A major component of the Bridge Program is weekly lessons on social emotional skill development and long period skill practice. During weekly modules, students learn and develop skills related to social competence, problem-solving skills, autonomy, and a sense of purpose and future as they become resilient and independent learners.
Additionally, toward the end of each long period, students practice coping skill exercises that enhance weekly coping modules. These long block activities were created in hopes to move from a guided weekly module to continuously practiced and internalized skills. Activities include, visualization, guided imagery, anxiety relief, sensory scripts, mindfulness, and other meditation practices. Students currently find space on the floor to lay down or sit at a table. We have in the past borrowed exercise mats from the BHS fitness center. Since meditation and guided visual practices have become an integral and daily component of the Bridge Program repertoire, we believe it is important to invest in seating/mats that would allow the students to feel comfortable and genuinely deepen their relaxation and calming practices.
Meditation has been proven to help ease somatic symptoms related to mental health diagnosis’ including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. It has also been shown to increase one’s attention span, allow a reprieve from outside trauma and/or stress, create a better sense of self-awareness and self-regulation, and create greater empathy, perspective-taking, and emotional control.
Today, we received our new meditation mats to utilize in our side room space dedicated to our students as a safe place to relax and take a break. The picture below shows our very own Scooter trying out one of the new mats!
Congratulations to the students of Simon Youth Academy in Burlington, Massachusetts on a successful year and graduation! We wish you nothing but the best and can't wait to hear about what you accomplish in the years to come!
Thanks to an amazing team of teachers for SY Academy as well! All of your hard work and dedication to the students do not go unnoticed!
To start wrapping up the end of the school year, our students in Bridge were asked write a "letter to self" as their weekly module. The "letter to self" activity is a low stress way for him to begin thinking about future goals and also spend some time reflecting on their school year. This activity also provides an opportunity to talk about the future without all of the urgency of SATs and college applications. The students sealed their letter to their future self. If they wished for our Bridge staff to read their letter, they were given the option to leave it open. Their choice! Our Bridge staff will mail the letters out one year from now and surprise the students when they least expect it! Our hope is for the students to see how far they have come and evaluate their goals and future path.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
The Bridge Program: Burlington High School