Meet a Mom: Elizabeth Hatline, Raising Readers to Become Leaders | Greater Lansing Area Moms

It is Monday and that means we have another incredible area mom we are honored to introduce!  This week Elizabeth Hatline is GLAMom’s Meet a Mom!  Many may know Elizabeth and for those who do not, Elizabeth is a mom, teacher, influencer and well, busy.  

Elizabeth and her husband, Kevin have 4 children (10, 3, 6 months and 6 months – yes twins!).  She is a 1st grade teacher at DeWitt Public Schools.  AND in May of 2020 she started a Facebook Group and an Instagram account called Raising Readers to Become Leaders.

Learn more about Elizabeth, her sweet family – and fun holiday traditions, and how her Facebook Group and Instagram account she created for all parents, caregivers and educators has made a place for open dialogue and discussion about children’s books that include any form of diversity and inclusion. 

Welcome to Greater Lansing Area Moms, Elizabeth! 🙂

Hi Elizabeth! Please introduce yourself-
Hi! I am a wife, a mom to 4, a first grade teacher and a Spartan! I have my Bachelors Degree from EMU In Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. I also have a Masters Degree from MSU in Literacy and Language Instruction. I love traveling, football, plants, and reading/growing my extensive classroom and home library. 

Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born in Oklahoma but was raised in the Detroit area. After graduating college, I moved to the wonderful community of DeWitt Township. My family and I are actually building a new home which will be done this spring. I also happen to teach where I live (DeWitt Public Schools). I love how famous I am at the local Meijer!

You’re a mom! Please tell us about your children and their ages. What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
I have four amazing kiddos. 

Madeleine is 10 years old and in fourth grade. She is active in cheerleading, is learning sign language and she absolutely loves to read. 

Lincoln is almost 3 years old. He is obsessed with all things trucks and loves to play outside. 

Theodore and Eleanore are twins and are 6 months old. They love to try new foods, to laugh, and to give lots of kisses. 

My favorite thing about being a mom is the endless amount of love, laughter and fun. My children remind me to appreciate the little things, to slow down, and to remember that the days are long but the years are short. 

What is your favorite family Holiday activity to do in the Greater Lansing area?
Our favorite family holiday activity is attending Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park Zoo

What are a few of your favorite restaurants and shops in Greater Lansing?
My favorite restaurants in the Greater Lansing area are Meat BBQ, Crunchys, Looking Glass Brewing Company, The Cosmos, and Peanut Barrel

My favorite shops in the Greater Lansing area are Howe’s Greenhouse, Horrocks, Old Town General Store and Mother & Earth Baby Boutique. I also enjoy attending the Michigan State University craft fair and the Dewitt Farmers Market

What is the best piece of advice you have received from another mom? What advice do you have for a new mom?
The best piece of advice I have ever received is to ask for help (even if you don’t think you need it). Grandparents, neighbors, colleagues, friends…find your village and let them love you (and your baby). 

My advice for a new mom is to read together every single day and trust your instincts. YOU know your kids and what is best for them. 

Also, don’t judge the moms letting their kids eat snacks in the cart at the grocery store. 

You are a 1st grade teacher! Please tell us about Raising Readers to Become Leaders? How did this group start?
I love books. I always have. That’s one of the reasons I have taught first grade for 13 years. I read books to my students on a daily basis and strive to have all of my students feel (and be) represented in the books I choose. After recent events in the world, I started thinking bigger; how could I change the world outside of my classroom? 

I decided in May of 2020 to start a Facebook Group and an Instagram account called Raising Readers to Become Leaders. I created the group for all parents, caregivers and educators to have open dialogue and discussion about children’s books that include any form of diversity and inclusion. I had big dreams that other people in our global and diverse world would want to be on this journey with me. 

I was and (still am) incredibly surprised that almost 10,000 people thought the same as me; books really can open doors, lead discussions and greatly impact even our youngest readers. The members of the group amaze me on a daily basis. They are constantly sharing their knowledge, spreading their truth and showing kindness towards one another. 

I’ve said from the beginning and I will continue to say: ALL ARE WELCOME on both social media platforms and all types of diversity are accepted, encouraged and appreciated.  This includes but is not limited to: cultural diversity, racial diversity, religious diversity, age diversity, sex/gender diversity, socioeconomic status, family structure, sexual orientation and disability.

Raising Readers to Become Leaders is changing the world…one book at a time. Representation MATTERS. 

Join us, invite like minded people and share away! 

Once again, all are welcome! 

How do parents and teachers become involved in your group?
There are many ways to be involved in the group! The group is so successful because of the incredible, compassionate and helpful members. 

Being an active member consists of giving advice, asking questions, and exploring all that the group has to offer including the following: 

  1. We have a matching INSTAGRAM for you to follow! We showcase hundreds of books (including inside pages) and do monthly giveaways of some of our favorite books!

