Student with Bridgeport Vocational teacher and mentor Josh Ziskind

At The Help Group’s Bridgeport Vocational School, an art and woodworking class is making unique and special wall hangings crafted from reclaimed wood.

The class, called Restoration Station, started about six years ago at Bridgeport Vocational School. This all-encompassing class has students involved in every part of the woodworking process – from collecting palettes, to finding wood that can be recycled, to designing a silhouette, to cutting the wood with a scroll saw, and to painting and shellacking the painted cut-outs. The finished wall hangings are then made available for sale, and all proceeds go to benefit Bridgeport Vocational School.

The work and experience of Restoration Station also includes other projects and eye-opening field trips. For example, students built the set backdrops for the upcoming school production of Fiddler on the Roof, and visited both the Getty Museum and the Greystone Mansion recently.

Bridgeport Vocational teacher and mentor Josh Ziskind explained, “This process greatly benefits students because everyone involved can participate in every step of the process, and practice basic work skills along the way. Students can take immense pride in what they do, because the work is truly good. It is so valuable for these students to see a project through, from the start all the way to a finished product. We speak to each students’ strengths – be it carving or painting – and we let them flourish.”

When asked why he like working in the Restoration Station, one enthusiastic student, Esteban, said simply, “It helps me.”

For more information about the Restoration Station and the amazing wall hangings for sale, please visit: