“Teamwork makes the dream work,” a popular phrase that is said when it comes down to collaboration and motivation for people to work together. Today, the Cypress Bay B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Program brought their teamwork skills outdoors instead of in the classroom. The class took their Community Based Instruction (CBI) trip to Weston Regional Park where the students were able to engage in a variety of team building activities.

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!