Saint-Hubert bricklaying students give back for Greater Montreal Day

Click to play video: 'Greater Montreal Day event at ACCESS' Greater Montreal Day event at ACCESS
WATCH: In honour of Greater Montreal Day, students from ACCESS Adult Education and Career Training Centre in Saint-Hubert are giving back, one meal at a time. As Global's Phil Carpenter reports, students from the bricklaying vocational training program made lunch for students in the social integration program – Apr 27, 2018

Some people would rather not cook on a grill.

“Because I’d be like ouch, ouch, ouch,” jokes one teacher at the ACCESS Adult Education and Career Training Centre in Saint-Hubert.

So they leave it up to students like Mason Meehan, a student in the year-long bricklaying program.  He and other students in the program took a break to test out two end-of-year projects they built — a pizza oven and a grill, both made from bricks.

“[The oven] is actually sold for a client,” student Christopher Desmarais said, “and this one is going for a client once it’s finished.”
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But instead of keeping the results to themselves, they made the experience a little special for some other students.

The plan, Meehan explained, is “to make food for the SI group, ’cause they always make us food.  So we want to pay it forward and give it back to them.”

The Social Integration Students (SI) have special needs like intellectual or behavioral challenges.  They are taught life skills, like preparing meals.

SI teacher Kim Grenier told Global News that “they cook every Thursday, and so with our leftovers, we either donate them to the bricklayers who may need them, or we sell them for a little bit of profit and continue our program activities.”

But there could be another reason for the weekly donations to the bricklayers

“Our program has a lot of girls,” Grenier laughed, “and they’re mainly boys, so that’s definitely a key starter.”  She explained that every year the SI group looks forward to meeting the bricklayers for that reason.

Still, the interaction benefits both groups.  The students in the bricklaying group learn to deal with special needs people who, in turn, learn socialization skills.

As for the cooking, the bricklayers expected their skills to be scrutinized.  But lucky for them there was a “mason” among them with some experience.

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“I work at Harvey’s,” Meehan laughed.

The school hopes to encourage more acts of kindness like this one next year.

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