Food in our school, food in our community

Work Oriented Training Program (WOTP) students at St Michael’s in the town of Low jumped into action and took over food preparation for their school two days a week after a local restaurant that provided school meals ended that service. The class also made sandwiches daily for several students who are undernourished.

As if that was not enough, the class wanted to support seniors in their community. They took some of the by-products (such as chicken bones for making soup) and made meals for members of the community who are shut in or less mobile.

The project was fully integrated into the curriculum and taught practical skills like procedures for safe handling of food and working in a professional style kitchen.

Their teacher, Billy Boudreau, commented, “The students are more engaged by projects, especially those that require much hands on work. This project helped to allow for that to happen.”  The students also learned the “value of giving back to the community and making healthy choices.”

Among the greatest successes were “the students’ personal feeling that they had accomplished something real, and the fact that students who come from lesser means were able to get a lunch.”

This is a great example of service learning; students identifying an authentic need, coming up with a solution, all the while learning and making a contribution to their community.

Quebec City students teach seniors “Internet 101”

The Internet can be a great tool for learning in more ways than one – and not just for our students. At Quebec High School, the students are the ones doing the teaching: the teens’ technical savvy is being put to good use through a series of workshops offered to local seniors on how to navigate the online world. Throughout February and March, nearly 30 students at the Quebec City school have been teaching seniors how to use an iPad, watch videos on YouTube, use Facebook and shop online. The workshops are held within the framework of a leadership class taught by Fannie Marsh at the school, and are the result of a partnership between QHS, Voice of English-speaking Quebec and the Community Learning Centre at the school. Here’s how they work:

  •  The workshops take place (in English) in the high school’s library.
  • They are student-led: at every workshop, two to three students make a short presentation, then put what they are teaching into use.
  • The seniors (usually numbering between five and 10) practice on the school’s computers and iPads.
  • Heather McRae, from Voice of English-speaking Quebec, supervises the workshops.

Marsh told the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph that the initiative empowered the students, especially since they were teaching to people older than themselves. And, although the workshops initially were only planned for February, they were so well-received by both the students and seniors that they extended the series to March. The last workshop, called “Internet 101,” takes place on March 26. To read the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, click here (subscription required).