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July 10, 2008 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-07-10

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Summer In The City from page A13

Far left: Emily Katz, 15, of
Bloomfield Hills works on a

Left: Amelia Stone, 14, and

Taylor Stewart, 17, both of
Birmingham, select bottle

- caps for their berm design.

SITC's youth enrichment

program visited Belle Isle on
June 27.

Far left: Program supervi-

sor Michelle Heller, 18, of
Farmington Hills with buddy

Omari Mitchell, 6 of Detroit.
Left: Former program super-

visor Rachel Pultusker, 24, of
West Bloomfield with Inajah

Johnson, 10, of Detroit

unteers get to choose between the cleanup-
paintup-fixup-demolition work and the
child enrichment program at Glazer.
The program is open for five weeks
alongside Glazer's summer school program.
After summer school ends this month,
youth enrichment will shift to All Saints
Community Center and a church near
Maybury Elementary and Clark Park in
southwest Detroit.
According to Michelle Heller of
Farmington Hills, SITC's youth enrichment
supervisor at Glazer, the children do games
and puzzles until the volunteers arrive at
9:30 a.m. Each child is then paired with an
SITC volunteer for arts-and-crafts projects
and playground games. The children also
write in their journals, which they often
share with their classmates.
The program is so popular that several
students who attended in 2006 but had
to go to summer school last year worked
harder during the school year so they could
return to the SITC program this summer.
The buddy system "gives the children
someone to look up to;' said Heller, who
just graduated from North Farmington
High School and is in her third summer
with SITC. "The volunteers try to set a great
example. We all have a lot of fun, and it


July 10 • 2008


gives the children something to remember.
"I have a blast doing this; she said. "The
kids have such a great time — they're
always smiling. I love it. I feel like I'm con-
tributing." Heller, who will be a freshman in
education at the University of Maryland in
the fall, plans to return to Summer in the
City next year.
Her predecessor, Rachel Pultusker, took
over the SITC program at Glazer in 2006,
when 20 children were enrolled. Last
summer there were 35. This summer, 75
enrolled and some children had to be
turned away.
Pultusker, 24, has taken a behind-the-
scenes role this year because of graduate
school commitments. She's working on a
master's in library science at the University
of Michigan and working three jobs in Ann
Arbor. "No question;' she said when asked
if she's continuing with SITC. "I'm around,
but I can't be there every day' During the
school year, she volunteers weekly at Glazer
with Temple Beth El members.
The West Bloomfield High School gradu-
ate fell in love with Detroit while working
with a U-M program, Detroit Partnership,
as youth program director. She contacted
Ben Falik about SITC and worked on
expanding the youth enrichment program.

Pultusker will graduate next May and plans
to stay in Detroit.
"I really think these programs matter,"
she said. "I see what they do for the elemen-
tary students, the formative experiences:'
Regarding her own experience, she said,
"My grandparents and parents grew up in
the city. I went to the city for sports and
entertainment events, but then went home
[to the suburbs]. Now, I can't stay away. And
these new high school volunteers are hav-
ing the same experience, and it's excitine
Describing her successor, Michelle Heller,
Pultusker said, "I keep forgetting that she's
only 18. She's amazing!" Heller, like the
other interns, was chosen from the volun-
teer ranks. "As interne; Pultusker said, "they
see what has to happen behind the scenes
and can give feedback to enhance the pro-

Growing Up

Pultusker isn't the only Summer in the City
staffer who is finding real life getting in the
way of her volunteering. Falik is a summer
intern at Honigman, Miller, Schwartz &
Cohen in Detroit; he's married and working
on his law degree and a master's in public
policy at U-M. But he's still finding time
to be active with SITC and other organiza-

tions."I'm working for a real understanding
company;' he said of Honigman.
Neil Greenberg, co-founder, key num-
ber-cruncher and transportation specialist
for SITC, is remaining in the background
this year. He has moved into Detroit and
works as a transit planner for the Southeast
Michigan Transportation Authority.
His position has been taken over by
David Zwickl of Southfield, an economics
major at U-M who has been involved with
SITC for six years. Zwickl, 19, is the organi-
zation's chief financial officer, in charge of
the $80,000 budget.
Goldberg is doing the heavy work this
summer as head of day-to-day operations.
But he has completed his degree in second-
ary education at Wayne State University in
Detroit and is looking for a full-time teach-
ing position.
With those changes in mind and with
the continued growth of the program, SITC
this spring re-wrote its bylaws and created
a new adult board to help the organiza-
tion. Julie Lichtenberg, a senior major
gifts officer at Royal Oak-based Beaumont
Hospital's Beaumont Foundation, was elect-
ed president. Her daughter, Marissa Stern,
is a student at Michigan State University,
a three-year SITC volunteer and an SITC

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