■ STAFF REPORT
Once again Smart Studio opens its heart to display the work of Dominican students from La Vega Christian School. Thirty students along with their art teacher, Massiel Lora, painted typical Dominican and Haitian island scenes. Terry and Gail Cleveland Waite, proprietors of Smart Studio, framed the paintings.
Debbie and Mitch Martinez, founders of La Vega Christian School, have been missionaries in the Dominican Republic since 1992. As part of their ministry, they partner with Haitian pastors in their area to help them develop schools in their churches.
The plight of Haitian children is precarious. Without these schools, 14 to date, the children would be on the streets or working in the fields. With the help of sponsors, 800 children are now attending school. As sponsors are added, funds become available to feed the children a hot meal.
The sale of the paintings at $25 each will sponsor a student for a month.
In March of this year the Martinez family purchased land to build a new school for the students in Cutupu. They currently meet in a dilapidated tin building too small for the 130 students, causing two classes to meet outside under tarps. Mitch predicts the new school will cost $49,000 to build. It will include 8 classrooms, a kitchen and dining room that can also be used for church services. Sponsors are needed to build and equip this school.
Patrons are encouraged to stop by the shop April 10 through April 22 to view the paintings. For more information on sponsoring, contact Debbie Martinez at email@example.com or (863) 248-1119. Donations are tax-deductible.
Call Smart Studio at 964-0519 for more information.