525 N. State Street  Suite 4 Alma, MI 48801 
(989) 463-1422




"In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony."


- Eva Burrows

In This Issue
GCSAC Update
Childhood Obesity
Scheduled Classes

CA 2

About Us 


 Child Advocacy is a non-profit agency with a mission to improve the welfare of children and their families through education, training, and support for the prevention of substance abuse and child abuse and neglect.

 Our Staff
Audra Stahl -
Executive Director

Ronda Sorensen -
 Parent Educator

Pam Mahin -
Training Coordinator and Office Manager

Brenda Shafley-
Office Assistant 

Glenn Thelen -
GCSAC Coordinator
Patti Bunting-
Prevention Educator

Board of Directors 

President -
Kent Schulze
Dept. of Human Services

Vice President -
Wes Wickes 
Youth for Christ

Treasurer -
Madonna Adkins
EightCAP inc.

Secretary -
 Kim Vetter
MI State Police
Ithaca Post

Lori Apple
Comm. Mental Health - Isabella Co.

Kristin Bakker
Prosecuting Attorney's Office
 Wendy Currie
Mid Michigan Dist. Health Dept.
Toni Davis
Women's Aid Service
Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions

 Mike Hetzman
 Comm. Mental Health - Gratiot Co.
 Mary Hunt
Retired-EightCAP inc.

David Justin
 Alma School Board

Dan Buschle
Commercial Bank
 Jennifer Leppien
CASA Volunteer

F/LT Chris Stolicker
MI State Police 
 Mt. Pleasant Post
 Carolyn Studley
Alma Middle School
Car Seat Safety


Did you know that at Child Advocacy we can install and provide a safety inspection for your child safety seat?  Child Advocacy has a nationally certified safety seat technician available!
To make an appointment call
 or 800-552-4489

Planned Events


April 8 - Charilty Basketball Game


April 12 - Child Advocate of the Year Ceremony


April 29 - Pinwheel Garden Ceremony


May 7 - 5k Run/Walk, 1 Mile Fun Run, & Toddler Trot


Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List



Happy February - less than two months until spring! 


Lace up your shoes and start training for the 5K run/walk scheduled for May 7. 

Registration forms are available by contacting our office.  How about starting a friendly competition? Challenge another office, agency and/or department.



Make sure you check out our education classes scheduled for this winter/spring.  







Gratiot County
Substance Abuse Coalition

The collaborative work between Alma College and GCSAC continues to grow.  The CORE survey tool taken by Alma students and faculty last year has yielded useful information, and capacity building and planning efforts have begun.  Alma College has been awarded grant funding through Prevention Network for the implementation of environmental strategies.  Included in this proposal are TIPS trainings for alcohol vendors in the community and follow up checks on compliance through GCSAC. 


GCSAC will be holding orientation training on Wednesday, February 16 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Gratiot-Isabella RESD in Ithaca.  This training is intended for any individual in the community who is interested in learning more about the field of substance abuse prevention and GCSAC role. 


The Parents Who Host, Lose the Most campaign is now entering the second phase of implementation.  Efforts will be dedicated to gathering drug free pledges from students, and commitments from parents to provide alcohol free alternatives for their kids.  Our coalition will also continue to raise awareness in the community regarding the risks of underage drinking to youth.

3 Healthy Family Habits to Prevent Childhood Obesity  

By Lisa Collier Cool


The statistics are alarming: Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years, the Centers for Disease Control reports.  Currently, 12.5 million American kids ages 2 to 19 are obese, 17 percent of the population.  Another 16.5 percent are at risk for becoming overweight.  The good news is that three surprisingly simple family habits can help kids maintain a healthy weight.  Practicing even one can trim risk for obesity by 25 percent, a recent study found, while adopting all three shrinks risk by 40 percent.


1. Dine Together - When families eat together, meals are typically healthier than when the child just grabs food on the run without adult supervision.


2.  Turn Off the Tube - Having meals in front of the TV encourages mindless overeating.  When the TV is off, there's discussion about what the family is eating, which teaches kids about good nutrition.


3.  Make Sure Kids Get Enough Sleep - Skimping on sleep is linked to obesity in both kids and adults worldwide.  A tired child is less physically active, so burns fewer calories.  In the healthy habits study, four year-olds who snoozed at least 10.5 hours a night had lower rates of obesity.  Doctors recommend 10 hours a night for older kids, and at least eight for teens.


Scheduled Classes



Life Skills - designed to prepare teenagers to live independently.  Classes start February 1 for eight consecutive Tuesdays from 6 - 8 p.m.


Parenting Class titled "Staying Connected with your Teen" - for parents of teenagers.  The focus is on improving communication, reducing risk of problem behaviors and to build a strong family bond.  Class starts February 7 from 6 - 8 p.m. for six classes held on Mondays and Wednesdays.


Nurturing Parenting Program - designed for parents and their school aged child (5-11 years old).  Class starts April 7 for 10 consecutive Thursdays from

6-8:30 p.m.


Great Start to Quality Orientation -the next class is scheduled for February 17 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Maple Creek Golf Course - Shepherd.


Childcare Provider Training "Developmentally Appropriate Practice" - designed for licensed daycare providers.  Four hour class held on February 3 from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at CMU Child Development & Learning Lab.


All Classes and Trainings are Free! Please call our office at (989) 463-1422 to register for a class or if you would like further information.


As we say goodbye to January, I am excited to report that our 1st annual Family Expo event was a huge success.  41 Vendors along with a fantastic Magician, a couple of Clowns, and Children's Zumba made for a fun filled day for families and children of all ages.  Information was shared, contacts were made, children laughed and laughed and laughed and around 400 hot dogs were consumed!  What a wonderful day!!  We are looking forward to the 2nd annual Family Expo event next year.


Visit us on Facebook to see photos from the event.


Audra Stahl
Executive Director