Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Read on for things to do this month, along with other community information.
Although the deadline for my summer reading contest is fast approaching, there is still time to enter! The contest ends on Labor Day and is open to all students in House District 48 in grades 1-8. Online entry forms are available at faris.housedems.com. Students only need to write down the title and total page count of the books they read throughout the summer. All submissions must be received on or before Sept. 13. Mailed entries may be sent to Rep. Pam Faris, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI. 48909-7514. Winners from grades 1-4 and 5-8 will be announced on Sept. 14. For more information, contact my office at (517) 373-7557.
Low-Income Michigan Students Face August 31 Deadline to Apply for Free College Tuition
Eligible Students from Class of 2018 Must Certify by Aug. 31, 2018
Time is running out for eligible individuals from the Class of 2018 who have graduated with a high school diploma or equivalent to claim their Tuition Incentive Program benefits, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.
The grant program – commonly referred to as TIP – encourages eligible Medicaid recipients to complete college by providing college tuition assistance. Eligible TIP students have four years from graduation to begin using their TIP benefits.
The application deadline is Aug. 31 for eligible students to apply for TIP, a program administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury’s Student Financial Services Bureau. TIP covers 24 credit hours of tuition per academic year for a total of 80 overall credits at participating Michigan community colleges. TIP covers the in-district tuition rate at 4-year public colleges and universities and students attending 4-year degree-granting non-publics are eligible for $110 per credit hour in 2018-19.
In addition to tuition assistance, TIP also covers up to $250 in mandatory fees each semester.
To qualify, students must have been on Michigan Medicaid for 24 months within a 36-consecutive month period between age nine and high school graduation.
“Even if eligible high school graduates don’t plan to attend college this fall, we urge them to certify their application as soon as possible,” said Carla Foltyn, Director of Student Scholarships and Grants. “Once their eligibility is confirmed, they have four years to begin using TIP, but the window for applying for this benefit will close on Aug. 31.”
Students may complete the TIP application in the MiSSG Student Portal at www.michigan.gov/missg or by calling (888) 447-2687.
TIP can also assist students who go on to four-year colleges or universities. After they earn at least a one-year certificate, an associate degree or 56 transferable credits, students are eligible to receive up to $500 per semester or $400 per term at participating four-year institutions in Michigan.
TIP is just one service offered by the Student Financial Services Bureau, which encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing equality of access to student financial resources and information.
August is #AbleToSave Month
With August as #AbleToSave Month, the Michigan Department of Treasury reminds disabled individuals of all ages and their families that they may be eligible to open a special investment savings account with state tax benefits.
The Michigan Achieving a Better Life Experience — commonly called MiABLE — is a 529(A)-savings account program administered by the state Treasury Department for those who wish to save for individuals with disabilities. Accounts may be opened by individuals who were disabled before they were 26 years old.
“If you were disabled before your 26th birthday and already receive Social Security benefits, then you are automatically eligible to receive a MiABLE account,” said acting Deputy State Treasurer Anne Wohlfert, head of Treasury’s State and Local Finance Group. “There is a common misconception that these accounts are for younger people. You can be older than 26 years old to open an account, but you must have been disabled before your 26th birthday.”
Individuals who do not receive Social Security benefits, but still meet the age of onset disability requirement, could still be eligible to open a MiABLE account if they meet Social Security’s definition and criteria regarding significant functional limitations and receive a letter of certification from a licensed physician.
Unlike traditional savings accounts, MiABLE savings are not considered when applying for other federal or state benefits, like Social Security Disability Income, Medicaid and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. MiABLE accounts also allow for savings up to $100,000 without losing other financial disability benefits.
Funds from a MiABLE account are not taxed if used for qualified disability expenses, which include: education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and personal support services, legal fee expenses for oversight and monitoring and end of life expenses.
For more details or to register an account, visit www.miable.org or call (844) 656-7225.
Get Michigan's Wildlife – Bear, Elk, Waterfowl and More – in K-12 Classrooms
With the start of the school year fast approaching for many, don’t forget to include Michigan’s wildlife in your class plans.
The DNR offers a variety of wildlife classroom curricula at the elementary, junior high and high school levels, and each program is developed to fit current state educational standards. Better yet, they're free to educators! Topics include:
- Elk University. One hundred years ago, wild elk were brought to Michigan to re-establish the state’s elk population. High school students are put in the role of wildlife managers while learning about this conservation success story through Elk University. These lessons also include Michigan history, forest management and social considerations for wildlife management.
- A Year in the Life of a Michigan Black Bear. Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students have the chance to learn all about black bears in Michigan – from their life history to how the DNR manages populations – in this curriculum. Students also get to “follow” black bear movements in Michigan by looking at actual location data from collared bears.
- Wondrous Wetlands and Waterfowl. Middle schoolers can get an introduction to wetland habitats with this program. These lessons have activities about wetlands and the ducks, geese and swans that live in Michigan, and give students an opportunity to look at how different land uses affect wildlife habitats, including wetlands.
- Go Wild for Michigan’s Wildlife. This curriculum introduces elementary-age students to a variety of species found throughout Michigan and their supporting habitats. Materials include sets of Critter Cards for each student to keep; however, those sets are limited and are issued on a first-come, first-served basis to Michigan educators who register. All registered educators will receive an electronic copy of the Critter Cards to use.
Events, Programs or Services in the 48th House District
Saturday, Aug. 25 from 8- 10 p.m. For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum, 2142 N Genesee Road in Burton
The moon is almost full so let’s head outside to celebrate the end of summer and our night sky! Join the For-Mar and other Astronomy lovers in a night filled with Astronomy FUN! Programming includes astronomy activities, crafts, campfire, telescopes and more! Free for families, of all abilities; pre-registration not required. For more information, please call (810) 736-7100 or visit the Genesee County Parks website.
One-on-One Drop-in Computer Help @ Montrose-Jennings
Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 4- 6 p.m. Montrose-Jennings Library, 241 Feher Drive in Montrose
Receive one-on-one help with the internet, social media or Microsoft Office programs. No registration required; teens and adults welcome. For more information, please call (810) 639-6388 or visit the Genesee District Library website.
For-Mar’s End of Summer Celebration
Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 6- 8 p.m. For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum, 2142 N. Genesee Road in Burton
We have played hard and learned a lot all summer; it only makes sense to end it with a celebration! Drop in anytime between 6-8pm to relive some of your favorite moments, games and crafts of the summer with the For-Mar truck farmers and For-Mar On The Road Crew! Free for families, all ages and abilities; pre-registration not required. For more information, please call (810) 736-7100 or visit the Genesee County Parks website.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a celebration of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Residents are reminded that my office, along with all state offices, will be closed on Monday, Sept. 3 in observance of Labor Day. Please enjoy a safe holiday with family and friends while celebrating the achievements of our hard-working ancestors.
"If the wind will not serve, take to the oars."
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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