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U Magazine

The Lifelong Learning Issue

A Publication of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition


Winter 2014

On the move? For over 50 years, Port Authority has helped commuters get where they need to go. Today, more than 215,000 daily riders use Port Authority bus, light rail, incline and paratransit service. If you haven’t considered public transportation in the past, try it today. It’s much faster, cheaper, more convenient and more environmentally-friendly than driving. Go to to receive more information and a special offer.


Squirrel Hill For more great content visit our website at!


In Every Issue


2014 Squirrel Hill Treasure Awards Recap


2014 Challenge Grant Thank You


Thinking Globally: Lifelong Volunteers Learn from Each Other By Rachel Robertson

20 22


SHUC President’s Message


What’s New From Our Advertisers


This Just In

8 10

Good News from Our Schools

Osher Programs Promote Lifelong Learning By Deborah Monti


Squirrel Hill Historical Society More Than Lifelong Learning By Helen Wilson

PA Cyber Offers Online Learning to Pittsburgh’s Youth By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt


Events Calendar


I Can Help With That! Volunteering Opportunities


GSPIA Creates Lifelong Learning Opportunity By M. Shannon Bradley


Literacy for All Ages By Rebecca Carpenter


Pittsburgh’s Summer Youth Employment Program By Elizabeth Waickman

Neighborhood Notes

From the Editor Education should be a lifelong process. Here at Squirrel Hill Magazine, we’re always learning and expanding our resources. With our blog, The Burrow, and the addition of Issuu to our distribution system, we’re reaching more readers than ever. Every week, we teach the next generation our combined skills through internships and volunteer opportunities. We hope this issue starts you on the path to expanding your own horizons. If you have comments or suggestions for future issues, please send them to Meghan Poisson-DeWitt at If you’re interested in advertising, please email or call (412) 422-7666. Advertisers can now pay with Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

19th-century illustration: Alchemy and Astrology Taught in the Schools in the Middle Ages. Original artwork published in “A pictorial history of the world’s great nations: from the earliest dates to the present time” vol.2 by Charlotte M. Yonge (Selmar Hess, New York, 1882).

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter @SquirrelHillMag and at

Murray the Squirrel

Murray is available free of charge for visits and events to local organizations and schools. Give SHUC a call at 412.422.7666 or email

The Lifelong Learning Issue PAGE1

SQUIRREL HILL URBAN COALITION OFFICERS: Raymond N. Baum, President Richard Feder, Vice President Gregg Roman, Vice President Ceci Sommers, Vice President Chris Zurawsky, Secretary Barbara Grover, Assistant Secretary Peter Stumpp, Treasurer James Burnham, Assistant Treasurer Stephen Kijanka, Assistant Treasurer Steven Hawkins, Immediate Past President BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Francine D. Abraham, Raymond N. Baum, James Burnham, Norman Childs, Vivian Didomenico, Andy Dlinn, Richard Feder, Lori Fitzgerald, Ed Goldfarb (Director Emeritus), Barbara Grover, Steve Hawkins, Michael D. Henderson, Karen Hochberg, Lois Liberman, Cynthia Morelock, Gregg Roman, Tracy Royston, Ceci Sommers, Sidney Stark (Director Emeritus), Erika S Strassburger, Peter Stumpp, Erik Wagner, Roger Westman, Chris Zurawsky Marian Lein, Executive Director MAGAZINE STAFF: Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Editor CONTRIBUTORS: M.Shannon Bradley, Rebecca Carpenter, Stephen Kijanka, Carolyn Ludwig, Deborah Monti, Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Melissa Wagner, Elizabeth Waickman, Helen Wilson DESIGN & PRINT: Patricia Tsagaris, Pinkhaus Design, Creative Director Knepper Press, Printer Printed with soy inks and 100% wind energy! Squirrel Hill Magazine, Vol. 13, Issue 1, is published through the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, 5604 Solway Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Please direct any questions or comments to SHUC by calling Magazine Fall 2014 412.422.7666 or emailing To inquire about advertising, please contact A Publication of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition

Please support our advertisers—their ads solely finance this magazine! Reserve your space today for the Spring 2014 issue!

PAGE2 The Lifelong Learning Issue

Our Mission The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition is a non-profit community organization dedicated to preserving, improving and celebrating the quality of life in the 14th Ward of the City of Pittsburgh.Volunteer-supported standing committees provide leadership to our community by studying, debating, and advocating positions on issues affecting our neighborhood’s vitality. Our mission is implemented through a long range planning process, which fosters community-based initiatives in the areas of education, public safety, transportation, parks and open spaces, and commercial, institutional and residential development.

shuc president’s message

Summerset at Frick Park – An Ugly Slag Dump Becomes an Inviting Community By Raymond N. Baum, President

If you haven’t walked or driven through Summerset at Frick, it’s time you do. It’s a beautiful, walkable and livable residential community that, less than 15 years ago, was a 238-acre baron slag dump where stolen cars were taken to be cannibalized. From 1920 to 1970, U.S. Steel transported 20 million tons of molten slag form its Homestead Works across the Monongahela and dumped it in a large, highly visible swath of Squirrel Hill and Swisshelm Park. This 20 story high mess ran all the way from Brown’s Hill Road near Riverview Apartments and the Homestead Grey’s Bridge to the eastern entrance of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel where it loomed over the Parkway East and the Monongahela River. In its 1990 Squirrel Hill Master Plan, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition called for the slag dump to be redeveloped as a residential community with part of it to be devoted to the extension of Frick Park along the Nine Mile Run waterway to the Monongahela River. The community’s vision has come to pass. In 1996, at the urging of Mayor Tom Murphy and Councilman Bob O’Connor and over the voices of many doubters, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (the “URA”) purchased the site for redevelopment. Misgivings ran from concerns that contamination in the slag would be released in to the air and water to a fear that the new homes would flood the housing market and make the older housing stock in Squirrel hill hard to sell and lease. The visionaries were right. Extensive environmental testing and monitoring was conducted before and during development showing that, with proper procedures, the community would be safe. The development also helped propel the reclamation of the Nine Mile Run Watershed, a story that will require a separate article. Moreover, the development has helped attract an influx of people and interest in the community that promptly increased the value of all homes in the vicinity by 50% to

100%, a number that is still growing. A majority of the new residents are from outside the city. This new addition to our neighborhood has helped employers such as Pitt, CMU and UPMC (and their many spin-offs) to attract employees looking for homes close to work, shopping, services, parks and a vibrant community like Squirrel Hill. When the site was acquired in 1996, the City of Pittsburgh, the URA, and Summerset Land Development Associates formed a public-private partnership. Working with other community stakeholders such as the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association and Nine Mile Run Task Force. There was a sustained and robust public process to vet all issues and reach consensus on the plans. The development team has so far:

• Reclaimed, remediated and redeveloped over 70% of the site

• Expanded Frick Park by adding 105 acres to Frick Park along Nine Mile Run, together with an improved bike trail and new bridge

• Built the infrastructure for and constructed nearly 500 of the proposed 710 residences to be built there, underground utilities, and a beautiful community building — swimming pool complex

• Built all of its homes to high environmental standards so they will use about 30% less energy than most homes Phases One and Two, 509 units located on the land on the western side of Nine Mile Run, are nearly complete. They represent the investment of over $325 million — about 35% of which was government funded for acquisition, remediation, site development and the extension of Frick Park. Phases One and Two are a mix of 205 detached single family homes, 116 townhomes (40 of which are rentals), a 36-unit condominium building, five 4-unit condominium buildings, and 131 rental flats. Sale prices for homes range from $380,000 to over $650,000 and re-sales move quickly. The URA and the developers are working on the financing for Phase Three, to be located on the eastern side of The Lifelong Learning Issue PAGE3

president’s message cont.

