News & Notes - 11/23/23 Grosse Pointe Times

Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 20, 2023

Author meets with students
New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander visited the Detroit public charter school the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Nov. 15 to discuss the importance of reading, writing and creativity as part of a program organized by the nonprofit Literacy for Kids. Alexander has written 39 books of poetry and fiction for kids, including “The Crossover,” which has been turned into a Disney+ series and won the 2015 Newberry Medal and Coretta Scott King award.

“Our goal is to encourage these students to become lifelong readers,” said Heather Mertz of Grosse Pointe Farms, executive director of Literacy for Kids. “Reading is a way of escaping into our imagination and exploring other worlds. It is the ultimate form of empathy. Good stories ask us to step inside someone else’s experience, to try to see what they see. Through this program, we are not only gifting books to kids but giving them the opportunity to meet the author so they can be inspired by the art of creative expression and stretch their own talents and passions.”

Literacy for Kids was founded in 2019. For more information, visit


Meet Santa and Christmas Carol
Santa Claus and his special helper, Christmas Carol, will be meeting with local youngsters during Grosse Pointe Shores’ annual Lighting of the Village at 6 p.m. Nov. 26 at Grosse Pointe Shores City Hall, 795 Lake Shore Road. There will be holiday carols, hot chocolate and cookies courtesy of the Grosse Pointe Shores Improvement Foundation, and opportunities for children to share their wish list with Santa. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to bring cameras or smartphones to take photos of these memorable interactions.


Village celebrates the season
Santa Claus will be available to meet with local youngsters on Saturdays in The Village in Grosse Pointe City from Thanksgiving to Christmas, from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9 and 16. This year, Santa will set up shop inside Kercheval Place at 17000 Kercheval Ave. Visitors should enter through the door between Pet Supplies Plus and the Old Pony Martini Pub.

In honor of Small Business Saturday Nov. 25, The Village is asking patrons to take a selfie with their purchases or at a Village business and share it on Facebook or Instagram for a chance to win prizes from local businesses. For more information, visit or The Village Grosse Pointe Facebook page.


Make Christmas wishes come true for kids
Posterity Art & Framing Gallery, 17005 Kercheval Ave. in The Village, is again featuring a giving tree to collect gifts for foster children through Spaulding for Children, a Michigan-based nonprofit whose goal is to make sure foster children find safe and loving homes.

Tags with the name and age of a child and the item the child hopes to receive can be found on the tree. Anyone interested in participating can visit the gallery and select a tag. Gifts must be delivered to Posterity by Dec. 16. Last year, the gallery collected more than 60 gifts for Spaulding children. For more information, visit or call (313) 884-8105.


Student choirs to perform
Grosse Pointe South High School’s award-winning choirs will perform holiday favorites during their annual Sounds of the Season concerts at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Christian A. Fenton Performing Arts Center at Grosse Pointe North High School, 707 Vernier Road in Grosse Pointe Woods. Tickets cost $15 for general admission, $5 for students and they are free for those under age 5. Middle school students are eligible for a free seat in the balcony. Tickets can be purchased at the door or on the choir’s website,

In addition, South choir members will be caroling in the community Dec. 15 and 16. Anyone interested in scheduling a caroling ensemble for a special event can email


Transportation available for holiday shopping
Pointe Area Assisted Transportation Services, or PAATS, has again added Tuesdays — in November and December — to its Gratiot Loop schedule, to better accommodate those shopping for the holidays. The Gratiot Loop, which is free, typically only takes place on Fridays. Open to residents of the Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods who are age 60 and older or who are a disabled adult, PAATS provides curb-to-curb service with assistance for those who have mobility or other challenges.

The Gratiot Loop includes stops at Walmart at 12 Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue, Meijer at 13 Mile Road and Little Mack Avenue, Kroger at 13 Mile Road and Little Mack Avenue, Macomb Mall at Masonic Boulevard and Gratiot Avenue, and Target on Gratiot Avenue north of 14 Mile Road. Riders are picked up from their homes between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., dropped off at the store of their choice and picked up at around 1 p.m., when they are returned to their homes.

Reservations are needed for PAATS rides and must be made at least 48 hours in advance. For reservations or more information, contact PAATS weekdays between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at (313) 394-9712. PAATS also provides low-cost, door-to-door transportation to medical and other appointments. There will be no PAATS services available Nov. 23 and 24, Dec. 25 and 26, or Dec. 29 and Jan. 1, because of the holidays.


Ford House gets festive
The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, 1100 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Shores, will offer the new program, Home for the Holidays, on Fridays through Sundays from Nov. 24 to Dec. 30. Guests will see the lighted and decorated home, take a self-guided tour and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate as part of this experience. There are a number of other special holiday programs for children and adults, but reservations should be made as soon as possible, as many of these events sell out quickly. For more information, call (313) 884-4222 or visit


Lecture scheduled
The Helm at the Boll Life Center, 158 Ridge Road in Grosse Pointe Farms, will present the talk, “Wrongful Convictions and the Michigan Innocence Clinic,” from 1 to 2 p.m. Dec. 7. Elizabeth Cole, a clinical fellow with the Michigan Innocence Clinic, will discuss the types of non-DNA evidence that has been used to overturn wrongful convictions, including false confessions and eyewitness identifications.

The first exclusively non-DNA innocence clinic in the nation, the Michigan Innocence Clinic has won the release of 41 people who had been incarcerated for anywhere from a few months to 46 years. This program is free but registration is required and can be made by visiting or calling (313) 882-9600.