First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Manalapan Englishtown Middle School

Press Release

(Pictured above: First Financial’s Assistant VP of Business Development, Karryne MacLean, First Financial’s VP of Marketing & Business Development, and First Financial’s President/CEO).

FREEHOLD, N.J. – Manalapan Englishtown Middle School seventh grade social studies teacher, Karryne MacLean, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with an Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2018-2019 school year.

MacLean submitted a grant application to purchase the My Classroom Economy program. The program is designed to teach students financial responsibility in an engaging and fun way. My Classroom Economy will help students take part in a simulation of a real-world economic activity, learn the value of a paycheck, learn how to budget spending, pay bills, and balance bank accounts, discover the importance of saving money, and find out about paying taxes to the federal and state government.

“My students are what many middle schoolers are – always asking, Why do I need to learn this?” said MacLean. “They want to learn something they can use, something that matters. They are very bright and passionate. With this program, students will learn about economics and will take these skills with them to become successful adults. They will come to appreciate the value of a dollar and see the impact of saving and spending money wisely.”

(Pictured above: Karryne MacLean with her principal and department supervisor).

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 2018-2019 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 heart warming essays from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs in their schools such as flexible seating, virtual reality glasses, book stands and shelving, new classroom cabinets, and interactive books and games – 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.”

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Freehold Learning Center

Press Release

(Pictured above: First Financial’s Assistant VP of Business Development, Laura Dilworth, and Principal Smith with Mrs. Dilworth’s kindergarten class).

FREEHOLD, N.J. – Freehold Learning Center kindergarten teacher of 12 years, Laura Dilworth, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with an Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2018-2019 school year. The Freehold Learning Center is located in Freehold Borough.

Dilworth submitted a grant application to purchase Osmo’s Explorer Kits, which would help her students to explore literacy and math in a fun and engaging way. The kits include hands on playing pieces and real world creative tools, to help the students gain knowledge in number sense, reading, vocabulary, problem solving, self expression, and more.

“I teach kindergarten in a Title 1 school, meaning that the majority of our students receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch. For 2018-2019 our school received district funding to build new classrooms for Pre-K and kindergarten. This year I have a classroom with walls! In the past our classrooms had been in an open-area. My students are smart, imaginative, energetic, enthusiastic, loving and well deserving of the best education available,” said Dilworth. “I want my students to become writers, mathematicians, explorers, readers, and independent learners. The best way to ensure this is to offer them the technology and resources that neighboring districts may have. I would love my first year in a classroom with walls to include this amazing learning tool.”

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 2018-2019 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 heart warming essays from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs in their schools such as flexible seating, virtual reality glasses, book stands and shelving, new classroom cabinets, and interactive books and games – 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.”

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Land O Pines Elementary School

Press Release

(Pictured above from L to R: First Financial’s President/CEO, VP of Marketing and Business Development at First Financial, Grant Recipient Desire’e LoVoi, and First Financial’s AVP of Business Development).

FREEHOLD, N.J. – Land O Pines Elementary School teacher, Desire’e LoVoi, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with an Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2018-2019 school year. Land O Pines School is part of the Howell Township K-8 School District.

LoVoi submitted a grant application via YouTube video, to purchase equipment for a new Book/S.T.E.A.M. Room for Pre-K through 2nd grade students at the school. S.T.E.A.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. The creative video showcased some of Mrs. LoVoi’s students and how they would benefit from the updated book room.

The YouTube video can be viewed here.

(Pictured above: Land O Pines Principal Suarez with Grant Recipient Desire’e LoVoi).

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 2018-2019 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 heart warming essays from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs in their schools such as flexible seating, virtual reality glasses, book stands and shelving, new classroom cabinets, and interactive books and games – 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.”

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Ramtown Elementary School

Press Release

(Pictured above: Grant Recipient Danielle Farley of Ramtown School in Howell).

