It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas especially for the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Class! COVID can’t stop us from spreading holiday joy. Every holiday season our B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Students participate in their class secret elf exchange which we were still able to make happen this year regardless of the circumstances. Secret Elf has been a fun Christmas tradition for kids for many years.

Prior to Thanksgiving Break, facilitators Ms. Donna and Kathy put together all of the components of this activity to make it simple for students to accomplish. Each student was given the rules and a budget of $15 for gifts. During their Community Based Instruction (CBI), the facilitators presented a PowerPoint with a variety of gift options that students could choose. A picture and the price for each gift was shown, and students marked down their top five items. This created their Wishlist. The facilitators distributed students’ lists to their respective secret elf allowing them to buy a gift they wanted. During this same CBI lesson, students also were taught how to calculate sales tax and emphasized the importance of it in order to stay under the budget.

Then, right before the students took off for Thanksgiving Break, they had to come by the school to pick up the set of rules, gift cards, gift bags, and everything else that was included for this activity. At this time, each student received their secret elf name, their secret elf’s Wishlist along with a $15 gift card to buy his/her presents. During Thanksgiving break, the students went shopping, wrapped the gifts and filled out a holiday card.

This past Friday, the students came by the school for their holiday Secret Elf gift exchange. One at a time, students came out of their car and received their gifts along with delicious treats and goodie bags from their facilitators and HDS Foundation.

We want to wish our BRIDGES students and facilitators a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!