Bridging the Gap, an early intervention center, celebrated its first-year anniversary last April 7, 2019. The Anniversary celebration with the theme “SPEDtacular Carnival” is not just open to the current students but was also open to everyone who wants to take part in the celebration. The said carnival party was held at the center, designed with colorful balloons, human-sized popcorn stand and even a spin-the-wheel which definitely linked to everyone’s happy and elated mood.
(Children patiently waiting for their turn for the spin-the-wheel to get some great prizes like pencils, stickers & erasers.)
The party started with a very heart-whelming song and dance performance by our specially-abled kids from very special choir, the Heart Enterprise. Smiles and tears of joy were stamped on everyone’s faces after the performance. It is the perfect way to welcome all the families and guests who came to celebrate.
(A very special choir from Heart Enterprise, performing a song and dance number to welcome the visitors.)
(All families and friends are enjoying the heart whelming performance of the children.)
In line with the carnival theme, Bridging the Gap’s team prepared 5 different activities for the kids. Each activity targets the different domains (cognitive, physical, social and psychological) that Bridging the Gap is promoting for a holistic development for the children.
The first station is called the “Brain Gym”. It was planned to be first station as the brain gym exercises can help prepare the children before doing other activities. Brain Gym exercises are said to help stimulate the brain for better focus and longer attention. Bridging the Gap inculcated the Brain Gym exercises namely P.A.C.E. (Positive, Active, Clear & Energetic) and Lazy 8 exercise for their specially-abled children, so effectivity of learning will be enhanced. In addition to that, Brain Gym exercises increases our creativity, communication skills and restores health & harmony.
(Teacher Nina teaching the parents and the kids the Brain Gym PACE exercise as a starter before they go to the different stations.)
The second station is the GYM which develops the physical domain. For the stations, the children did different skill stations namely: aerobat which is good for the tumbling skill, depth perception and gross motor skill and on the other hand is the high trapeze where children will sit and go upside down, which is good for the children’s upper body strength, gripping and balancing.
(Teacher Max, guiding Wonjin Lee, pioneer student of Bridging the Gap to do a forward roll on aerobat.)
(Teacher Atika helping the children go upside down to cherry drop on high trapeze, one of the gym skill for this station.)
Alongside with the gym skill stations are swings. A keen sensory awareness is not a given for everyone. Aside from the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and feel, a swing can stimulate the sense of motion and vestibular awareness.For some specially-abled children, swinging motion has the calming effect on their bodies. They use swings to regulate their all the input on their senses.
(Didi, one of Bridging the Gap’s student enjoying the swinging sensation as this helps him regulate and calm his body down.)
The third stationwhich is entitled “LET’S GO FISHING!” focuses on literacy. For this station, the children are to fish the beginning letter of the pictures posted on the wall (P for popcorn, C for clown, E for elephant, L for Lion) using magnetic fishing rod and magnetic letters. This activity is not only about the letters and phonemic awareness but also good for the fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination as they try to catch the fish. It’s indeed very fun and educational.
(Children together with the parents, catching the magnetic letters from the lady bug pool.)
The fourth stationis called the “LOOK, FIND and PEG”. For this station, the children are to find the correct peg colour and place it on the peg board following a specific pattern or colour coordination. This specific station hones the children’s colour recognition and visual discrimination. What is good about this activity is that it progresses from easy to more difficult patterns which develops problem solving skills.
(One of our special visitor, together with his mom, arranging the peg colours on the peg board.)
The fifth stationis called the “BURIED TREASURE” and this focuses on numeracy. For this station, the children are given a problem (ranging from easy to difficult) and they would have to find the numbers that are buried on sand. The children are to use their bare hands to dig through the sand which makes it extra fun. This station, similar to sand play, is particularly beneficial for developing sense of tactile.
(Teacher Shermin guiding the children to dig and find the buried numbers on sand)
These are the five stations during the carnival party. As a reward, after finishing all the stations, the children are given a special prizes and special treats. All the activities are very educational yet very fun and entertaining for the kids.
(Janice and Max, together with children Manny & Isabelle. The couple runs Bridging the Gap, Early Intervention)
(From left to right: Max, Manny, Janice, Atika, Isabelle, Nina, Dani – Bridging the Gap Team who made this Carnival Party happen.)
Gatherings like these really develops awareness that every child is special and that every child has his or her strengths. This is why Bridging the Gap is exposing the children to various modes of learning because the children learn in their own ways and own pace. Having a multi-sensory gym is also an effective way to aid children’s learning in a very safe and accepting environment. Let’s embrace differences and break barriers because Bridging the Gap believes that every child can bring out the best in them.