Dear Neighbor, 

Happy March is Reading Month! As the father of two young boys, I know how important it is to get students excited about reading at a young age. From boosting imagination and creativity to improving language development, comprehension skills and more — reading opens the doors to lifelong learning and exploration.  

For me, the month of March is always a highlight of the year, as I get to visit classrooms across our community to read to kids and answer questions about our state legislature. This year, we began by visiting George Defer Elementary in Grosse Pointe Park where I read Dr. Seuss’ Every Voice Counts. Thank you to Mrs. McVicar and Ms. O’Meara for welcoming me to your classrooms! 

In this special edition newsletter, I want to take the opportunity to break down some of the historic investments we’ve made to boost education outcomes and the work we’re continuing to do on behalf of students, parents and teachers. Also, included below are some resources to help you foster a love of reading in your children. 

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can improve our education system and create classrooms where students feel empowered to learn. Please feel free to reach out to my office to share your perspective on this or any issue — we are here to serve you. You can reach my office by calling (517) 373-7315 or emailing

Thank you again for taking the time to read this newsletter. I appreciate you staying connected with our work, and I hope to hear from you soon. 


Kevin Hertel
State Senator
District 12


Included in This Newsletter 

  • Investments in Education
  • Education Listening Tour Recap
  • Resources to Promote a Lifelong Love of Reading
  • Upcoming Events
  • Contact Us

Investments in Education
Access to education can unlock unlimited opportunities for Michigan students, positioning our state for long term success. While our schools had seen years of disinvestment under previous leadership — we began to turn the tides with our 2024 state budget which included significant resources to support students throughout their academic careers.  

Some of the statewide investments in the 2023-2024 education budget include:  

  • Universal school meals to ensure no kid goes hungry and can better focus while in the classroom. 
  • Improved funding and support for students with disabilities. 
  • The largest per-pupil funding increase in state history to ensure students have the resources they need to learn, grow and flourish.  
  • Student teacher stipends for those preparing to enter K-12 classrooms, encouraging individuals to enter the profession and help combat our teacher shortage. 
  • Historic investments in community colleges and public universities. 
  • Student financial aid and support resources, including expanded access to a tuition-free associate degree through the Michigan Reconnect program. 

We were also able to secure funding for the Lake Shore Early Childhood and Community Center and Harper Woods’ Career and Technical Education program.  

The investment made in the Childhood and Community Center will allow the district to add additional education spaces and improve overall accessibility, so more kids can access a quality Pre-K education. Recently, Superintendent Joe DiPonio was kind enough to give Senator Darrin Camilleri and me a tour of the center and provide more insight into how this will positively impact families here in our community.

Additionally, the funding secured for Harper Woods Public Schools will allow the district to expand their Career and Technical Education program and continue providing students with opportunities to develop and apply their academic and industry-based skills in real-world experiences. 


Education Listening Tour Recap 

To ensure we can expand on the work we began last year, Senator Darrin Camilleri — Chair of the Senate PreK-12 Education Budget — and I spent a day meeting with school officials from across District 12 and listening to ways we can support them and their students in our 2025 state budget.

From discussions on expanding Pre-K programs and creating more dual-enrollment and trade school options to increasing access to literacy and mental health supports — all of the conversations we’ve had and will continue to have with teachers, students, faculty and parents will directly shape this budget, helping us build better, brighter futures for young Michiganders in our community and across the state.  


Resources to Promote a Lifelong Love of Reading 

Public Libraries in District 12 

Public libraries offer so much to our community — a wide array of books, magazines, music and movies; access to the internet and technology; educational programs for people at all stages of life; job search assistance; after-school homework help; spaces for community fellowship; and more. These are places designed to expand access to knowledge, inspire creativity and connect our community. 

If you’re looking to reignite your love of reading or encourage your kids to pick up a book, a great place to start is at your local library! To find a library near you, visit or check out a complete list of libraries in District 12 below.  


