First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Brick Township High School

Press Release

(L to R: First Financial’s VP of Marketing and Business Development, Grant recipient Mrs. Kim Haug, and Assistant VP of Business Development).

FREEHOLD, N.J. – Brick Township High School woodshop teacher, Kim Haug, was recently surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2019-2020 school year.

Haug submitted a grant application to purchase a woodshop jointer for her classroom, as the high school is over 50 years old and the current machinery in the woodshop is original to when the school first opened. Some of the original machines are still working and have been repaired, however the classroom’s jointer is unfortunately beyond restoration at this point in time.

“I teach woodshop to a great group of students,” said Haug. “My students are very creative, and they design and construct great wooden projects, but with the lack of good working machines – they are limited in the quality of their finished projects. I would love to be able to use the grant money to offer my students a gift that will be used to improve the quality of their projects. A new jointer would be a worthwhile and necessary addition to our wood shop.”

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 seven (7) classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2019-2020 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,” said First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan.

Stephan also noted that the Foundation committee had a tough job of choosing just seven winning teachers out of the numerous applications received this year. “We received double the amount of classroom grant entries this year, which included heartwarming essays and videos from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs within their schools,” said Stephan. “We wish we were able to reward each and every one of our participants, and after extremely careful consideration we selected the seven initiatives in which we felt the grant money would have the largest impact.”

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to the Alpha School

Press Release

(L to R: First Financial’s AVP of Business Development, Grant recipient Ms. Sara Stockton, First Financial’s VP of Marketing and President/CEO).

FREEHOLD, N.J. – Alpha School special education teacher, Sara Stockton, was recently surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $500 Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2019-2020 school year. The Alpha School exists to assist special needs students ranging in age from 5 to 21, and has offered educational, therapeutic, and support services to its students since 1980. The school is located in Jackson, NJ.

Ms. Stockton submitted a grant application which included an informative video – to purchase a break box, seven foot tepee, and sensory tool kit for her classroom that consists of six male students ages 10 to 13.

“One of the biggest goals of mine is to have the boys be self-advocates and to ask for breaks when they need it,” said Stockton. “A lot of them have sensory issues and have trouble dealing with the day to day structure. I believe in manipulating their environment and having something right in front of them that they can remember to ask for, a place where they feel comfortable and safe.”

Never give up on anybody or anything … miracles happen every day.

(L to R: First Financial’s AVP of Business Development, Grant recipient Ms. Sara Stockton, Alpha School Principal Mr. John Gonzalez, 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 seven (7) classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2019-2020 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 seven winning teachers out of the numerous applications received this year. “We received double the amount of classroom grant entries this year, which included heartwarming essays and videos from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs within their schools,” said Stephan. “We wish we were able to reward each and every one of our participants, and after extremely careful consideration we selected the seven initiatives in which we felt the grant money would have the largest impact.”

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to HC Johnson Elementary

Press Release

(Pictured above L to R: First Financial’s President/CEO, VP of Marketing and Business Development, and AVP of Business Development, with a group of students from H.C. Johnson Elementary’s aquaponic gardening classroom.)

FREEHOLD, N.J. – H.C. Johnson Elementary School media specialist Carrie Hogan and music teacher Missy O’Keeffe, were recently surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $492.88 Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2019-2020 school year. Both educators have recognized the transformative power of service and social-emotional learning with the creation of the Jackson elementary school’s aquaponic garden.

Hogan and O’Keeffe submitted a grant application to purchase seeds, herbs, and soil for the elementary school’s aquaponics garden and lab located within the building’s library. The grant money will be used to provide the Jackson community with fresh vegetables and herbs, and crops from their micro-farm will be donated to the local food pantry to help those in need.

(Pictured above L to R: Grant recipients Carrie Hogan and Missy O’Keeffe with their aquaponic gardening students.)

“According to the Center for Food Action, one in every 10 New Jersey residents faces food insecurity, meaning they do not have an adequate, consistent supply of food. This affects young children, senior citizens, and many families in our local community,” said Hogan and O’Keeffe. “The guiding principle of our program is the belief that all students should be provided with a learning environment that supports and challenges their thinking. This classroom will provide students with the opportunity to take ownership over their own learning, and they will be given the chance to sharpen their critical thinking skills. Most importantly, it allows our students to see the impact that their own actions have upon their local community.”

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 seven (7) classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2019-2020 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,” said First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan.

Stephan also noted that the Foundation committee had a tough job of choosing just seven winning teachers out of the numerous applications received this year. “We received double the amount of classroom grant entries this year, which included heartwarming essays and videos from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs within their schools,” said Stephan. “We wish we were able to reward each and every one of our participants, and after extremely careful consideration we selected the seven initiatives in which we felt the grant money would have the largest impact.”

