Susan L. Safford Traubenkraut

Class Year: 2014

County: Tuscola

Title: Preschool Teacher Assistant,Frankenmuth Bible Church

“4-H has enabled me to be prepared for many challenges through the development of my personal abilities and nurturing of my God given talents. Further, 4-H allows me an avenue to channel my desires in assisting youngsters in their personal development.”
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Susan Safford Traubenkraut has shared her study and passion of historical clothing, regional and ethnic cooking and heritage crafts and traditions with many youth and adults. For the past seven years, she has been a preschool teacher assistant for the Frankenmuth Bible Church, providing a Christian-based pre-school education for young children. She previously served 15 years as curator of education for with the Frankenmuth Historical Museum, where she developed programs related to the German heritage of her local area. She developed a pioneer living program where children and adults spend a day at the museum’s Wolksendorfer log house built in 1845. The program introduces German ethnic foods, crafts and traditions strengthened by hands-on activities for youth. As a charter and life member of the Herb Society of America’s Mid-Michigan Unit, Susan passes her knowledge of herbs onto others and plans the unit’s annual herb luncheon. For the past 10 years Susan has reached even further by being instrumental in the establishment and the continued success of one of Michigan’s top ten farmers markets in Michigan, the Frankenmuth Farmers Market, where she promotes eating local, clean and sustainable foods through the 4-H sponsored stall and through leadership in children’s activities at the Market. For the past 30 years, Susan has been a 4-H volunteer working with youth of all ages, teaching Cloverbuds and heritage crafts such as: Scherenschnitte (German paper cutting), decorating Pysanky eggs, spinning wool, and butter making. She has taught classes at Kettunen Center, 4-H Exploration Days, County Summer Camp, County Fishing Camp and at District Leadermetes. In 2001, Susan and her co-leader, Joan Kuhne, developed an Inner City 4-H school program for Saginaw County. They hold monthly meetings at a school in Saginaw, teaching inner city youth about heritage crafts, plants, and nature. In 2008, Susan was honored by the Saginaw County 4-H Leaders Advisory Council as an “Unsung Hero.”