dancique... M TTM

Nine Mile Run connected to Phase One and Two by a new bridge. The total development will generate over $6 million in new real estate taxes and $3.6 million in real estate transfer taxes and be home to people who will pay substantial local earned income and other employment related taxes. So consider visiting Summerset at Frick Park. You will enjoy a community that is attractive, welcoming and probably one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Western Pennsylvania. You will also see how a private/ public partnership can reclaim an industrial waste dump to the benefit of the neighborhood and the entire city. U



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Levin Stores Present the Grand Legacy Mattress Make your new mattress a Grand Legacy mattress, sold exclusively at Levin Furniture and Levin Mattress. Grand Legacy mattresses use a healthier alternative to conventional foams, called BioFlex foams. These foams use a blend of natural soy which reduces the amount of petro-chemicals that are used in the production of foam. We combine soy, a renewable resource, which is grown by local American farmers with Certi-Pur flexible foams. Our foams have low emissions, zero ozone depleters, no formaldehyde, no mercury, and no prohibited phthalates. Rest assured, Grand Legacy has reduced the off gassing and odor for a healthier, more restful night's sleep. This blend makes a Grand Legacy mattress the perfect balance of comfort, support and environmental friendliness. Visit,, for more information and the Levin location nearest you.

Schillers Pharmacy Since 1903, Schiller’s Pharmacy has served Pittsburgh’s needs from the heart of the Shadyside neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s East Side. Schiller’s carries a wide selection of not only prescription and over the counter medicines, but also large selections of vitamins, cosmetics, and fragrances. You might ask, what makes them different from local chain stores? It’s their outstanding service. They go above and beyond to offer personal, one on one care. Can’t get out of your car to drop of your prescription? They’ll come out and get it. They even deliver! Their delivery area includes Shadyside, Oakland, Friendship, Point Breeze, Regent Square and Squirrel Hill sections of Pittsburgh! Located at 811 S. Aiken Avenue in Shadyside, the Schiller’s staff are more than happy to help make your pharmacy needs as swift and simple as possible. Switch your prescriptions to Schiller’s today and experience a new level of customized service.

Five Points Artisan Bake Shop There’s a new fine bakery in town! Five Points Artisan Bake Shop, located at on the border of Squirrel Hill and Point Breeze, specializes in artisan breads. Their offerings include beautiful baguettes and sourdough loaves, as well as an array of scones, muffins, and cookies. Their collection of inventive tarts will make your mouth water. All their products are made from locally sourced ingredients. Can’t make it to their main location? Visit Commonplace Coffee for a taste of their delicious treats! Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook for updates and specials! 6520 Wilkins Aveue, Pittsburgh PA 15217 412-521-2253 Hours: Tuesday-Friday 7am-6pm Saturday 8am-5pm Sunday 8am-2pm

The Lifelong Learning Issue PAGE5

fresh off the street

This Just In in late January to share responses and possible future changes to the park. Follow Pittsburgh City Council District 8 on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Local Student in CLO’s A Christmas Carol Classic Lines The independent book business is booming in Squirrel Hill! We’re happy to welcome our newest addition, Classic Lines, to the neighborhood. Located right on Forbes Avenue, Classic Lines specializes in new and used books, as well as giftware and artwork. Owner Dan Iddings also plans to use the space to host events, such as December’s Pittsburgh author signing. He hopes to host several book clubs each month as well, covering a broad range of topics. Classic Lines opens at 10am every day and closes late on the weekends for your shopping convenience. Stop in today!

Matei Zivanov, a 1st grader at Colfax Elementary, took a starring role in Pittsburgh CLO’s production of A Christmas Carol this December. As Tiny Tim, Matei charmed his way into everyone’s heart. He sang five songs, including his solo, “Away in a Manger,” for the entire duration of the three week production. Only six years old, Matei first became interested in musical theater after participating in CLO Academy’s summer camp. He plans to continue taking classes during the school year with CLO Academy and hopes someday to be a professional actor. Congratulations on your first role, Matei!

Jeff Howell, Matei Zivanov and Tom Atkins in Pittsburgh CLO's A Musical Christmas Carol. Photo: Matt Polk

Squirrel Hill Magazine Goes DIGITAL! Did you know you can read Squirrel Hill Magazine on your smartphone or tablet? With the free Issuu app, each issue is available for easy online viewing. You can even receive notifications when the newest issue is available online. Download Issuu for iPhone or Android and subscribe today!

Wightman Playground Improvements On December 9th, Councilman Dan Gilman’s office hosted the first of several meetings regarding the renovation of the Wightman Playground area. The space currently holds a youth baseball diamond, basketball court, play structure, dilapidated track and a metal park building. Concerns for the park include broken sidewalks, drainage and stormwater issues, as well as general usability. Suggestions from community members included multiple play structures, a water feature, seating, and overall renovations. A second meeting will be held PAGE6 The Lifelong Learning Issue

Along with the publication of our print and Issuu editions, we are also offering new, original content on our blog, The Burrow. Features include a weekly new update from local news sources, restaurant reviews, and coverage of local events. Visit us at and follow us for email updates!

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good news from our schools

Engaging Enrichment at Colfax By Carolyn Ludwig

Every morning, Colfax students engage in targeted instruction designed to help them increase their educational progress. Teachers use diagnostic assessments in reading to understand the academic needs of each student and what enrichment group would best fit their needs. Literacy Navigator, Rev It Up, and a Shakespeare program are just a few of the offerings. There are several new programs during the school day (and some after school) at Colfax. Learning partnerships exist with The Frick Environmental Center Habitat Explorer Program, RiverQuest (a floating science laboratory that helps teach students about the importance of protecting our rivers and our environment), STEM STARS (a collaborative project of the YWCA and the Carnegie Science Center; we’re also working with Chatham University), Chess Club, Coding Club, CMU Science Squad, Dancing Classrooms (a prevention program of Pittsburgh Mercy Health System), Middle Level Hip Hop (with the Arts Greenhouse at CMU), the Edible Schoolyard and Garden Club (with Grow Pittsburgh), the Frick Art & Historical Center, a Middle-Level theatre program (producing a school musical), chorus, and instrumental instruction. Athletic enrichment also thrives at Colfax including swimming, basketball, wrestling, soccer and cross country. This cross country season showed the Middle-Level Cobra Girls winning First Place and the Cobra Boys placing second overall. Congratulations! Colfax teachers, staff, and passionate volunteers work hard throughout the school year to keep all students engaged and excited about enrichment. U

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Share your school updates with Squirrel Hill Magazine! Do you have news to from your school? We’d love to hear about it! We’re especially looking to connect with local private schools by sharing their updates on our online blog, The Burrow. If you’ve got information or contacts you’d like to share, please email

Minadeo Conquers Attendance Challenge By Melissa Wagner, Principal Pittsburgh Minadeo PreK-5

Because coming to school every day is important, Pittsburgh Minadeo, in partnership with the United Way of Allegheny County, held an attendance challenge during the month of November. An attendance challenge is an opportunity to challenge students to come to school everyday for a set period of time and be acknowledged for their achievement. The school community wanted to reward students and families for making a commitment to education. Ready Freddy and volunteers from the United Way appeared at the Attendance Challenge kick off to cheer the students on and motivate them to take the challenge and set high goals. Students with Perfect Attendance, 100%, were recognized with certificates and reward packets. Their names, as well as their parents’ names, were entered into a raffle to win awesome prizes. Students with Outstanding Attendance, 95%-100% attendance, received recognition with a certificate and a small prize. How did the Minadeo students do with the challenge? 202 students maintained perfect attendance during the month of November. An additional 53 students achieved outstanding attendance. Three students were also recognized for being “most improved” in school attendance. Pittsburgh Minadeo and United Way are very proud of the students and families efforts in the “Be There Campaign” and the November Attendance Challenge. The Attendance Challenge will occur two more times throughout the 2014-2015 school year to promote school attendance and recognize students and families for making education and school attendance a priority. U

