Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Read on for legislative updates and things to do this month, along with other community information.
Summer Reading Contest
I have always loved reading. I read to my children as they were growing up, and when they started reading on their own, I took advantage of spare time and settled in with a good book for myself. Now, I read to my granddaughters.
The tremendous social and academic benefits of reading at a young age are well-documented. Unfortunately, “summer learning loss” is also a proven reality. Students lose academic skills over the summer when they do not receive instruction from their teachers, sometimes falling three months behind the reading level they had achieved at the end of the school year.
To help encourage reading generally, and also to help motivate students to maintain academic skills throughout the summer, I decided to run a reading contest over summer break. The contest is simple: students in grades 1-8 simply write down the title and number of pages for each book they read this summer. They send me the list, and after Labor Day, I will select students from grades 1-4 and 5-8 to receive a bookstore gift card. The prizes are paid for with my personal funds — not with taxpayer dollars.
Students can visit my webpage at Faris.housedems.com to print an entry form. Students and their parents can also call or email my office at (517) 373-7557 or firstname.lastname@example.org to have an entry form mailed to their home.
Heat Stroke Prevention
Parents and caregivers reminded about dangers of unattended children in vehicles
As long-awaited warmer weather arrives, parents and caregivers are reminded to be diligent and never leave children alone in vehicles. As of May 16, the lives of six children have already been claimed in the United States from heatstroke in a car. On average, there are 37 deaths a year in America due to these circumstances.
"We know from past experience that these fatalities can happen anytime, anywhere, including in moderate temperatures," said Nick Lyon, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. “We don’t want to see this kind of tragedy happen to any family. That’s why we are asking everyone to help protect kids from this very preventable danger by never leaving your child alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute.”
It doesn’t have to be the middle of the summer for a child to get overheated. Even with seemingly mild temperatures outside, the temperatures inside a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult, making them more susceptible to heatstroke. Temperatures inside a vehicle can easily be double the temperature outside.
Too many children have lost their lives to this preventable, heartbreaking tragedy. Together, we can cut down the number of deaths and near misses by remembering to ACT.
A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it, so kids don’t get in on their own.
C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your vehicle next to your child such as a wallet, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
T: Take action. If you see or hear a child alone in a car, call 9-1-1. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations.
Several state agencies and organizations have committed to sharing this important message throughout the warm weather season. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has been a longtime partner in the effort to remind families and caregivers about this easily preventable danger.
“As in previous years, we’re running awareness messages in our branches every day during the summer months to keep this kind of tragedy from happening,” Johnson said. “There’s no reason a child should ever be left alone in a car, and that’s the message we’re committed to sharing.”
In addition, Michigan State Police Community Service Troopers and Safe Kids Coalitions across the state are working hard in their communities to increase awareness.
Valley Choice Medicaid Waiver Program
Families in crisis frequently think the only choice for their loved one is a nursing home. But there are alternatives. Valley Area Agency on Aging (VAAA) currently receives funding from Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) to provide MI Choice Program services.
The goal of the program is to help eligible persons to obtain the services they need to live at home as independently as possible. A comprehensive array of supportive services is provided under the direction of a care management team of both a nurse and a social worker. Our purpose is to prevent an unnecessary move into a nursing home.
To qualify for these services you must:
- Be a current resident of Genesee, Lapeer, or Shiawassee Counties
- Be age 18-64 if disabled or age 65+ if elderly
- Are unable to take care of their needs, and family and friends cannot provide the level of care needed
- Care needs must meet Nursing Facility Level of Care
- Must meet program financial eligibility criteria
Kathryn Boles, President, CEO of VAAA says, "Senior citizens have earned the right to receive these services. We are happy to be able to provide these programs so that seniors can live in dignity and in their own homes for as long as possible."
If you or someone you know may benefit from this program, please call the Valley Area Agency on Aging Information & Assistance Department at (810) 239-7671, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Events, Programs or Services in the 48th House District
Cameron Zvara's Magic Show
- Saturday, June 16, from 2-3 p.m.
Davison Area Library, 203 East 4th S. in Davison
This show is jam-packed with magic, comedy, juggling, stunts, music and tons of audience participation. All ages welcome; pre-registration recommended. For more information or to register, please visit the Genesee District Library website or call (810) 653-2022.
For-Mar on the Road: Birds of Prey
- Monday, June 18, from 11 a.m. to noon
Buell Lake County Park, Pavilion 1, 14098 N. Genesee Road in Clio
- Thursday, June 21, from 2–3 p.m.
Bluebell Beach, Pavillion 1, 7244 N. Genesee Road in Genesee
Children ages 3-6 are invited to soar into learning about birds like hawks, eagles and owls. What do they have in common? Why are they important? Kids ages 7-12 are also invited to join in the fun. Soar into ornithology and learn about the birds we call raptors. Free for all abilities; pre-registration not required. For more information, please visit the Genesee County Parks website or call (810) 736-7100.
Gardening for Wildlife
- Tuesday, June 19, from 4-5 p.m. Montrose-Jennings Library, 241 Feher Drive in Montrose
Forget the bug spray and have the bats do the work. This engaging and educational family program will help you meet the needs of native wildlife, understand the connection between plants and backyard critters, and learn more about Michigan's native wildflowers. You'll also meet live animals such as a big brown bat, an owl and a flying squirrel. All ages welcome; pre-registration recommended. For more information or to register, please visit the Genesee District Library website or call (810) 639-6388.
Clio Firemen Homecoming Carnival and Parade
- Wednesday, June 20 through Saturday, June 23 Corner of Wilson and Saginaw Roads in Clio
Join the Clio Fire Department for the 81st annual Clio Firemen Homecoming Carnival and Parade. The fun kicks off Wednesday at 6 p.m. when the carnival midway opens, along with vendors, bingo, monster trucks and more! On Thursday, the parade begins at 7 p.m., leaving from Mott Community College’s Clio Campus and proceeding east through Downtown Clio to the plaza. You won’t want to miss the fireworks on Friday night, car show on Saturday, and so much more! For more information, please visit the Clio Fire Department website or Facebook page.*
Michigan Oddities & Rarities
- Tuesday, June 26, from 2-3 p.m.
Forest Township Library, 123 W. Main Street in Otisville
- Tuesday, June 26, from 5-6 p.m.
Genesee-Johnson Library, 7397 N. Genesee Road in Genesee Township
Love our Mitten State? Then you'll love to learn about Michigan's small town mysteries and legends, presented by author and Michigan trail expert Ron Rademacher. His books will be for sale and signing after the presentation. This is an adults-only event; registration recommended. For more information or to register, please visit the Genesee District Library website or call (810) 732-5570.
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon;
to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James
I hope you found this information useful. Please feel free to contact my office if we can be of any assistance.
State Representative Pam Faris
48th House District
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