By John Saliba

Just before the Christmas break, Beirut Baptist School (BBS) hosted an exhibition for handmade crafts. It was prepared by the students of the SMART Program that is dedicated to preparing students with learning differences and special needs for the opportunities and challenges of everyday life.

As part of the SMART Program curriculum, our students receive vocational training in candle making, cooking, baking, cross-stitching etamine, ornaments making, art drawing and coloring, and clay sculpting. The students showed exceptional skill and passion for crafts which led to the exhibition to display the students’ work as well as their talents. The students all expressed how the experience of making something with their own hands greatly influenced their mental and emotional health. They shared about how much more confidence and self-esteem they gained because of the vocational training.

One could not miss the joy and pride in the faces of the educators, staff, parents and friends for the exhibition and the handmade products. It was a time of celebration! Everyone was excited to pitch in, from setting up the exhibition to selling popcorn and cotton candy. The students prepared chocolate balls with a Christmas style and joyfully served the parents and visitors. Other students came to show their love and support for the SMART students by buying items for sale or encouraging them on their work which was fostered in a bright and warm atmosphere, despite it being a rainy day.

At the exhibition, there was a 15-year-old BBS student who stood out at the exhibition with his intricate art in fashion design.