementary School, Grant recipient and teacher, Laurie Peters and Steven Rieder, Principal of Bayville Elementary School

WALL, N.J. – Bayville Elementary School Basic Skills Teacher, Laurie Peters, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 classroom grant for the 2015-2016 school year.

Mrs. Peters submitted a grant application to purchase additional resources to be used in the classroom and at home to support struggling students in the areas of reading, phonics, writing, and math.  Specifically, she wished to purchase leveled readers for students to borrow in order to read on their level at home, as well as alphabet and number strips to practice letter and number recognition. She also hoped to be able to buy basic supplies such as cardstock and glue, to create multi-sensory materials that the district cannot fund.

“I would use the grant money to create hands-on learning experiences for the students of Bayville Elementary School,” said Peters. “This approach will successfully incorporate students in the learning process as well as make it an enjoyable and beneficial time for both the students and myself.”

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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