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neighborhood notes First Tee of Life The First Tee of Pittsburgh uses golf activities to teach skills that transform the lives of local children. Currently over 16,000 area children ages 5 – 18 take part in First Tee programs. These include clinics at The Bob O’Connor Golf Course in Schenley Park as well as nine other program locations in Southwest PA. In addition, there are programs for other nonprofits, social service agencies, faith based groups and schools. Recent participants include St. Edmund’s School, The Jewish Community Center, Pittsburgh Golf Club, The Neighborhood Academy, Gwen’s Girls, Colfax School, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, and St Theresa’s. The program uses golf instruction as a vehicle to teach life skills that are based on nine core values - respect, judgment, confidence, responsibility, sportsmanship, courtesy, honesty, integrity and perseverance. They also offer The National School Program and The Nine Healthy Habits curriculum developed by The First Tee, The Annika Foundation and The Florida Hospital for Children. The mission of TFTP is: To impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Winter clinics in the indoor golf simulators begin on January 16 and will include lessons in putting, chipping and full swing as well as interpersonal communications, self-management and goal setting. For a schedule and registration information please visit the website at, call (412) 622-0108 or stop by The Bob seven days a week from 9 AM – 5 PM. U

Friendship Circle Begins Renovation Squirrel Hill residents may remember the heyday of Gullifty’s Restaurant, best known for its sinful desserts. Since its closure in August of 2013, the building on Murray Avenue has remained dormant. Friendship Circle, a local nonprofit helping children with special needs integrate into the community, purchased the building shortly after closing to house their programs and offices. After a year of designing and fundraising, renovations are finally beginning, with the hopes of opening the PAGE10 The Lifelong Learning Issue

new location for the Fall 2015 school year. Renovations will double the footprint of the building, allowing activities to be hosted on site. Currently, other local organizations have been lending their locations to Friendship Circle activities. The new space will feature areas for cooking and classes, as well as a teen lounge on the main floor and play area for younger children upstairs. U

Students Present New Directions for Forward-Murray On December 3rd, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition hosted the final presentations of nine Carnegie Mellon University students as they shared their visions for the redevelopment of the ForwardMurray intersection. These students, part of CMU’s Remaking Cities program, a division of the school of Architecture, researched the neighborhood and created three possible plans for the future of the site. These presentations are not intended plans for the location. Rather, these projects are meant to spur ideas and conversation between the community, property owners, and developers, hopefully leading to a safer, more appealing, and more commercially viable section of Squirrel Hill. For more information on this project, visit our blog, The Burrow! U

Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition welcomes H & R Block as an Organizational Member! So don’t forget to drop by an H&R Block tax office to meet with a tax professional who can handle all your tax preparation needs. Their tax experts can’t wait to help you prepare and file your taxes. They’ll find every last tax deduction available so you get the most from your tax return! U

“I’ve been so happy since I came here. I wouldn’t change a thing.” -Dorothy York, retired flower show judge

UPMC Senior Communities offers dynamic and affordable retirement living with a focus on improving and enriching each resident’s life. For more information or to schedule a complimentary lunch and tour, call 1-800-324-5523. Or visit for a virtual tour of any of our 14 UPMC Senior Communities locations. Heritage Place Skilled Nursing Squirrel Hill 412-422-5100

Canterbury Place Personal Care and Skilled Nursing Lawrenceville 412-622-9000

Lighthouse Pointe Village Independent Living Fox Chapel 412-781-2707

Seneca Hills Village Independent Living Penn Hills 412-793-1700

Seneca Manor Assisted Living Penn Hills 412-798-6000

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squirrel hill recap

2014 Squirrel Hill Treasures The 4th Annual SHUC Treasure Awards Moments Every year, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition honors people and places that make our vibrant neighborhood so wonderful. This year’s Treasure Award Dinner celebrated the following: Mayor Bill Peduto, Pamela’s Diner, Hebrew Free Loan Association, and the 2014 Place Treasure, the Homewood Cemetery. There was also a SURPRISE treasure: Ceci Sommers, a vital member of SHUC and the creator of the Treasure Awards. Congratulations to all our Treasures!

Robert Levin, Owner of Levin Furniture and Levin Mattress with Ceci Sommers, SHUC Board member, Treasure Awards Committee President and 2014 SHUC Treasure

Mayor Bill Peduto, 2014 Squirrel Hill Treasure

Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Editor of Squirrel Hill Magazine, and David Grover, greeting guests at the door and handing out name tags for the event.

Left to Right: Marian Lien, SHUC Executive Director; Ray Baum, SHUC Board President; Mayor Bull Peduto; Mardi Isler, SHUC Board Member; Representative Dan Gilman

Pam Cohen; Mr. McFeely of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood (David Newell); Gail Klingensmith PAGE12 The Lifelong Learning Issue

squirrel hill recap

Left to Right: Squirrel Hill Treasures: David Michener, CEO of Homewood Cemetery; Gail Klingensmith and Pamela Cohen, Pamela’s Diner; Aviva Lubowsky and Ellen Clancy, Hebrew Free Loan Association Robert Levin, Murray the Squirrel — SHUC’s tireless mascot and Gene O’Sullivan

David Ruzumberka and Norm Childs, owner of Eyetique and a SHUC Board Member Councilman Corey O'Conner and Patty Love Anouchi

photos: Goldstein Photography

The Lifelong Learning Issue PAGE13

Help Build For over 40 years, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition has worked to preserve, improve and celebrate the quality of life in our community.

Here are four great reasons to become a member!

1 2 3 4


Over 20 significant community improvements have grown from our 20-year master plan, including Summerset at Frick Park, the Giant Eagle expansion, plus park/playground and school renewal. We’re working to update that plan now! New lighting, banners, trees, murals and more from the Forward Avenue parkway entrance up Murray Avenue. Even more improvements are on the way! Strong schools. We’ve worked with parents and educators to keep our schools strong, despite previous budget cutbacks. With your involvement, we’ll do it again! Squirrel Hill Magazine. We publish and mail it four times each year to every household and business in the 15217 zip code—as a free community service!

Your tax-deductible membership goes a long way! We do all this with people power and just a part-time staff.


