Programs geared to adults with special needs

The Friendship Circle teaches participants culinary and art techniques as well as life skills and entrepreneurship

Programs geared to adults with special needs

Friendship Circle Montreal recently launched two new programs, geared to young adults with special needs, that aim to provide them with life skills.

The DeLamie Culinary Arts Program and Soul Studio Art Program offer supportive environments designed to help those 18 and older gain the necessary skills to earn income using their culinary and artistic talents.

A focus on social and life skills

“The DeLamie Culinary Arts Program is a vocational training for young adults who are looking for a job in the culinary environment; whether it’s as a waiter, cook, chef, or anything related,” explains Chana Paris, vocational training director at Friendship Circle. “It’s hands-on with cooking and baking, and we focus on social and life skills, and all the skills that they need to live on their own one day and to be more independent.”

The Soul Studio Art Program is tailored to each individual and offers a creative, art-based learning environment. Students explore and develop artistically while learning entrepreneurial skills such as selling their artwork online, and planning and executing art exhibitions. “It is a vocational opportunity that will help young adults showcase their art and sell their work, ” Paris says. “They will be able to practice all different kinds of art with an art therapist as a teacher and see where their talent lies.” 

The options are offered in partnership with the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) and Agence Ometz, and are aligned with the Quebec Ministry of Education’s Social Integration Services (SIS) Program, developed to facilitate adult learners’ skills and potential.

Since its launch in September, The DeLamie Culinary Arts Program has seen tremendous success.  “It’s our first year and we can see how the students are developing so much every single day – it’s inspiring,” Paris says.

The year-long culinary arts program runs from September to June, and while it is full for this year, it is expected to return in September 2021.

The Soul Studio Art Program for adult artists with special needs begins in January 2021, and takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday. There are currently still spaces available.

Many other programs available

Friendship Circle also offers weekly and seasonal programs that provide the opportunity for friendships to bloom between young people with special needs and their families.

“We have after school programs for teens and young adults, and on Sundays we have the Sunday Circle for kids. We also have a lot of options on Zoom; we’re trying our best to be creative and offer as many programs as possible,” adds Paris.

For those looking for a fun-filled and stimulating holiday season, there is also a Winter Camp available during the week of December 21. On the program are creative arts, cooking, and exploring different countries and cultures around the world.

For more information, visit friendshipcircle.ca.