  • Grosse Pointe Public Library, Woods Branch | 20680 Mack Avenue, (313) 343-2072 x 2200, Website
    Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Friday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • Grosse Pointe Public Library, Central Branch | 10 Kercheval Avenue, (313) 343-2074 x 1207, Website
    Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Friday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • Grosse Pointe Public Library, Ewald Branch | 15175 E Jefferson Avenue, (313) 821-8830 x 3200, Website
    Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Friday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • Harper Woods Public Library | 19601 Harper Avenue, (313) 343-2575, Website 
    Monday-Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    Thursday-Friday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • St. Clair Shores Public Library | 22500 East Eleven Mile Road, (586) 771-9020, Website
    Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Friday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • Harrison Township Public Library | 38255 L’Anse Creuse Street, (586) 329-1261, Website
    Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • Mount Clemens Public Library | 150 Cass Avenue, (586) 469-6200, Website
    Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


  • Chesterfield Township Library | 50560 Patricia Street, (586) 598-4900, Website
    Monday-Thursday 9:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Friday 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


  • MacDonald Public Library | 36480 Main Street, (586) 725-0273, Website 
  • Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Friday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


  • Ira Township Library | 7013 Meldrum Road, (586) 725-9081, Website
    Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


  • Algonac-Clay Library | 2011 St. Clair River Drive, (810) 794-4471, Website
    Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Friday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
 Foster Your Child’s Love of Reading 

Our children’s success in school and in life heavily depends on their reading abilities. It’s on all of us to foster their love of books so we can set them up for a lifetime of success, regardless of what they choose to pursue. Here’s how you can help a young reader:  

Make Reading Part of Their Daily Routine | Find time in the daily schedule for children to read. It doesn’t matter whether it’s before bed, before they eat dessert or after a meal. Sticking to a regular schedule will keep reading consistent, and it will naturally make reading a part of their daily habit that they can enjoy, instead of looking at it as a chore. 

Be the Example | Our children learn from us. When they see us reading magazines, newspapers or books, it shows them that reading is important. And, when they see that reading is important to their parents, it encourages them to read as well. 

Listen to Your Child Read | Have your child read aloud to you and listen to them. If they struggle with pronouncing words, or if their reading is choppy and they make mistakes, have them read it again while you help them. This will improve their reading skills and show your children you care about their reading. 

Talk to Your Children | When your child finishes a book, talk to them about it. Ask them what their favorite part was, who their favorite character was, and ask them about what happened in the story. It’s a great way to be involved in their reading, and it will enhance their reading comprehension. 

Reading Should Be a Choice | It’s good for parents to make suggestions, but you should never force your child to read a certain book. There’s no quicker way to make them uninterested and unenthused about reading than by telling them what to read. So, when you go to a library or bookstore with your child, let them explore and pick out books that they like. It will keep them interested and, most importantly, keep them reading. 

Find Reading Programs | Many libraries and schools offer reading programs during the summer that will keep your children in the habit of reading every day. They also have the benefit of having your children be around other children their own age who are usually reading the same book, and that will help them to talk about what they are reading with their peers. 


Downloadable Bookmark 

Whatever you’re reading this month, I’m sure it pairs nicely with a personalized bookmark! Click here to download a PDF coloring page and make your own bookmark. 


Upcoming Events 

It is one of my top goals as your State Senator to have myself and my office be as accessible to you as possible. To share your thoughts on legislation or seek assistance with an issue, please join me at one of our upcoming district events: 

Coffee and Conversation 
WHEN: Friday, March 15 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 
WHERE: District Office, 28800 Harper, Saint Clair Shores, MI 48081 

Small Business Town Hall 

WHEN: Monday, April 15 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Doors open at 10:00 a.m.)
WHERE: Chesterfield Community Center, 48400 Sugarbush Road, Chesterfield Township 48047 

Join us in Chesterfield for a Small Business Town Hall to learn about opportunities for small business owners and budding entrepreneurs in our area. Guest speakers include representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, and the Anchor Bay and Macomb County Chambers of Commerce. 

District Office Hours with Staff
WHEN: Every Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and by appointment
WHERE: District Office, 28800 Harper, Saint Clair Shores, MI 48081 


Contact Us 

If You Need Help: If you have a problem dealing with any department of state government, such as accessing unemployment benefits, my office is available to help resolve it. While we usually cannot assist with local or federal issues, we will always do our best to help direct you to the appropriate person or organization for help. 

You may always feel free to call my office at (517) 373-7315 or email me at  

Keep Up to Date: Our bi-weekly newsletters are full of updates on what Team Hertel has been working on both in Lansing and District 12 to deliver results for Michiganders. To keep up to date with what we’ve been up to — sign up here to receive my bi-weekly newsletter, or access previous editions online here.  

For more frequent updates, I also encourage you to follow our team on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.