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

loving parents

 If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again


 I'd finger paint more, and point the finger less.

I'd do less correcting, and more connecting.

I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.

I would care to know less, and know to care more.

I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.

I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.

I'd run through more fields, and gaze at more stars.

I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.

 I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I'd teach less about the love of power,

And more about the power of love.


~ Diane Loomans

In This Issue
Above the Influence
Parenting Series
Attention Daycare Providers
Welcome Richelle Davis
Save the Date
Scheduled Classes
Children's Advocacy Center


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  

Brenda Shafley-
Office Assistant 
Pam Mahin -
RRC Coordinator
Lisa Cannon- 
GSAC Coordinator
 Richelle Davis -
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
Community Member
 Carolyn Studley
Retired Alma Public Schools

 Jennifer Leppien
CASA Volunteer 


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

Good Company -

Adult Respite Care

Respite care

 is designed to be a place a person will enjoy visiting while their spouse or other caregiver takes a break and tends to other needs.


11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Mon., Wed., Fri.


Contact First Presbyterian Church - Alma at (989) 463-2940


Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List



It's February and Love is in the air!


The Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club Station 370 Central Michigan has offered to organize a fundraiser to raise funds for Child Advocacy.  We are thankful for their efforts and hope you will all join us on Sunday, February 26th (See details on the event below)! 


The American Legion Auxillary out of Breckenridge made an $850.00 donation to Child Advocacy in December! 


Central Michigan Youth for Christ donated 60 "Above the Influence" t-shirts for our Substance Abuse Prevention Program! 


We are truly thankful and appreciate the "love" we feel from other agencies, service organizations, clubs, and community members.


Thank you,

Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our new website www.linkforfamilies.org.

Above the Influence 



We have officially kicked off the ABOVE THE INFLUENCE (ATI) campaign in Gratiot County. On Friday, January 27th, Lisa Cannon along with Susan Smoker and Julie Frick trained 37 high school students on the Above the Influence campaign.


There were student representatives from five out of the six schools within the county. The students along with their sponsors spent the day doing the "Tag It" activity; artwork and influence discussions. All schools left the training with a plan on how to implement the program at their schools.


It is amazing to see the number of talented artistic students we have throughout the county. This campaign allows each individual district to personalize their ATI message and gives us the ability to present a consistent message county wide. As the students prepare to bring the message into your community, please provide them with support and assistance if they ask.


As adults, this message can be carried into our own lives. Think for a minute of the negative influences in your life and how you can "live above" them. For further information on the Above the Influence campaign, please contact Lisa Cannon, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator at (989) 462-0142 or by email at lisa@linkforfamilies.org

ATI St. Louis













Artwork created by Adam Zavala -

Student at St. Louis Public Schools


Parenting Series

Newly Emerging Drug Trends 



The parenting meeting in January that discussed newly emerging drug trends was such a success, a second meeting has been scheduled for February.


Did you know......... Synthetic marijuana is being sold in Gratiot County under the disguise of Potpourri?


Child Advocacy will be hosting a "WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW" parenting series over the next few months. The first topic of the series will be Newly Emerging Drug Trends. Lisa Cannon, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, along with local law enforcement will be discussing the current drug trends and how they are affecting children in our community.


They will also discuss how tobacco advertising has transitioned over the years to almost exclusively targeting children and young adults. This event is open to the public and I would encourage you to tell your friends and co-workers about the event.


Please join us Thursday, February 23, 2012 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at the T.S. Nurnberger Middle School - St. Louis. 

 If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Cannon, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator 989-462-0142.

Attention Daycare Providers 


All providers that login to Great Start Connect and successfully update their profile between January 12th and February 26th, will have their name put into a drawing.  We are putting together two gift baskets of educational books, games, toys, etc. from our pantry.  There will be one winner in each county.  We will conduct the drawing on February 27th and the winners will be announced in the March newsletter.
Currently 55% of the providers in Gratiot and Isabella County have updated their profiles and our goal is 100%! 
Please go to www.greatstartconnect.org and login to your profile to start updating today!  Also you will be able to work on your Self Assessment Survey which is part of the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System, just click on the Great Start to Quality tab at the top of the screen.
If you have any questions about this process, please call our office at (989) 463-1422 or (800) 552-4489.

