Applewood Volunteers Recognized by Freehold Borough School District

Applewood Volunteers Recognized by Freehold Borough School District

By Joan Cinque

Manager of Resident Services

Part of our Engaged Living program, an exclusive roster of activities and events designed to enrich our residents’ mind, body and spirits, includes social accountability.

Last year, our seniors and staff combined efforts to launch Tools-4-Schools, a multi-pronged volunteer program to help our local schools.

These volunteers were recognized by the Freehold Borough School District for their year-long volunteer efforts working in-class with children in the district’s overcrowded elementary schools.

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Program coordinator Helen Coons, Donna Dawes, Eileen Giacalone and Virginia McGall received Certificates of Appreciation from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rocco Tomazic and Board of Education President Dr. Michael Lichardi.

LeadingAge NJ’s 2016 Award-Winning Community Service Program

Tools-4-Schools was awarded the “2016 Excellence in Community Service” Award by LeadingAge New Jersey, the statewide association of senior care organizations.

“The Applewood team of volunteers, many former teachers, have provided exceptional educational support to many of our students,” says Dr. Tomazic. “We have a great need for help in our schools today, and their expertise has been invaluable to our teachers.” Freehold Borough students K – 5 attend the Freehold Learning Center, Park Avenue Elementary School or Freehold Intermediate School.

Read about the Tools-4-Schools program in the Asbury Park Press (April 2017)

“Social accountability plays an important role in our senior community,” explains Keith Grady, executive director at Applewood. “Contributing our residents’ expertise to bolster local school children is an ideal way for them to make a substantive contribution to bettering our community at large.”

The Tools-4-School program currently includes 10 – 20 volunteers in the schools throughout the year. Children and students from the participating schools have visited Applewood to paint season murals on windows and offered a student talent show featuring more than 20 performers.

Applewood’s restaurant-style dining facilities also serve as a training center for physically and intellectually challenged high school students attending the Freehold Regional School District.

Joan Cinque, C.A.L.A, is the manager of resident services and a third-generation Freehold Borough resident.


She oversees the Tools-4-Schools program and serves as a liaison between management and community residents. Joan earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is a Certified Assisted Living Administrator in the state of New Jersey.

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