Become a member today at or call 412-422-7666 for more information. Help keep Squirrel Hill Pittsburgh’s premier urban neighborhood!

community support

2014 Grant Challenge Donors


Thank you

or the past 43 years, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition has been your quiet and hard-working neighbor. We have been preserving, improving and celebrating life in our neighborhood in so many important ways. In order to ensure the continuation of all our good work for you and our neighborhood, our board launched a challenge grant campaign this past fall. We asked you to stand up and be our neighbor with a special contribution, and we couldn’t be happier or more excited to report that the first ever Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition membership challenge grant was a tremendous success. With matching gifts from members of the board, we successfully brought in a total of $16,756! We would personally like to thank the following people for contributing to this challenge:

Sissy (Mary) & Bill Lieberman Bernard & Marsh Marcus Thomas & Susan Netzer Kristy Morelock Barbara Grover Ceci Sommers Roger Westman Raymond Baum Francine Abraham James Burnham Rich Feder Vivian Didomenico Chris Zurawsky

Samuel & Janice Newbury Valentina Vavasis & Ben Speiser J Florian & Kathryn Kluge Michael & Laura Dickey Medico Consulting Angela & Michael Reilly, Abby Ruttenberg Edward Goldston Arthur John Kerr, Jr Martha Raak Stanley Levine & Barbara Weschler Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Sydelle Kessler John & Mary Ellen Williams Benjamin Gibbs III

$200 - $499

$50 - $99

Marcia Gumberg Donald & Sylvia Robinson David & Susan Brownlee Mervin & Marcia Stewart Barbara Burstin James and Louisa Rudolph Micheal Henderson Erik Wagner David & Rebecca Miles Sidney Stark Peter Leo

Joan Adibi Peter Kaplan Johnson Polinski Andrew Eller Alan & Jane Bress Lila Horowitz Carl Fertman Margaret & Gary Fischer Marion & Myron Taube Ira & Emily Frank Irwin & Gail Wedner Alvin& Judith Stein Charlotte Bluestone, Stanton &Barbara Weiser Bernard & Barbara Mars Hana Kovanic Marjorie Sachs Herbert Halsband Properties Noel Marie Newell Susan & Bert Rockman Constance Rapp David & Bonita Greenberg Bernard Pinsker Laura & George Arnold Hillary Spatz Emily & Oscar Swan Emily Medine & Michael Schwartz Robert & Elen Katzen


$100 - $199 Patricia Cutkosky Gerri Kay Lois Liberman Mark Douglas Zelda Curtiss Howard & Benay Grossinger Ellie and Shelly Levine Dee Jay Oshry Carol Gluck & Alby Weiner Sharon Semenza Martin Lubetsky Michael & Andrea Lowenstein Thomas & Susan Lippard Suzanne Steitz PAGE16 The Lifelong Learning Issue

Marvin Dash Eugene & Saundra O’Sullivan Nathan & Deborah Firestone Liora & Lee Weinberg Kenneth & Rebecca Acer Eddie & Wendy Shaw Daniel & Rosanne Stead Jonathan Cox & Eleanor Bush Henry and Anne Bent Joel A. Tarr Melvin & Marcia Solomon

up to - $49 Scott and Cindy Leib Joseph Amenta & Gisela Kress Gottleib Freed Leonora Cohen James Reitz / Mary Heath Nancy Hetzel Reid Reading Helen Wilson Lawrence & Eileen Paper John & Denise Schiller Harold Scheinman Sally Levin Joseph & Violet Soffer Ervin & Johanna Roszner Hans & June Jonas Herbert Meyers Alan & Lois Cohen Miriam Platt Mary Castelli Lynne Curtis William & Susanne Rielly Melvin & Carolyn Berkovitz Rosalyn Sherman Rodney D Nelson& Suzaane Staggenborg Barry Shields Karen Kaighin Rosalyn Sherman Herbert Goldstein Caryle Glosser John & Janet Spear

squirrel hill feature

Thinking Globally: Lifelong Volunteers Learn from Each Other By Rachel Robertson

“Global Links is a place where you hear people’s stories and have the opportunity to tell your own. Through sharing stories you learn why people love volunteering here,” says Josiane Kadjo, a third-year Pharmacy student who moved to Pittsburgh in 2012 to attend college at Duquesne University. Global Links, a Pittsburgh based medical relief and environmental organization that redistributes medical surplus from hospitals to medical institutions in resource-poor communities, Volunteer Peggy Bourg locally and globally, has over 2,000 volunteers who come from diverse backgrounds. However, Global Links volunteers have one important thing in common: they agree that Global Links is a place where they do meaningful work and learn from each other. Josiane is originally from Cote d’Ivoire, a small country along the western coast of Africa. French is her first language and she learned English when her family was living in the neighboring country Ghana. Since home is so far away, Josiane stayed in Pittsburgh this past summer and began volunteering at Global Links several days a week. “What I love about Global Links is that you meet new people and together you do something worthwhile. You know the containers of equipment are going to people who need it. Plus, working with people from different backgrounds is awesome — you learn different PAGE18 The Lifelong Learning Issue

perspectives and see how people manage family, work, and social life yet still find time to volunteer.” Another dedicated volunteer is Squirrel Hill resident Peggy Bourg. “The staff and volunteers at Global Links are lighthearted, smart, and full of life. When I volunteer, I work alongside people who are in college to people who are in their eighties but everyone works together on projects that tangibly help people,” says Peggy. Peggy is a nurse practitioner and is fairly new to Pittsburgh. She is interested in global health and looked online to find a local organization to begin volunteering, which is how she became connected with Global Links. She began volunteering in October 2013 when Global Links moved to their new Greentree location. “When I found Global Links, I thought that this is amazing — a nonprofit in Pittsburgh that combines sustainability and health with an international focus. What could be better? We have so much, that we can throw it away, while other places need that same equipment. It just makes perfect sense to have a well-developed network to redirect unwanted equipment to people who could really use it. I’m so glad there is a place that does this.” Volunteer Kirsti Adkins found Global Links differently: through the Pittsburgh Area Peace Corps Association. PAPCA has been volunteering at Global Links monthly for over 20 years, and Kirsti initially came with them before she began volunteering individually. Kirsti was a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran from 1965 to 1967, an experience that she says was absolutely life changing.

Volunteer Kristi Adkins

“Both during my time in the Peace Corps and in the years since, I’ve learned that humans are more alike than different across the whole world. Anything I do to contribute helps someone, somewhere. I want to continue to be connected to other countries. I can’t go back into the Peace Corps, but Global Links is a way I can add to the world.”

Global Links is a place that fosters community both locally and internationally. Volunteers, young and old, learn Volunteers Peggy Bourg and Kristi Adkins sorting from each other supplies while helping to redistribute medical supplies and equipment that is no longer needed by the donors but life-saving for someone else. “People at Global Links come from different backgrounds and have different political views but are likeminded in the sense that we believe in forming friendships and in doing something worthwhile,” says Kirsti. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization, and they always have been,” says CEO Kathleen Hower, one of the three Global Links founders. “We absolutely could not do what we do without volunteers.” “There are so many different ways to work with us,” explains Community Engagement Manager Stacy Bodow. “That’s part of the appeal. You can come with a group, or on your own. You can take on a project that requires special skills or a bigger commitment, such as our volunteers who work with surgical instruments or biomedical equipment, or you can come and sort and pack whatever is on the table that day.” “It’s all essential,” Bodow adds. “And, once people get engaged in our work, they tend to stick around. While they are making an enormous difference in the lives of other people, it ends up making a difference in their own lives as well.” U

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Osher Programs Promote Lifelong Learning A Pitt Osher trip to the Zoo, making new friends!

By Deborah Monti


he Osher Lifelong Learning Institute provides classes for adults and retirees passionate about learning, and for many Pittsburgh residents, allows easy access to courses, lectures, and trips of special interest. With programs at both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, the organization continues to offer immense opportunities for learning, connecting with like-minded individuals, and exploring new interests.

