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

love children


  "Discipline is a symbol of caring to a child.  Discipline is guidance.   

If there is LOVE,

there is no such thing

as being too tough with a child."


- Bette Davis -  

In This Issue
Children's Advocacy Center
Parenting and Stress Management
Summer Office Hours
Scheduled Classes


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
 Kris Olejniczak -
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 
 Carolyn Studley
Alma Middle School

car seat

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

Community Cafe

The Cafe provides a safe place for food, fellowship, inspiration, and encour-agement for people experiencing hard times.


What: free weekly meal


When: Thursday at 5:30 p.m.


Where: First Presbyterian Church - Alma


Who: Everyone is welcome.  Kid's Kafe at 4:15 p.m. has special activities for children (usually every other week)


For more information, please call the church office at (989) 463-2940.

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Exciting things are happening here at Child Advocacy! Our office staff is diligently working on a new Children's Advocacy Center for Gratiot County.  Please check out the article in this newsletter. 


The new parenting class we are offering is a hit!  The topics for this month are listed in the scheduled classes section.  We hope you will join us for a class, or two, or even three!



Staff at Child Advocacy

The Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County is becoming a reality!


After receiving a grant from the National Children's Alliance in February, Child Advocacy staff along with a multi-disciplinary team of law enforcement, mental health providers, court staff, Department of Human Service staff, and other local agency representatives have been working tirelessly to make the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County a reality. 


 Children's Advocacy Centers are child-focused, facility-based programs designed to create a sense of safety and security for children who are victims of abuse.  Children's Advocacy Centers (CAC) emphasize the coordination of investigation and intervention services by bringing together professionals and agencies as a multidisciplinary team to create a child-focused approach to child abuse cases. 


We are excited to announce the location of the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County!! 

Drum roll please.....................................................................

The new Children's Advocacy Center will be located on the grounds at the Wilcox Non-Profit Center (home to Child Advocacy).  The United Way of Gratiot County has offered the use and renovation of the garage located on the South side of the parking lot at the Non-Profit Center.  The United Way will assist Child Advocacy in writing grants and fundraising for building renovations. 

Child Advocacy and the Multi-disciplanary team for the CAC is grateful to have the United Way of Gratiot County as a partner on this project.  A great big thank you to the United Way staff and Board of Directors!


If you are interested in making a donation to this project please contact our office at 989-463-1422 or send donations to 525 N. State St. Suite 4.  Checks can be made payable to Child Advocacy or Gratiot United Way.  Please put CAC in the memo, so money will be earmarked for this project. 


Parenting and Stress Management 
Parenting should come with a stress management manual:  While enormously rewarding, it is also enormously stressful.  From the time your child is born, you are bound to face parenting situations that leave you feeling angry, frustrated, worried, or otherwise over-stressed.
But with the proper stress management techniques and plenty of practice, parents can learn how to better keep their cool when family situations heat up and leave you facing child discipline issues.
Parenting and Child Discipline: Consider the Age
"What is very critical is the age of the child," says Norma Feshbach, PhD, professor emerita at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Feshbach recommends that when dealing with babies, toddlers, and young children, take a step back and remind yourself that your child is probably not behaving this way to spite you.
When dealing with teens, your focus should be on being a good listener and communicating as calmly as possible, without lecturing or giving orders to your kids.  Teens tend to respond better when you speak to them in a respectful manner and focus on what they are doing right instead of what they are doing wrong.
Parenting and Child Discipline:  Put a Support System in Place
Having a trusted network of friends and family members to talk with can make all the difference at high-stress moments.  When you feel like you are reaching your limits, "try to call somebody and seek support," says Feshbach.  This allows you to take a step back from the interaction and regain your composure.
Parenting and Child Discipline:  Focus on the Positive
Staying positive during stressful life moments will benefit you and your family members.  Instead of letting yourself get angry and frustrated when faced with a difficult situation, try taking a more positive approach.
Parenting and Child Discipline:  Create a Calmer Environment
To bring more peace into your home, Feschback recommends:
- regularly spending time with friends and community members
- creating routines and structure within your household
- asking family members to help with housework
- scheduling time each week for your family to get together to discuss any issues or problems
- Focusing on appreciating one another and what you each do for the family.
Keeping your cool in stressful family situations and creating a close and loving family environment can give your children a sense of security that will help them to be more well-adjusted and successful when they venture out into the world.
And that is quite a stress reliever.

Summer Office Hours 

 effective June 17


Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Closed Friday

Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition



Summer coalition efforts


Implementation Planning - Work continues on the development of our 2010-11 Implementation Plan.  Priorities in this years' plan will include capacity building strategies to increase coalition awareness and increase coalition membership.  This will include the continuation of GCSAC educational training efforts and the year two of Parents Who Host Lose the Most.  Current plans also include further development of the Identification and Referral system.


Vendor education and compliance - GCSAC will be completing vendor education and compliance efforts with the assistance of our community police departments.  As part of our grant collaboration with Alma College, I will become trained as a TIPS trainer to help support "training sustainability" and compliance improvement.


Root beer float tent to return! - In an effort to raise awareness of GCSAC and its' prevention efforts in the county, our root beer float tent will be making its return.  This tent promotes fun alternatives to drinking to our youth.

Scheduled Classes


Parenting Classes 

New! Parenting Classes for parents of children from

0 - 6 years old.  Classes are offered the first and third Wednesdays of the month.  Each class covers a different parenting topic.  Classes are from 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the Wilcox Non-Profit Building located at 525 N. State Street, Alma. 


Topics to be covered for the month of July are as follows:

   July 6 - No class this week

   July 20 - Continuation of 123 Magic


Childcare Provider Training - 


It's Like Music to My Ears! class to be held on July 6 at the Middle of the Mitten Learning Center in St. Louis.  The class is from 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.


Parent Involvement:  Beyond Bulletin Boards class to be held on July 11 at the Veteran's Memorial Library in Mt. Pleasant.  The class to be held from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Pre-school Literacy: Building a Foundation for Success class to be held on July 18 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at the Veteran's Memorial Library in Mt. Pleasant.



Great Start to Quality Orientation will be held on July 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Gratiot-Isabella RESD in Ithaca.  Please bring a photo I.D. and a sack lunch.


Great Start to Quality Orientation will be held on July 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Maple Creek Golf Course in Shepherd.  Please bring a photo I.D. and a sack lunch.


All classes are FREE.  Please call our office at (989) 463-1422 to register or to get more information.

Thank you for taking the time to read our July Newsletter!  The staff at Child Advocacy wishes you a happy Independence Day and a safe and happy summer!! 
Audra Stahl
Executive Director