 

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Cedar Drive Middle School

Press Release

(Pictured above L to R: First Financial’s President/CEO and VP of Marketing and Business Development, Grant recipient Mrs. Sara Campbell, Middle school student Harry Strack, and Mrs. Lori Press).

FREEHOLD, N.J. – Colts Neck’s Cedar Drive Middle School handicap teacher, Sara Campbell, was recently surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with a $416.77 Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2019-2020 school year. Mrs. Campbell has been an elementary school teacher for 14 years, and recently began teaching students with developmental and intellectual disabilities at the middle school level.

Campbell submitted a grant application to purchase equipment for the school’s Colts Cafe. The grant money will be used to continue to change the culture of the school – one snack at a time, through service and vocational skills. Using an old technology cart, a small group of Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Lori Press’ students started selling snacks and coffee to teachers at the school. This went over so well with the teachers, the idea was suggested to also begin selling snacks to students at the school. The classroom grant awarded will go toward purchasing commercial quality popcorn machines, popcorn, scoops, popcorn seasoning, and popcorn distribution bags.

“When we began to sell coffee and treats to the teachers, our students gained self-confidence and found a place in a community where they had been living on the outskirts,” said Campbell. “They became of service, they found a purpose. And a community found something they didn’t know they were missing.”

(Pictured above L to R: Cedar Drive Middle School Principal Mr. Colin Rigby, Mrs. Sara Campbell, student Harry Strack, and Mrs. Lori Press).

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 seven (7) classroom grants to use at their schools for the 2019-2020 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,” said First Financial President & CEO, Issa Stephan.

Stephan also noted that the Foundation committee had a tough job of choosing just seven winning teachers out of the numerous applications received this year. “We received double the amount of classroom grant entries this year, which included heartwarming essays and videos from educators hoping to use the grant money to implement or maintain a variety of creative programs within their schools,” said Stephan. “We wish we were able to reward each and every one of our participants, and after extremely careful consideration we selected the seven initiatives in which we felt the grant money would have the largest impact.”

2019 Classroom Grants: Call for Entries!

Calling all teachers! Does your classroom need a little help for the 2019-2020 school year? Tell us what your classroom needs are!

The First Financial Foundation will be awarding classroom grants up to $500 each this coming Fall. Grants will be awarded to Monmouth and Ocean County schools.

Grant applications will be accepted between August 1 and September 30, 2019.

To submit an entry, please email foundation@firstffcu.com no later than 11:59pm on September 30th. Your email should tell us in 500 words or less, or you can submit a Youtube video no longer than 3 minutes – letting us know how much you are requesting up to $500, and what you would use the grant for. Please be sure to include your full name, position, school name, address, a contact phone number and email. Educators may also be nominated by an administrator.

All grant recipients will be notified by the First Financial Foundation on or about October 15, 2019.

Good luck!

*To apply, email foundation@firstffcu.com and tell us in 500 words or less or submit a video no longer than 3 minutes, letting us know how much you are requesting and what you would use the grant for. Grant applicants must also submit their name, position, school name, school address, and a contact phone number and email. All applications must be received by 11:59pm on 9/30/19. The Foundation will notify grant recipients on or about 10/15/19. Educators may also be nominated by an administrator. Total funds available for 2019 classroom grants is $2,000.  Applying does not guarantee receiving a grant. Not all applicants will receive grant money. Before applying, be sure to check with your school district to see if there are any rules or requirements for applying or accepting grant money. Federally insured by NCUA.

First Financial Foundation Awards Classroom Grant to Bradley Beach School

Press Release

(Pictured above: Bradley Beach Elementary School Principal and Superintendent Dr. Wisniewski and Alison Zylinski).

FREEHOLD, N.J. – Bradley Beach Elementary School social worker and anti-bullying specialist, Alison Zylinski, was surprised by members of the First Financial Foundation with the final Erma Dorrer classroom grant for the 2018-2019 school year.

Zylinski submitted a grant application to purchase supplies to create vinyl inspirational messages to promote students’ actions of kindness, respect, empowerment, and positive self-esteem on a daily basis.

“It is my responsibility to improve school climate and culture,” said Zylinski. “This year, every class in our K-8 school will engage in a 20 minute morning meeting, where the focus is to develop a sense of connection among students, work on social-emotional skills, and improve each classroom’s overall culture and climate. Creating inspirational messages would be a fantastic environmental change for our school.”

(Pictured above: First Financial’s President/CEO, First Financial’s VP of Marketing & Business Development, Alison Zylinski, and First Financial’s AVP of Business Development).

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.”