Membership for Osher at Pitt is on a rolling schedule, and interested applicants can purchase either term or yearly memberships. Besides offering a wide-range of course listings, the program also advertises useful perks: members gain access to significant discounts to art and cultural events, day trips, and special social events.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, which stem from the Bernard Osher Foundation, offer non-credit learning opportunities to adults who wish to continue learning about subjects ranging from acting to astrology. Many of the members are interested in “learning for the joy of learning – without examinations or grades – and keeping in touch with a larger world.” For many Squirrel Hill residents, these opportunities are just a bus ride away. The Osher program at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), part of the College of General Studies, but separate from the University of Pittsburgh’s classes, offers over 240 different courses, ranging from forensic science, to astronomy, to yoga. With a few more than 1,100 members each year, the program boasts highly dynamic opportunities to get involved inside of the classroom. “There is so much variety among what we offer,” said Jennifer Engel, the director of the institute. “Osher members are able to audit certain University of Pittsburgh classes, and the majority of our classes are offered from 10 A.M. until 3 P.M. Monday through Friday.” Approximately 150 to 200 members take advantage of auditing, where they are able to sit in on classes informally and learn more about a particular topic. The majority of classes are taught by the University of Pittsburgh and other college faculty, some retired and some current, and there are also a few classes taught by members of the community. “It’s great because sometimes members get to learn straight from the experts,” Engel said, “like the course on fair trade is taught by staff members of Ten Thousand Villages (a jewelry and decor store operating on fair trade and working to empower artisans in developing countries), and a FrogWatch USA course is taught by the Audubon Society.”

The Osher program at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) operates similarly, but works almost completely separate from the university. Out of the 120 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at colleges around the country, Osher at CMU is the third largest. With over 2,100 members, and a waiting list of about 1,000 people, membership should be reserved two and a half years prior to the anticipated start date. Run by the motto “if you keep on learning, you’ll keep on living,” Osher at CMU is run by 500 volunteers (on an annual basis), and is very socially oriented. Besides taking a wide-range of classes taught by retired doctors, lawyers, and different university faculty, members engage in outside activities such as picnics and parties. “A lot of people get really excited to go into retirement, but then after a while that wears off, and they’re looking for things to do that keep them involved with people, and give them purpose,” said Lyn Decker, the Osher registrar and manager. “So they find that [Osher at CMU] is a valuable resource for them, to be able to have a place to

An Osher class at the University of Pittsburgh PAGE20 The Lifelong Learning Issue

Protect your world Auto • Home • Life • Retirement go to take classes, a place to go to meet like-minded people, and a place where there are activities in their interest,” she adds.

Both Lifelong Learning Institutes have big plans in the works. Osher at Pitt is working on promoting Osher memberships as corporation retirement gifts and diversifying their membership in terms of age, gender, and neighborhood of residence. Osher at CMU is working to help members become more comfortable with technology, and has recently switched from mail-in registration to online registration. Those interested in either program should visit and to learn more. U

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Class sizes range from a couple students to a couple hundred. While the music classes are the most popular, there is a significant number of members that enroll in classes such as chemistry and physics. Osher at CMU and Osher at Pitt also have a unique collaboration, where they partner together for opportunities from day trips to long, member-exclusive international trips. Those on the waiting list for Osher at CMU are not completely marginalized though; they may register for classes after members have registered, attend free evening lectures, and take part in certain luncheons and activities.

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PA Cyber Offers Online Learning to Local Children By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt

Is online learning the next step in educational progress? With online universities such as the University of Phoenix, Devry, and Ashford pushing full steam ahead, perhaps it is. Even many Pittsburgh Teaching a Virtual Class. based universities offer online classes, like Pitt’s GSPIA program or Chatham’s Low Residency MFA. Now, with cyber public schools, even K-12 is benefitting from the advent of online education. PA Cyber is one of the largest cyber charter schools in the country, serving over 11,000 students. It was started by Dr. Nick Trombetta in Midland, Pennsylvania after the town lost their only public school. Hoping to save their children a 90 minute daily commute, the online educational venue provided an alternative. It served 500 students in its first year alone. Offering state certified curriculums and personalized learning, PA Cyber is aimed at highly motivated students who desire more variety in their education. “As a public cyber school we can turn no one away, but this is definitely not for everyone,” said Jackie Laferty, the office manager for PA Cyber’s East Liberty satellite office. “We can’t say no, but we can say this really isn’t going to be a good fit because we do ask that an adult is at home.” You’ll often find that students of PA Cyber may have health conditions or extracurricular practices that prevent them from attending a physical school. The online format of PA Cyber allows them to work towards the completion of their education while allowing them the freedom to pursue other activities. Laferty suggested that PA Cyber classes may be an excellent complement to homeschooling programs.

can show you from starting the computer to going in and doing your daily lessons, doing your homework, how to submit assignments and how to upload assignments.” As a PA Cyber learner, students aren’t just left to their own devices. Along with a bi-weekly conversation with their academic advisor, attendance is key to the program’s success. “Students have to log in 5 days a week, so attendance is huge,” said Laferty. She went on to explain how classes function. “Our self-paced classes are only for high school students and are electives. So with any core curriculum, there's an actual teacher. They have to either go into a blended classroom- which would be one hour per subject per week – or a virtual classroom, which is everyday just like a regular school.” Socialization is often a parent’s biggest concern with cyber schools so PA Cyber works hard to bridge that gap. They’ve created programs to help encourage student and family interaction. Family Links, under the direction of Jade Camp, coordinates a collection of weekly fieldtrips throughout the state, allowing families to meet and explore. They also offer outreach programs which take place at their branch offices. East Liberty hosts PA Cyber Choir, keyboarding, and dance classes. Academic and extracurricular clubs are just as important to the PA Cyber model of education. “We have a ton of different clubs,” said Laferty, gesturing at the pages of the PA Cyber guide. “They all meet online. They actually have the club whether it’s every 2 weeks or once a month. They also have culminating activities across the state.” Teachers and group leaders go to their students, oftentimes in multiple cities. Everything with PA Cyber is about ease of access. Events, like field trips and graduations, are held in multiple locations, giving families the option to attend the closest one. Even state testing locations are determined based on student location. No family should have to drive more than 55 miles. The state certified program will also reimburse up to $50 in internet fees, making your child’s online education not just a vision for the future, but a possibility here and now. U

PA Cyber, unlike many other cyber schools, asks that students and parents come in for a face-to-face admissions interview. Staff members like Laferty explain how school activities and policies work, from showing them what classes are offered to going over in-person state testing sites. If the program seems like a good match, a computer is ordered from their Midland location and delivered to the new student’s home along with the grade appropriate curriculum. When the computer arrives, the stuA student at 3D printer ca dent revisits the branch office for an official orientation. “We’ll mp with teac her have new students come in for orientations like a day in the life of a Joel Cilli. PA Cyber student,” said Laferty. “You give me about 90 minutes and I PAGE22 The Lifelong Learning Issue

For more information about PA Cyber and their programs, visit

For the Tree to Drop World Premiere February 19-28 Trust Arts Education Center By Lissa Brennan

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Donate now at or call 412-992-5248. The Annual Campaign: The Jewish community calls it a mitzvah. Pittsburgh calls it a blessing.

