Saturday, October 3 was an exciting day for our Social Skills Project class students. Most of them visited and met with Bank of America executives who were kind enough to give their time to Cypress Bay’s ESE department on a Saturday. These executives sat with the students, and their parents, and aided greatly in helping the students understand more about the functions of bank accounts and how they are useful on a daily basis. Through a grant from the HDS Foundation, each student had the opportunity to open a bank account and will be depositing funds in it to use during class daily living activities. The students will be going out in the community to work on and further develop everyday living skills needed to successfully and smoothly carry out activities like going to restaurants and paying for their meals, or shopping at local grocery and drug stores to purchase food, drinks, and other essential items. Their new ATM accounts will allow them the opportunity to deploy some of the skills they are learning in class and see how those skills truly play a part in the real world.  So, the accounts will essentially help the students master the daily living skills needed to ensure successful long-term independence. Understanding practical banking and how to manage money are vital components of living independently.

Thank you to Ms. Mansollilo, Ms. Gard, Dr. Rizzo-Weiner and the Bank of America staff for taking time on Saturday to do this for the students – the activity was helpful and largely impactful on these students’ lives.