I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! Who else enjoys planning for an ice cream party?! Last week, the Cypress Bay B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Program mastered their budgeting skills at Publix while completing the Ice Cream Challenge. The purpose of this challenge was to buy the items necessary for an ice cream party, while coming as close to the budget as possible without overspending.
Prior to the event, teachers Ms. Kathy Gormin-Gard and Donna Mansolillo taught the class how to plan and organize a shopping list while providing a budget for each group. The groups had to compromise and negotiate with one another to come up with an agreement on various ice cream flavors and toppings.
Once the students arrived at Publix, they were divided up into teams and shopped away. It was super interesting to see how each group took on this challenge and how each student in the group took on a different role. As they calculated their total, including tax, the groups were able to problem solve and decide if they could either add or remove any items in order to match the budget.
This CBI trip motivated the students to participate in this enjoyable and educational activity. Not only did they budget their way into an ice cream party, but they also had fun doing it together as they practiced their social and problem-solving skills. Stay tuned as the students continue to represent the “B” in B.R.I.D.G.E.S through their budgeting CBI trips.
Building a team and emphasizing collaboration is essential to BRIDGING the differences and getting everyone to work as one unit. A big component of team building is problem-solving which falls under “Development” in B.R.I.D.G.E.S. The first activity the class participated in was a guessing game. The teachers gave each student an emotion they had to depict in a picture and show in front of the class. While one student explained their picture, the rest of the class came together to guess and solve which emotion was being portrayed. This activity allowed the students to build creativity, communication and problem-solving skills.
The next activity the class participated in was geared more towards the “Social” and communication skills. The teacher asked the class if they had participated in certain experiences which then created a conversation amongst the students allowing them to practice their skills. This was a fun way to learn more about each other by using communication.
The last and final activity was a partnered competition. This excited and motivated the students to fully engage in the collaboration aspect. Two partnered teams competed against each other to see how many balled up pieces of paper they could get in their bucket under a certain amount of time. Keep in mind, they only had two hands between the two of them. This was a challenge, because while one partner had to hold the notebook, the other one had to tear the pages, ball the paper, and throw it in the bucket. The activity was successful in showing the students that they had to come together in order to find the best solution. The students also realized that they had to take on different roles, even if it wasn’t what they wanted to do initially.
All in all, it was a wonderful day filled with enjoyable games and activities for the Cypress Bay B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Program. Having these types of CBI trips and opportunities to further develop their skills are what sets B.R.I.D.G.E.S. apart from other high school programs for students with disabilities. Stay tuned to see what’s in store for the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. class at their next CBI trip!
Who said Halloween was just for children?? Here at HDS Companies, we take Halloween to the next level. From rollercoaster rides and Disney movies to actual “DEATH”, we love coming together and dressing for the occasion. This year, we started our Halloween festivities with a fang-tastic breakfast from Chik-Fil-A. Following the breakfast, we had our exciting costume contest. Everyone gathered around the main conference room area and showed off their spook-tacular costumes for the judges. There were four categories to compete in: Most Creative, Funniest, Scariest, and the HDS Grand Award. The winners of this year’s contest were:
- Most Creative – Natalie Stevenson as Darla from Finding Nemo
- Funniest – Mario Rumasuglia as The Cat in the Hat
- Scariest – Aura Valerio as Grim Reaper “Death”
- HDS Grand Award – eHousingPlus for their Roller Coaster Ride
Each year the costumes get better and better, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year’s Halloween. HDS Companies hopes everyone had a ghoulishly delightful Halloween yesterday.