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squirrel hill feature GSPIA Creates Lifelong Learning Opportunity for Mid-Career Professionals By M.Shannon Bradley

Imagine advancing your career by attending class at a time and place that is convenient for you. Now imagine having classmates with real professional experience and a passion for serving the public good from all walks of life — a police chief, a doctor or nurse, a county commissioner, a nonprofit project manager, or the future mayor Mayor Bill Peduto, MPPM Class of 2011 of Pittsburgh. These images are a reality in the master of public policy and management program (MPPM) at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). The program has been a valuable experience for hundreds of mid-career professionals since its inception in the 1990s. Traditionally, the program’s value came from its design, allowing working professionals to complete the program part-time with classes at night. “The flexibility of the program allows mid-career professionals the ability to manage both their professional and personal lives while preparing for their futures,” explained Dr. George Dougherty, the program’s director. Beginning in Fall 2015, flexibility will increase even more with the addition of an online track. The online program, taught by GSPIA faculty, will provide access to the same course materials and assignments while maintaining the ability to interact with other mid-career professionals. The convenience will increase, but the passion, skills, and expertise will remain. The online track comes in response to changing demands in the world of higher education. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the demand for postsecondary education is on the rise. Face to face courses require potential students to overcome real life barriers – babysitting, travelling to and parking in Oakland, sitting in class after a long day at work. To address the increase in demand for graduate programs and overcome these barriers, GSPIA’s faculty decided to create the online master of public policy and management program. The plan is to increase access for mid-career professionals and build on successes of past students. PAGE24 The Lifelong Learning Issue

One well-known alumnus is now the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto (MPPM ’11). Mayor Peduto found what he learned from the MPPM program beneficial. “The education I received not only enhanced my knowledge and understanding of my own experiences, it gave me the opportunity to develop a national and even global professional perspective.” What he learned will prove useful as he manages Pennsylvania’s second largest city. Most students are not elected officials, but professionals dedicated to public service. Anne Mulgrave, (MPPM ’11), found the program beneficial in preparing for her work in the nonprofit field. As an attorney, Ms. Mulgrave wanted to transition to the nonprofit sector and found the program to be exactly what she needed. “The MPPM program prepared me to work at a nonprofit organization by allowing me to fill in the gaps in my education and professional experience,” explained Mulgrave. Today, she works as the Manager of Grants and Accessibility at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. For Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew (MPPM ‘10) of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospital, it was the desire to concentrate on Global Health issues that led her to enroll in the program. “I chose GSPIA because looking at their programs, I knew they could help mold my career as a global health provider,” noted Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew. According to Dr. Larkins-Pettigrew, GSPIA not only has the academic tools for anyone interested in international affairs and policy, but also brings a “significant humanistic side to education I think all students should have.” She noted that “GSPIA opens doors beyond your own discipline because it brings things “The education I received not together. You think that only enhanced my knowledge GSPIA is so small and the is so big, but when and understanding of my own world you look at where people experiences, it gave me the have trained, you realize how far reaching GSPIA opportunity to develop a has been.” national and even global

professional perspective.”

Professor Dougherty is proud of the various ways Mayor Bill Peduto (MPPM ’11) graduates have used their educations. “One MPPM graduate formed a non-profit in Africa that assists women who have been abandoned by their families. Others have advanced careers in the U.S. as government officials, university administrators, and nonprofit leaders. You can find MPPM graduates across the globe.” For more than a decade, the MPPM program has created lifelong learning opportunities for mid-career professionals and the new online track will expand opportunities for those mid-career professionals wanting to improve their careers. MPPM program applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five or more years of experience beyond an entry-level position. Candidates’ experience should demonstrate increasing levels of responsibility, leadership, and professional competence. U To learn more about the Online Accelerated Mid-Career Masters, visit

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squirrel hill historical society

More Than Lifelong Learning By Helen Wilson Vice-President, Squirrel Hill Historical Society

Squirrel Hill reflects this general pattern, with a twist. The newcomers—the Jews—not only didn’t share the same ethnic heritage as the Scotch-Irish but also differed in religious beliefs and practices. However, the first Jews to arrive in Squirrel Hill were already Americanized. Mostly of German heritage, they had settled in Allegheny That story is recounted in a book City, now North Side, in the 1840s. By the about the early settlers, Right Here in time they moved to Squirrel Hill in the late Susanna Turner captures a bee. Illustration from Squirrel Hill, written by Hodge 1800s and early 1900s, most had adopted Right Here in Squirrel Hill by S. Comer. McIlvain Eagleson in 1953. The story’s characteristics of American culture. Jews simplicity is deceptive. Both honeybees and settlers came from had come to the United States because it offered freedom of reliEurope, as did the technology used to make John Turner’s iron gion, separation of church and state, and equality for all, ideals ax. The importation of honeybees and iron-making techniques that made them want to be part of mainstream society. changed life in the New World. When the Jews moved to Squirrel Hill, they fit in rather easily When the settlers came to America, they learned some skills from with the predominately Scotch-Irish who had preceded them. the Native Americans but also brought knowledge from Europe Both cultures valued education and hard work, knowing those that they adapted for use in the wilderness. Native Americans were the keys to success. In By Myself, I’m a Book—An Oral History knew which plants were edible and how to prepare them. The of the Immigrant Jewish Experience in Pittsburgh, compiled by The settlers brought not only other plants but also recipe books—and Pittsburgh Section, National Council of Jewish Women, is this other books, especially bibles. Literacy was important to them. passage: “The ancient love of learning had taken on a new aspect. Reading and writing were the connections to the history and Under the sunlight of the American way—of democracy—of free culture of their countries of origin and were the means by which education, of opportunity, most Jewish parents nursed the hope they passed this knowledge on to their children. Not just lifelong of sending their sons to college and watching them become learning but liveslong learning. professionals …” Susanna Turner needed honey for an apple pie. She caught a bee in a cup, dusted it with white flour and freed it. Then she followed its flight to a hive in a tree. Her husband felled the tree with his ax, and together they scooped out the honey.

The idea of education as a means of ensuring a family’s survival runs throughout Squirrel Hill’s history. Most of the early settlers who came to Western Pennsylvania were Scotch-Irish. Their staunch Presbyterianism, savvy business sense and lack of frivolity played a major role in shaping the culture that developed in Pittsburgh and its surroundings. In his 1983 book, They Came to … Pittsburgh, Clarke Thomas writes that “the Scotch-Irish have for nearly two centuries been a dominant mainstream ethnic group, Americanizing so early that in many respects the American and the Scotch–Irish heritage are the same.” They knew the value of education. In the 1800s, Thomas Aiken, John Turner and the Brown family all donated land for public schools in Squirrel Hill and Shadyside. Subsequent immigrants to Pittsburgh faced the challenge of assimilating into the dominant culture while keeping their own heritage and customs alive. The newcomers were looked upon with suspicion, but at the same time, the mainstream culture knew it was to its benefit to “Americanize” immigrants so they wouldn’t be a threat to the established order. They developed various institutions to help in the assimilation process.

Jews perceived America as being free of the prejudices that had so often erupted into acts of violence against them in Europe. Although the reality didn’t always fit the ideal, the United States was indeed a land where success could be achieved through education and hard work. Like the German Jews, the second wave of Jews who came to Squirrel Hill had begun to assimilate before arriving in the community. The Yiddish-speaking immigrants from Eastern Europe first settled in the Hill District, and it was there that German Jews established the Irene Kaufmann Settlement and other institutions to offer the newcomers classes in Americanization, healthcare, athletics, art, music and enrichment. For Jews, the move to Squirrel Hill was more than a mere change of address. It also meant the achievement of a higher standard of living and a sweeter future for their children through education.U Anyone interested in learning more about Squirrel Hill history is invited to attend the meetings of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. Go to to view upcoming lectures and events. Consider joining the SHHS. Membership is only $10 per year. There is no charge for attending the meetings. The Lifelong Learning Issue PAGE27

squirrel hill feature

Literacy for All Ages By Rebecca Carpenter Projects Director Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council

her English language skills. As a result, she was accepted to Point Park’s MBA program.

They are part of the 20% of adults in Allegheny County who have literacy challenges. While many people associate literacy only with reading, literacy covers a wide range of skills, including reading, writing, math, computer skills, workplace readiness, GED and English language skills. Literacy is preparing for college, for training school, for a job. Literacy is improving parenting skills. Literacy is making more informed decisions about health, finances, voting and legal matters.