Highlight bubbles within Instagram

Plus, if you’re looking for a specific topic, theme or idea, we have a highlights section! There are 15+ highlight “bubbles” to help you find exactly the book you’re looking for!

  1. We are affiliated with BOOKSHOP and AMAZON! (Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores). Our Bookshop and Amazon links have the same topics as in our facebook group. You will see over 20 topics in the shops with dozens of books listed under each topic. 

You can use these links to purchase books or simply create wish lists for your family/students.

  1. We have MERCHANDISE! There are sweatshirts & t-shirts available for adults and children in a variety of colors! We even have coffee mugs! Profits go to the different charities listed here: 
  • The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc 
  • The Trevor Project 
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center

  1. Almost every single post has a TOPIC/TAG pinned with it. This means you can search by tag/topic to help you find what you are looking for.
  2. We have a 20+ page DOCUMENT for everyone in this group that lists books by topics and ages. The first tab of the document has important definitions to know, the second tab has independent bookstores, the third tab is book/magazine subscriptions and tabs 4-18 have hundreds of books sorted by ages and topics. EVERY single book has an image so you can click the title of the book and see the front cover of the book. This is a WORKING document as we are adding books regularly.
  3. You can INVITE friends, family and colleagues to our group by clicking “invite” at the top of the group page. You can also SHARE our group in other groups by using the @ symbol and typing Raising Readers to become Leaders (make sure you click our private group and not our page).

What are a few of your favorite Holiday books?
My favorite holiday books are Santa Bruce, The Polar Express, Snowman at Night, Pig the Elf, Vegetables in Holiday Underwear, and The Mitten.  

What are your holiday family traditions?
We have multiple family traditions that we participate in each year. Each day in December, my kiddos get a new book in their holiday book bag. They each end up with 25 new books by Christmas day. We also love holiday movies, ornament shopping in Frankenmuth, matching family pajamas and traveling to the North Pole via the Polar Express. 

Now some FUN ones to get to know you better! 🙂
Can’t live without skincare or makeup products – 
Hydro Boost from Neutrogena and EOS chapsticks 

Favorite food to indulge on –
Chips and salsa

Favorite place to visit in Michigan – 
My husband and I were married at Castle Farms in Charlevoix, MI. We love the Lake Michigan area and travel there every summer with our kids. Our family also has a house at Higgins Lake. 

Favorite date night idea –
My husband and I love trying new foods while traveling. We’ve enjoyed lobster in Boston, sushi in Seattle, crab in Alaska, brisket in Austin, fried plantains in the Caribbean, lamb soup in Iceland, Poi at a luau in Hawaii and so much more! 

We love to explore new cultures, meet new people, learn about other lifestyles and grow together while traveling. 

Movie you could watch over & over –
Harry Potter, Christmas Vacation, and Jurassic Park

Current binge shows –
Million Little Things, Law and Order SVU, and 911. Also, Masked Singer with my kids! 

Last book you read –
Becoming by Michelle Obama

One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
When I was little I did not have dreams of becoming a teacher. I wanted to be an astronaut. 

Also I am obsessed with records. There is no better way to listen to the Beatles. 

What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”? 
Bubble baths, pedicures, face masks and, of course, reading. 

What would you tell your 20 year old self?
– Take bigger risks
– Travel alone 
– Keep a journal
– There’s no such thing as too many pictures
– Read more books
– Oh, and start using eye cream. Like now. 

Last one – Who has been your biggest mentor?
Everyone has a teacher who changed their life. I have several. These several teachers are my “mentors” for the kind of teacher I strive to be. I have always wanted to be the kind of teacher that my students would remember for their entire educational career (and beyond). 

I love teaching kids to read, showing them math strategies and doing science experiments; but I also think showing my students how diverse the world around us is equally as important. We are all unique in so many ways and using books helps teach that without even leaving the classroom. 

I want my students to know that their actions and their voices matter. They can change the world by being kind, inclusive, tolerant and empathetic towards others.

And thank you Elizabeth, a discount for GLAMom followers!

YES!  To celebrate the end of 2021 we have a 5-book GIVEAWAY on Instagram right now, take a look HERE – giveaway ends December 19, sign up soon!

AND – We have merchandise available! Use the code READERS2021 to get 10% off anything in the store. Code expires 12.24.21. Shop here ➡️

Thank you so much for sharing so much about yourself and Raising Readers to Become Leaders with GLAMoms! If our followers would like to get in touch with you, what is the best way to reach you?
LinkedIn raisingreaderstobecomeleaders
Instagram raisingreaderstobecomeleaders
Facebook Group  readersandleaders
Website to browse/purchase books or add to your wishlists –
Website to browse/purchase books or add to your wishlists –
Website to browse/purchase merchandise –

Merchandise available for purchase HERE

Photos provided by Elizabeth Hatline







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