Hands-On Learning At Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School Helps Feeds The Community

Students at Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School partnered are learning to cook while providing 3,500 meals for people in the area. WBZ-TV's Paula Ebben reports.

Video Transcript

- Schools have been forced to reinvent themselves in really so many ways over the past year. But what do you do when half of the learning needs to be hands on by definition?

PAULA EBBEN: Well, Minuteman Vocational Technical High School students in Lexington normally go to class one week, then focus on their work experience the next. They've had to innovate. And now that students are back part time, learning to pivot has become part of the lesson plan. It's tonight's Eye on Education.

ED BOUQUILLON: It's been different. It's been a challenge. If you can imagine, a regional vocational school, which was sort of built around hands-on learning, doesn't really lend itself to remote learning.

PAULA EBBEN: So with half of the Minuteman students in person and half remote, superintendent Ed Bouquillon and his staff got creative.

ED BOUQUILLON: Since October, we've been partnering with the Lexington food pantry and Food Link. Food Link is an organization out of Arlington. They rescue food, and the students create meals that are then picked up later in the week and delivered to people who are food insecure, are in need of nutritional needs.

PAULA EBBEN: This partnership meant 3,500 meals for people in the area and students motivated to help in their community. Some of them even got a fun name, the Soup Group. Prepared meals for pickup, just the kind of flexibility that area restaurants have had to learn.

ED BOUQUILLON: To give kids a taste of the real world, to make adjustments in the business model of-- of businesses that they own or work in.

PAULA EBBEN: Ed says smiling students have been happy to be back and give back. And it's not just culinary students. Every program in the school is working on different projects like this.

ED BOUQUILLON: It's going to be a while before we understand the full impact on kids. But we know how to work with kids. We know that by connecting them with their passion, what they love to do here at Minuteman, it's going to be a road forward that we're going to walk together. And we're building resilience, all of us.

PAULA EBBEN: You certainly are. The Soup Group orders happen online. Customers pick up on Thursdays with contactless delivery. And they usually sell out by Monday or Tuesday. It's so popular. They even raise money for a scholarship fund at the school, so we have all that information on our website, cbsboston.com.

- It's win-win. I mean, the kids are there. They're feeling great about it. The community is getting some great stuff as well. Just love what they're doing there.

PAULA EBBEN: They will have learned a lot from this.