Ashley Wright, a Pittsburgh local, got her GED with the help of GPLC and intends to pursue job training in horticulture. She recently spoke at GPLC’s “Leaders for Literacy” luncheon and addressed one more return on investment Ashley Wright at “Leaders for Literacy” luncheon for an adult learner. Ashley kindly thanked GPLC for their support and said that she intends to support her 9-year-old son the same way, every day: “It’s funny. People think that GPLC is just about reading, writing, and passing tests, but it’s also about making families stronger.” These are just some of the success stories for students working under tutors in the Squirrel Hill area.

Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council (GPLC) has been providing free literacy services to adults throughout Allegheny County for over thirty years. GPLC is a community-based, volunteer-based nonprofit. It has two main programs: Adult Basic Education (ABE) helps American-born adults with learning and/or skill challenges while English as a Second Language (ESL) helps refugees and immigrants to learn English language skills. GPLC has a downtown learning center, two family literacy centers and eight area offices located throughout the county. Currently, GPLC serves 1,400 students with the help of 350 volunteer tutors.

GPLC’s Squirrel Hill office, located in the Wightman School Community Building, serves Hazelwood, Squirrel Hill, and Oakland. Gretchen Jacobs, Program Coordinator, oversees 40 ABE students, 75 ESL students and 64 tutors. Gretchen matches students with tutors so that time and place are mutually convenient. She then provides ongoing assistance with testing, materials, and instructional planning. Popular tutoring sites include the Squirrel Hill Library, the Wightman School Community Building, the Pittsburgh Chinese Church, Carnegie Library in Oakland, the campuses of Pitt and CMU and coffee shops.

Lifelong learning is an inspiring phrase. We all aspire to be lifelong learners: people who go to school and graduate, and then take more courses, travel, or learn new skills. Lifelong learning is often what we do when we finally have leisure time. But for many adults in the East End, lifelong learning is not something to pursue during free time to embellish their lives but to critically change their lives for the better.

The range of need for improved literacy skills is great, as is the need Why do people come to GPLC? Typically, adults seek literacy help for tutors. GPLC volunteer tutors are because some event or change has thoroughly trained in a free 12-hour workhappened in their lives. For examshop in either ABE or ESL. They also ple, a young man needs a GED to participate in professional development get a job or a middle-aged woman opportunities throughout the year. They has a job and wants a better one. A commit 4 hours a week to their students, young mother wants to help her either one individual or a small group. children more effectively with their For many people, being a volunteer tutor homework. An older man wants to is also a lifelong learning experience as learn how to use a computer to start tutors rediscover qualities within themhis own small business. A refugee selves, such as patience, purpose, creativity parent wants to be able to commuand partnership. As ABE tutor Sara Yoder nicate with her children’s school. explains, “I really enjoy my student’s An immigrant worker wants to expression when he gets it! I know when A group of students in Squirrel Hill ESL class. understand his healthcare options. it’s processing, and he gets very excited. I For these folks, lifelong learning means lifelong change. For examsee it on his face. To me, that’s the most fulfilling part.” Tutoring for ple, ESL student Justin Hsieh from Taiwan studied English for his GPLC is a true partnership of lifelong learning! U job at PNC Bank. He achieved a management position as a result For more information about GPLC, please visit or call of his hard work. Paulina Krys from Poland took classes to exercise 412-393-7600 or 412-421-0525. Please consider sharing the gift of literacy! PAGE28 The Lifelong Learning Issue

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squirrel hill feature

Back Row (L to R): Aryeh Sherman (President & CEOJF&CS) Guy Costa (Office of Mayor Bill Peduto) Bill Woodward (PSYEP)

Pittsburgh’s Summer Youth Employment Program

Front Row (L to R): Linda Ehrenreich (JF&CS) Jeanne Williams (JF&CS), Bruce Saverly (PSYEP intern) Vanessa Dodds (City of Pittsburgh/Pittsburgh Partnership Program) Debbie Lestitian (Office of Mayor Bill Peduto)

In an economy where career opportunities have been difficult to come by, the City of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill-based Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) and many local organizations and partners are working together to ensure the city’s youth and young adults have enriching career-building opportunities over their summer breaks. Benefiting teens and young adults between the ages 14-21, Pittsburgh’s summer youth employment program chooses several area agencies, including JF&CS, to match at-risk, low-income and other youth from neighborhoods throughout Pittsburgh with paid internship opportunities at community organizations for six weeks during the summer. The “learn and earn” program helps teens and young adults gain valuable skills to prepare them for joining the workforce or continuing their education after high school, and for many of the participants, this internship is their first experience in the workforce. The program has been on-going through the 70s and gained momentum in the mid 2000s. Currently, the City has convened a taskforce under the direction of Mayor Peduto and is working on making significant improvements and expansions to the program over the next few years to ensure more youth are able to participate for the upcoming summer programs. JF&CS’s program management is being used as the model for the improvements to the program. “JF&CS is a great model for how to manage a summer employment program,” said James Brenner, Program Supervisor at the City of Pittsburgh Department of Personnel/Pittsburgh Partnership. “They are there to make sure the youth succeed and that the experience is successful. We know there’s a positive influence on their behavior and the work setting.” Jeanne Williams, career and employment consultant at JF&CS’s Career Development Center coordinates the program at JF&CS. “PSYEP is a wonderful opportunity and preventative tool for youth throughout our communities,” she said. “It’s allowing teens and young adults to access opportunities they would not have been able to otherwise, so hopefully they will not fall into at-risk situations in the future.” Last summer, JF&CS placed 20 interns at 7 sites, including JF&CS and the Jewish Association on Aging’s facilities, as well as the Jewish Community Center, Kingsley Association and Off the Floor Pittsburgh. Overall, the City saw more than 500 kids participate in the program this past summer. In addition to learning job-readiness skills such as attendance, punctuality, quality of work and appropriate business attire, the teens and young adults are mentored along the way to ensure continued success throughout the program, receiving guidance on taking initiative, following direction and respecting people from PAGE30 The Lifelong Learning Issue

various cultures, races and religions. “What they learn on the job, they take with them for the rest of their lives. These first jobs builds the basics of skills they’ll need when they become an adult…They’re a foundation for the skills that they’ll need when they enter the work world later on,” Brenner said.

Photo: Elizabeth Waickman

By Elizabeth Waickman

At JF&CS, Williams ensures participants receive a full realm of career development support, from mentoring participants on career interests and making connections to employers, to providing career prep support including resume-building and mock interviews with staff at the CDC. “Our career and employment consultants at the CDC are able to discern interests with kids and place them in line with their own career goals and interests to make this the most valuable, enriching experience we can for our participants,” Williams said. “We’re so fortunate to have staff members who possess the training and skills to manage this program so effectively and provide support to these kids.” Additionally, JF&CS offers programs and services for at-risk young adults throughout Pittsburgh’s communities, most notably through Age Up, Not Out (AUNO), a unique partnership between JF&CS and YouthWorks, a program of Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and funded by the United Way of Allegheny County. AUNO serves young adults between the ages of 18-24 who no longer qualify for the foster care system and are considered at-risk for high rates of unemployment, pregnancy, homelessness, substance abuse, dependence on welfare and involvement in crime. AUNO is a comprehensive approach to helping youth become economically successful and provides participants with job-readiness tools and emotional support to prepare them for life-long employment through providing job-readiness curriculum, workshops on resumes and cover letters, networking, interviewing, money management, job search assistance, vocational job training recommendations, guidance in entrepreneurship and connections to valuable social service providers based on individualized needs. “Our communities are only as strong as our kids,” Williams said. “We provide these enriching, beneficial opportunities through JF&CS and our partnerships with the City and other organizations, so they are prepared to enter the world and be successful and productive as adults. We want them to know there are supports and resources available, and that we’re here for them every step of the way.” U For more information on how to get involved in helping local youth through JF&CS, contact Jeanne Williams at or 412-586-3725.



