The Cypress Bay H.S. Social Skills students are on their way to being good money managers. This week, the entire class went to the Bank of America branch at Weston Commons to officially activate their bank accounts. Earlier in the month, Bank of America staff met with the parents of the Social Skills students at school to open up their accounts. The trip taken this past week was scheduled as a follow up to actually activate the previously discussed accounts and to make sure the students knew exactly how to deposit funds. Many of them seemed quite excited upon arrival at the bank, and all of them left informed. This is because the bank staff kindly took the time to completely and comprehensively explain banking procedures. As a result, each of the students left with the understanding of how to deposit their own funds and why they would and should do so. Equally as important, they had the opportunity to work with the tellers, one-on-one, to make their first official deposit, thus seeing exactly how the process works in real time. The students have been learning, and will continue to learn, money management through various activities, in which they will be paying for their own meals, supplies, etc. Today, actually, the students had lunch at Panera Bread, where they ordered and paid for their own food.

With that, it is clear that today was quite a helpful and eventful day for the class. They not only met with bank workers and learned, firsthand, how the world of banking operates and why it operates that way, but they also practiced independence – taking care of themselves with respect to both money and food. It is events like these that truly give the students insight into what successful independent living requires on a daily basis.