FREEHOLD, N.J. – Ramtown Elementary School 3rd grade reading teacher, Danielle Farley, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with an Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2018-2019 school year. Ramtown School is part of the Howell Township K-8 School District.

Farley submitted a grant application to purchase a one year license for the Raz-Kids reading program for her students. The program provides hundreds of eBooks offered at 29 different levels of reading difficulty. Kids access their level through an interactive learning portal designed to keep them motivated and engaged. Every eBook allows students to listen to, read at their own pace, and record themselves reading. Students then take a corresponding eQuiz to determine their future instructional needs. Once a student has read 10 or more eBooks and passed the corresponding quizzes, they advance on to the next reading level where they have access to lengthier and more difficult text.

“I truly believe that READERS ARE LEADERS and that children all grow and advance as readers at different rates,” said Farley. “The children love this program. I would love to provide my students with the opportunity to access this program in the classroom as well as at home.  This grant would provide the funds to make that happen.”

(Pictured above: First Financial’s AVP of Business Development, Grant Recipient Danielle Farley, and First Financial’s President/CEO).

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 2018-2019 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 heart warming essays from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs in their schools such as flexible seating, virtual reality glasses, book stands and shelving, new classroom cabinets, and interactive books and games – 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 this year.”

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Shark River Hills Elementary School

Press Release

(Pictured Above L to R: Superintendent of Neptune Schools Dr. Crader, Grant Recipient Stephanie Huff, and Principal Williams).

FREEHOLD, N.J. – Shark River Hills Elementary School Pre-K teacher, Stephanie Huff, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2018-2019 school year. Ms. Huff has been an early childhood educator within Neptune Township Schools for 20 years.

Huff submitted a grant application to purchase equipment for the betterment of her students’ gross motor skills. The grant money will be used to benefit the 60 Pre-K children at Shark River Hills Elementary School for years to come. Currently, the school uses equipment from a gym cart – however there is not enough to go around and it was purchased 16 years ago. With the grant funds, Ms. Huff plans to purchase new kickballs, basketballs, foam balls, a hopscotch rug, a mesh tunnel, a bowling set, handkerchiefs and ribbons, a set of scooters, and more.

(Pictured above L to R: AVP of Business Development at First Financial, Grant Recipient Stephanie Huff, and VP of Marketing and Business Development at First Financial).

“We are required to provide our students with 45 minutes of gross motor activities each and every day.  Gross motor skills are defined as the abilities required in order to control the large muscles of the body for walking, running, sitting, crawling, and other activities,” said Huff. “In order to develop and strengthen those gross motor skills, equipment is needed to do so. Fred Rogers, beloved creator of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and dedicated child advocate, poignantly said: Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. I can personally attest to the value and worth of play in children’s learning.”

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 2018-2019 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 heart warming essays and videos from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs in their schools such as flexible seating, virtual reality glasses, book stands and shelving, new classroom cabinets, and interactive books and games – 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 www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to University of Tampa Student

Press Release

FREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) awarded a $500 scholarship to Cassidy Sabins of Spring Lake Heights, who graduated from Manasquan High School. She is attending the University of Tampa (Tampa, FL) studying Business Financial Enterprise Systems.

In order to qualify for the scholarship, high school seniors attending school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties were given the option to submit a written essay or create a 60 second video clip. The students must also be attending an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2017 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

Essay topic: You and a friend decide that you would like to start building credit. Discuss with your friend what good credit is, ways to start building credit, how your credit union can help, and the benefits earned by having good credit.

Video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Sabins submitted an essay in which she explained that “good credit is taking responsibility for your spending behaviors and only purchasing items that you can afford.” She recommended choosing a credit union, such as First Financial, because it is “a great place to open a savings account” since “member-owned credit unions charge their members lower monthly fees and lower interest on loans as opposed to banks, as well as they support community programs.”

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright young students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan. “Our credit union puts a high priority on education. After all, that’s how First Financial began in 1936 – with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

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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 http://www.firstffcu.com.