Mondays M Mon ond nda day ays yss 99¢Mo


Every Monday, any kids' meal is only 99¢ with an adult meal purchase!

Not Available Memorial Day or Labor Day. Not valid with other offers or discounts. In-house only.


events & happenings

Calendar Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill Branch 5801 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill (412) 422-9650 or Genre Book Club Meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm January 21: Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life — to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? She bravely tells her story, revisiting the agonizing losses of her only brother and her friends. February 18: The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty A novel about the friendship between an adolescent, pre-movie-star Louise Brooks, and the 36-year-old woman who chaperones her to New York City for a summer, in 1922, and how it changes both their lives. March 18: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits — smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love — and just how hard it pulled you under. Classes Polish for Beginners Every 1st and 3rd Monday at 6:30pm Spanish for Beginners Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 6:30pm Mandarin for Beginners Every 2nd and 4th Monday at 6:30pm The Writers’ Studio: Spark the imagination for your own writing Every Sunday, 2-4pm

Readings celebrating publication of Richard St. John’s newest book of poems Each Perfected Name Thursday, January 22 – 7:00 p.m. at Community House Church & Learning Center 120 Parkhurst Street, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Sunday, February 8 – 7:00 p.m. at Coriander Indian Grill (upstairs) Indian buffet dinner ($15.99) — starting 6:00 p.m. 2201 Murray Avenue

Saturday, February 21 – 7:00 p.m. at East End Book Exchange, Versify Reading Series with co-readers John Lawson & Michael Wurster 4754 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15224 All events are free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale and signing. For more information:

Squirrel Hill Historical Society The Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Avenue Events are held on the second Tuesday of each month FREE at 7:30 p.m. February 10: “Why all these Presbyterians, and where did they come from?” Speaker: Peter Gilmore, Historian March 10: “Chinese Restaurants in America” Speaker: Michael Chen, President of the Pittsburgh Chinese Restaurant Association December 9: “Life of Andy Warhol and History of the Warhol Museum” Speaker: Eric Shiner, Director, The Andy Warhol Museum

Squirrel Hill Active Senior Network Squirrel Hill Library, Meeting Room C Connecting Seniors to Great Social/Civic Destinations Fridays from 3 - 4 pm Social/civic destinations will be generated from the calendars of sharing active seniors. That’s what makes them so great! Come to give or get information. It’s that easy to make plans to get out more and build your friendship network. The program/events are neither sponsored nor endorsed by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. No charge. For more information, contact Carol Pearlman at (412) 521-3478

Swing City Wightman School Community Building, 5604 Solway Street 412-759-1569 Saturdays 8 pm – Midnight The dance lesson and practice are held every Saturday night, and beginner dance lessons are from 8 to 9 PM. The dance practice goes ‘til midnight, and cover charge is $11.00 for this air-conditioned, all ages and nonsmoking event. Continued on page 34

PAGE32 The Lifelong Learning Issue

The Homewood Cemetery is more than just a final resting place. The cemetery is a vital resource of education, history history, y, recently architecture and green space. Just recently, ently y, the Homewood was d e s i g n a t e d a Nationally N a t i o n a l l y Recognized Cemetery designated C e m e t e r y was Recognized h o n o r that t h a t extends e x t e n d s the Arboretum, A r b o r e t u m , an a n honor t h e cemetery’s c e m e t e r y ’s commitment to community outreach and education. We We invite you and your family to visit the Squirrel Hill Urban Treasure Recipient” to tour Coalition “2014 T reasure r Place Award Award w Center.. our grounds or historic Chapel and Reception Center

1599 S. S. Dallas Dallas Avenue, Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA PA 15217

412412-421-1822 421-1822 info@ o thehomewoodcemetery.c . om

events & happenings cont. squirrel hill

strip district

north hills

Tea Class and Tasting Margaret’s Fine Imports 5872 Forbes Ave. 412-422-1606 First Wednesday of the month, 7 pm Learn the history of tea, steeping and storage techniques, health benefits, and more. Tea samplings and European cookies will be served.

classes range from beginner to advanced, gentle to challenging

Drew Heinz Lecture Series Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Avenue Box office: 412-622-8866 Monday evenings at 7:30 pm February 9: Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped March 2: Sheri Fink, Five Days at Memorial March 23: Dennis Lehane, World Gone By April 13: Alexandra Fuller, Leaving Before the Rains Come

SENIOR WEALTH MANAGEMENT Andy “Hirsh” Dlinn, CSA ® President Senior Portfolio Manager 555 Grant Street, Suite 317 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Support our advertisers! Tell them you saw their ad in Squirrel Hill Magazine.

Office 412-562-2220 Toll free 877-562-0770 Cell 412-979-5770 Fax 412-562-9995

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Join today for $1 plus get a FREE 1-hour fitness consult Call 412-697-3522

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Project Manager & Development



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squirrel hill volunteering

This feature is made possible by a generous grant from the

Thomases Family Endowment

I Can Help With That!

of the

Youngstown Area Jewish Federation When you contact one of these organizations, please remember to tell them that you heard about the opportunity in Squirrel Hill Magazine!

Beyond the Books Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s mission is to engage our community in literacy and learning. The Library’s vision is that through Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the people of our region will develop the literacies and connections that support individual achievement and strengthen the power of community. Volunteer at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to impact literacy and learning in communities all over Pittsburgh, including Squirrel Hill! CLP Volunteers: facilitate global language classes, mentor teens, tutor and provide homework help to children, assist with special events, advocate and fundraise, and much more! Visit for more information!

Give the Gift of Friendship The Friendship Circle is dedicated to helping youth with special needs become better integrated into the broader community. By pairing youth with special needs with teen volunteers in a range of social activities, The Friendship Circle’s programs enrich the lives of all participants, creating lasting friendships which strengthen the community. The Friendship Circle needs volunteer event staff to help execute planned activities, ensure that teen volunteers are PAGE36 The Lifelong Learning Issue

comfortable in their roles, and create an environment where every member is valued. Sometimes, volunteers may need to lend a hand to members with special needs, while being careful not to over-assist. For more information about volunteering, contact Adam Baron, Director of Programming by email at or by phone (412)224-4440

Be a Shoulder to Lean On The Good Grief Center for Bereavement Support, a service of Ursuline support Services, is the region’s first and only comprehensive center dedicated exclusively to bereavement support for individuals of all ages. Staff and volunteers are directly available either by phone or in person during regular business hours to provide emotional support and grief education. The Good Grief Center welcomes volunteers who are willing to share their talents in such areas as Database Management, Marketing/PR, Newsletters, Public Speaking, and Fundraising. Additionally, peer support volunteers provide bereavement support and education while instilling hope in people who are grieving. For more information about volunteering at the Good Grief Center, please call (412)224-4700 and ask for Diana. Please consider becoming a member of our volunteer team.

If you could help make an amazing difference, would you?

Some kids face challenges that would overwhelm the toughest adults. They come to The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh from across the region — sometimes across the country or around the world — and that’s when the amazing differences begin. Your contribution to The Children’s Institute can keep the amazing differences happening. Won’t you help change the future for the kids and families who so greatly deserve it? To learn more, visit


Your Squirrel Hill

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Shop our expanded Gluten Free, Organic, and Specialty selections!


Kosher Pareve Bakery on-site for special orders


Store: 412-421-8161 Fax: 412-422-3128 1901 Murray Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Squirrel Hill Magazine Winter 2014  

Squirrel Hill Magazine's Winter 2015 Issue: The Life Long Learning Issue

Squirrel Hill Magazine Winter 2014  

Squirrel Hill Magazine's Winter 2015 Issue: The Life Long Learning Issue