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


"The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves."


- Helen Keller
In This Issue
Nominations Sought for Child Advocate of the Year
GCSAC Update
The Power of Positive Discipline
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 - AHS Alumni Charity Basketball Game


April 12 - Child Advocate of the Year Ceremony


April 16 - YFC's Mom to Mom sale at Alma Middle School


April 29 - Pinwheel Garden Ceremony


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


Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List



Top o' the morning to ye! The luck of the Irish is in the air. 


Did you know in Michigan the month of March is celebrated as Parenting Awareness Month? Browse our article on "The Power of Positive Discipline" in honor of Parenting Awareness month.


Make sure you checkout the parenting and childcare provider classes scheduled for March and April.


Planning of the 5K event in May is underway.  Registration forms can be found on our website.



O'Happy Irish Month!


Nominations Sought for
Child Advocate of the Year

Child Advocacy would like to recognize an individual (counselor, childcare provider, coach, mentor, teacher, classroom aide, volunteer, community member, etc.) who is an integral voice or advocate for the children of Gratiot County.


If you have someone you would like to nominate, please contact our office at (989) 463-1422 to receive a nomination form.


The "Child Advocate of the Year" Ceremony:

April 12th at 7:00 p.m.

Youth for Christ Student Center

2550 W. Cheesman Rd., Alma



*A Dessert Buffet will be provided* 



Gratiot County
Substance Abuse Coalition

The past month has been a very busy one for the coalition.  A special thank you to everyone who attended the Family Expo!  Our booth was visited by parents and youth alike.  To date, we have 60 student pledges and 52 parent pledges for the Parents Who Host campaign.  Work will soon begin on hosting a county wide educational event prior to prom and graduation.

Finally, GCSAC will begin work on alcohol vendor education and compliance efforts by offering a Training Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS) class to area businesses.

The Power of Positive disciplineDiscipline

by Bronwyn Charlton, PhD


Is saying "no" a thing of the past?  Research shows that focusing on what you want your child to do -- rather than what you want your child to stop doing -- can lead to improved child behavior.

Positive discipline recognized that most of the behaviors we do in everyday life are learned through others' modeling and response to them.  Children relish attention, regardless of verbal message.  As a result, bad child behavior is often unintentionally reinforced, because of all the attention it derives.  If you say "no" to something, but eventually give in to the whining, you'll teach your child that whining is an effective way to get what he/she wants.


The key, therefore, to positive discipline is to focus on the behaviors you want children to develop rather than the ones you don't.  For example, instead of saying "no hitting," say "play gently." Rather than constantly demanding "stop throwing your food on the floor," say "please keep your food on the table."


When you tell your child what to do, you are being clear about exactly what you expect and your child will be more likely to change his/her behavior accordingly.  On the other hand, when you tell your child what not to do, as you have probably noticed, you often end up with even more unwanted behavior.  You say "stop yelling at your sister," only to turn around and see the child hitting or pulling hair instead.  A child who is told to "play nicely with your sister and use an inside voice," is more likely to do so.



- Praise behavior you like!  Be specific, descriptive, enthusiastic and affectionate.  Catch your child being good!

- Ignore minor misbehavior.  Ignoring minor misbehavior (that isn't dangerous) can effectively extinguish that behavior.

- Redirect and distract when your child begins to misbehave.

- Be clear about directions.  Give commands that are statements, not questions (and use the word please!).

- Stay calm and cool so you don't unintentionally reinforce behaviors by becoming overly emotional in response to them.

- Model good behavior.  Children learn by copying, so always ask yourself what you are teaching your child by your own behavior.



- Spank or hit.  This escalates bad behavior, models aggression, and instills fear in your child.

- Attend to negative behavior by reprimanding and lecturing, it doesn't work.

- Repeat a command multiple times.  It loses its power and teaches your child that he doesn't have to listen the first time.


The trick is to catch good child behavior and to let him or her know how much you like it!  Positive discipline makes a child feel safe and happy because it teaches what to expect and what is expected.  Positive discipline builds a relationship based on respect and love.

Scheduled Classes


Aides/Relative Orientation-

There is a Great Start to Quality Orientation scheduled for March 16 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. in Alma.


Childcare Provider Training

-Peer to Peer Learning Group (Isabella County) is scheduled for March 1 from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at CMU.


- Positive Guidance & Discipline is scheduled for

March 2 from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. at CMU.


- Positive Guidance & Discipline is scheduled for

March 3 from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. in Alma.


- Peer to Peer Learning Group (Gratiot County) is scheduled for March 8 from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in

St. Louis.


- Potty Talk & Other Unmentionables is scheduled for March 10 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Mt. Pleasant.


- Laughter: Children's Best Medicine is scheduled for April 7 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Mt. Pleasant.


- Interactions & Guidance, Observation Documentation & Assessment is scheduled for April 28 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. at CMU.  There is a $25.00 fee.


Parenting Classes

Nurturing Parenting Program - designed for parents and their school aged child (5-11 years old).  Class starts April 7 for 10 consecutive Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


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.

Thank you for taking the time to read our March newsletter.  Brenda Shafley has taken over the job of creating our monthly newsletter, and she is doing a fantastic job.  Thank you, Brenda!
The staff at Child Advocacy is busy planning for our many upcoming events.  You won't want to miss any of the fun.  The AHS alumni basketball game promises to be great fun with lots of laughs.  Alumni Basketball Players and Pom Pon Girls from the past 40+ years, children's games, prizes, and fun for the whole family.  The 4th annual 5K Run/Walk planning is well underway.  There is plenty of time to train for the event!  Our most profound event of the Spring will be the 3rd annual Pinwheel Garden Ceremony.  Join us as we plant pinwheels in recognition of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention month and the children and families we serve.  Stay tuned for more information and details on all of our events in the April newsletter. 
We hope to see all of you this Spring. 
Audra Stahl
Executive Director