Welcome Richelle Davis 


Richelle Davis is the new Prevention Educator at Child Advocacy.  She lives in Alma with her husband, Aaron and their three children.  She is a teacher by trade and has a lot of experience working with elementary age children.  She is excited to get into our schools and have the opportunity to teach the Protect Yourself Program to our children.

Save the Dates


Sunday, February 26 - Bowling Fundraiser sponsored by Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club Station 370 Central Michigan

11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at 300 Bowl in Alma

Three games of bowling for $15.00 for Adults

$7.00 for children

All proceeds will benefit Child Advocacy's program

to send Foster Children to Camp and

the Above the Influence Campaign.



Friday, April 20 - Alma High School Alumni Basketball Game



Saturday, May 5 - 5K Run/Walk Event

*new course this year

Scheduled Classes


What You Need to Know Parenting Class  

Topic - Newly Emerging Drug Trends

Thursday, February 23 

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

T.S. Nurnberger Middle School - St. Louis

Class is open to anyone - FREE 


Daycare Provider Trainings

Peer to Peer - Bulling: Superman to the Rescure

Monday, February 13 

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Central Christian Academy - Mt. Pleasant


Tuesday, February 14 

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Middle of the Mitten Learning Center - Alma


Books for Young Children: What is High Quality?

Monday, February 27

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma


Great Start to Quality Orientation - Aids/Relatives

Thursday, February 16 

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Wilcox Non-Profit Building - Alma


Life Skills Class -  for kids 14 - 18 years old

16 unit class

First class is Tuesday, January 31

5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Youth for Christ Center - Alma

a light meal will be served each week

**Not too late to register**


Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group

Tuesday, February 14 and 28  

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Youth for Christ - Alma



Child Care Administration Class -

We offer a Child Care Administration class that offers the participant 30 total hours of training if both part 1 and part 2 are completed.  This correspondence course is completed through email or postal mail.  This training offers the participant 3.0 CEU's and is accepted by child care licensing.  The topics covered are business basics, hiring & retaining staff, recruitment of families, observing & recording, etc.  This course is for current or prospective program directors in licensed facilities.  Group child care providers have taken this course and benefited from it as well.  The cost of this training is $85 per part plus an additional $8 per part for the CEU's that are associated with it. 


We are working on developing more trainings to be offered in the very near future.  Please watch your email for notification of when these will be available.


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

The Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County  


Building Renovations are underway for the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County.  United Way of Gratiot County, along with Child Advocacy, raised $65,000 for the renovations of the free standing storage unit located on the grounds of the Wilcox Non-Profit Center in Alma. 


The Children's Advocacy Center will be a child-friendly, facility based program where victims of child abuse will receive support services along with forensic interviewing.  Forensic interviewing is a one time professional interview conducted at the Center.  The purpose of the interview is to cut down on the number of times a child is interviewed after disclosing that they have been abused; therefore reducing the incidents of re-traumatizing the child. 


We encourage you to visit our web-site for more information regarding the Center or stop by our Facebook page to see pictures of the renovations in progress. 


A special thank you for donations from the Gerstacker Foundation ($15,000), Consumer's Energy ($20,000), DTE Energy Foundation ($20,000), Gratiot County Community Foundation ($5,000), and community members ($5,000).  We are still looking for donations to be used to purchase furnishings, computers, children's items, and more.  If you are interested in making a donation, please contact us at (989) 463-1422.  All donors will be recognized on our "Giving Wall" located in the Center.

Thank you for taking to time to read our February newsletter.  Our staff is working hard to provide quality programs and events in our community.  If you have suggestions for programs, events, and/or fundraisers please don't hesitate to contact our office.
I would like to say thank you to the Lions Club, Wal-mart of Alma, Mid Michigan Medical Center-Gratiot, Creative Clowns, David Martin (Magician), Tale Waggers, Youth for Christ, and all of the vendors, and volunteers who made our 2nd annual Family Expo a huge success.  Over 500 people attended this fantastic day of family fun!  Thank you for your continued support of Child Advocacy. 

Audra Stahl
Executive Director