The students in the Personal Skills class at Cypress Bay High School had the opportunity this past week to replenish their individual bank accounts through funds from the HDS Foundation grant they received for the past year. As these students participate in various activities on and off campus, they specifically work on budgeting, social, communication, and many other skills needed to grow into a more independent and sometimes interdependent young adult. Last week’s off-campus activity focused primarily on budgeting skills. Since the students’ accounts were getting low on funds, they took a field trip to Bank of America to make deposits for upcoming activities.

Each of the students made a $100 cash deposit using the ATM machine at the bank. The students were provided verbal assistance and feedback so that they could successfully complete the deposits. Many of our own children can do this task effortlessly, but for the students who are in this particular program, they are lucky to have lessons like this explicitly taught as part of the curriculum.

Upon returning to Cypress Bay, the classmates decided to give back to the community by donating some of their money in their individual accounts. Each student made a donation to the Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism which will be taking place in January 2018. Every year, Team Cypress Bay has been the leader in donations from a school. They hope to continue in this tradition again for the 2018 charity event. The students in the personal skills class proudly make signs and banners to hang around their high school. They are also getting other clubs within the school to join their efforts with the slogan #OneschoolOneteam. As the school year progresses, so do the students in the BRIDGES class at Cypress

Bay High School. They progress in all the areas from budgeting to utilizing community resources, independent functioning, growth and empowerment, to social skills.

Please help Team Cypress Bay continue to be the number one fundraiser for the Dan Marino WalkAbout Autism by donating to their team. Twenty-five percent of all funds raised through Team Cypress Bay will go back directly to the Special Education department of CBHS. It’s a win-win for all!