15 Days – 16 Hours – and Counting down the minutes…That’s the time left for this year’s fundraiser. The HDS Foundation, along with the Cypress Bay HS students, is making one last push to reach our goal. This year we set the bar high: We are aiming to raise $10,000, and hopefully get a $2,500 Grant back to CBHS ESE Department. Our Team is forty-plus strong, and we are also walking as “One Team”, “One Cypress”. #WeAreCypressBay. Let’s make this year our best yet. Please log on to our page and make a contribution if you can. http://support.danmarinofoundation.org/site/TR/Event/General?pg=team&fr_id=1130&team_id=12541
Last Saturday, December 12th, 2015, the First Tee of Broward held an Open House at Weston Hills Country Club to provide families with an overview of their Golf Program. This NEW Program, which kicks off January 9th, is a nine week activity designed by First Tee of Broward and tailored for older teens and young adults with Autism and other related developmental disabilities. Cristina Miranda, founder of The HDS Foundation, has been working with the First Tee of Broward and the Golf Professionals at WHCC to launch this program locally.
The First Tee teaches Nine Core Values using Golf as the platform. These young players will be engaged in activities to teach and reinforce Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy and Judgement, all values they can use throughout the entirety of their lives. Golf professional Dustin Stearns met the new players and immediately got them engaged. These teens and young adults had a wonderful day and bonding experience, having made plans to get together to meet at the movies at the close of the day. Families and other supporters were able to see firsthand what this program is all about.
Underwritten by The HDS Foundation and Global Business Brokers, this program hopefully will be the first of many. “Each day, our community is becoming more aware of opportunities such as this one. These types of activities offer this population not only like skills mentoring, but social activities that allow them to create new friendships. We want the community at large to embrace and support these types of events. It’s amazing to see the impact it has on the lives of so many.”
This program is offered at no cost to the players, and space is limited. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The CBHS students enjoyed the comfort and ambiance of Chili’s as they ate and celebrated the holidays this week. The HDS Foundation group, including Cristina Miranda Gilson, Carla Otiniano, Hannah Miller and Dr. Sandy Rizzo Weiner joined the class and both teachers of it for this fun and successful gathering. For the past weeks, the students had the opportunity to take part in a “Secret Elf” event. One of their field trips was to AC Moore, where each of them had a specific budget and had to plan out exactly which gift they wanted to purchase, what they wanted to write in their card, how to wrap the gift, and, most importantly, how to keep the secret to themselves. Each task this event demanded of the students proved to be great accomplishments for each of them.
Arriving at Chili’s gift in hand, the students were visibly excited for what was going to be a very special and engaging day. Upon sitting down, each was responsible for ordering their food; at the close of the meal, the students paid for their own meals (including tip). These specific parts of the event aided greatly in teaching and reinforcing these small but vital life skills. Thanks to Chili’s at Weston Road for being gracious and doing individual bills for our students.
Socialization and Communication are areas of focus for this class, and engaging the students in a restaurant outing is a great opportunity for them to utilize and understand what they are learning at school. We have been very impressed how the students in this group are ‘coming out of their shells’ and beginning to interact with each other on a comfortable and personal level. They laugh, tell jokes, and are truly interested in what each other has to say. And, the fact that each took the time to read the special message their classmate had written and were sincerely appreciative of the gifts was a pleasant addition. We can’t wait to see what the coming year will bring.
Last week, Ms. Donna Mansolillo’s class had the opportunity to learn about and play golf at Cypress Bay High School. Part of an intro to the First Tee of Broward’s Golf Program, students were treated to a preview of the Golf Program that is starting in January, learning the basics of swings and the greater game of golf in general.
Ms. Donna Mansolillo and Ms. Kathy Gard are co-teachers in a Life Skills class for students on the Autism Spectrum. Each week, students partake in various life skills and social skills activities. These have included: learning about banking and shopping and how to carry out these activities; going on field trips to community locations; paying for meals; and, engaging in activities that allow the class to build larger social and supportive groups. All the events have been seen by all involved to be absolutely crucial in successful skill-building for the students. The First Tee of Broward’s Golf Program, which is one of the newer activity additions, has thus far been no exception to the prior observation.
Although the weather was not particularly cooperative that week, the pros came out nonetheless and the students had a great time. And, not only was it a blast, but the participants were successful in their endeavors, swinging the clubs and hitting the golf balls quite well. Many muddy shoes and wet socks made their way across the field and into the school at the event’s end, but the smiles and laughter seemed to make it undoubtedly worth it to the students. Several of them appeared to have a natural ability for the game, and hopefully we will see them out on the range soon.
The Open House will take place at the Weston Hills Country Club on December 12th at 2:30 pm. For more information, please contact Carla.email@example.com
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