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

smiling family



"Children learn to smile from their parents"


-Shinichi Suzuki -

In This Issue
Gambling with "Meth"
Synthetic Drugs
Self-Update Drawing Winners
Prescription Take Back Day
Scheduled Classes
Trauma Training Program
Child Advocacy 5K Event
Kindergarten Round Up Schedule
Parents and Child Care Providers


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



Get Connected.

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Included in this month's issue are "must-read" articles about Meth and Synthetic drugs.  We hope you will take the time to read these articles and educate yourself on the dangers.  Synthetic Marijuana is being sold right here in Gratiot and Isabella Counties and is easily accessible to our children.


March is Parenting Awareness month - parenting is for a lifetime!  Please check out our scheduled class section.  We are always offering new classes.


It's time to lace up those tennis shoes and start training for our 5K fundraising event - May 5.  We have events for the whole family.



Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our new website www.linkforfamilies.org.



There have been numerous stories in the news about law enforcement officers busting METH labs throughout our state and even within our own County. I would like to begin a series on The Dangers of Methamphetamine.


Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, often homemade drug that speeds up the nervous system. It is made in different forms. "Ice" refers to its chunk form. It may also be called crystal, crank, speed, or glass. It could also be in a powder that may be snorted, or heated to make a liquid that can be injected. The "cooks" of methamphetamine may use a variety of unpredictable chemicals from chloroform, to gasoline additives that are combined with other stimulant drugs.




  • Increase energy, euphoria
  • Decrease appetite
  • Increase heart rate, heart attack
  • Extremely high temperature
  • Dizziness, seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight loss


A Progression of Signs & Symptoms  

  • At first, addicts are pleasant and energetic
  • Household is first clean and orderly
  • Paranoia may appear within a month
  • Drug use begins to consume the addict's life
  • Household furniture disappears to support habit 
  • The addict becomes lethargic and hygiene suffers
  • May lose their job
  • The house becomes a state of disarray
  • They may become obsessed with pornographic material
  • The addict shadows visitors to prevent drug detection
  • May carry weapons because of growing paranoia

Long Term Effects 

  • Powerful addiction
  • Increase tolerance of meth
  • Loss of Neurotransmitter production
  • Significant weight loss
  • Stroke
  • Impotence
  • Tremors, uncontrolled movement
  • Paranoia, hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Psychosis 


Click here to view Faces of Meth users


Synthetic Drugs


Do you know what "Bath Salts" are?  Do you know the effects of K2/Spice?  Do you know how these drugs are obtained?  If you answered no to any of these questions, you need to read the following article. 


Synthetic Drugs Parent 360 Article



to the daycare provider winners of the Great Start Connect Self-Update Drawing.


Gratiot County - Tyrell Handy

Isabella County - Catherine Marchiando


Each winner will receive a gift basket of children's educational materials.


Thank you to everyone who updated their daycare profile on Great Start Connect!

bottle  Prescription Take Back Day


Saturday, April 28, 2012

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


3 Locations to choose from!


Gratiot County Sheriff's Department

226 E. Center St., Ithaca


St. Louis Police Department

108 W. Saginaw


Alma Police Department

525 E. Superior



Do bring medications in their original packaging from the pharmacy.  You may bring in any medication in pill or capsule form from a licensed pharmacist, including controlled substances.



Do not bring in illicit drugs (ex. marijuana, cocaine, etc.) to the TAKE BACK site.  If this happens, law enforcement will investigate each incident.


Further questions may be directed to Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition (989) 462-0142.

Scheduled Classes


Daycare Provider Trainings

Saturday, March 10 Gratiot-Isabella Great Start Early Childhood Workshop

8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. - 3 credits

Donation of diapers and baby wipes requested

Central Christian Academy - Mt. Pleasant 


Monday, March 12 Online Class - What Boys Need!

4 hours - Cost is $25.  Must register at greatstartconnect.org.


Monday, March 19 CPR Training

5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at CMU - EHS Building, 195 E. Ojibway.  Cost is $20.  Must register at greatstartconnect.org


Monday, March 19 First Aid Training

6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at CMU - EHS Building, 195 E. Ojibway.  Cost is $25.  Must register at greatstartconnect.org


Great Start to Quality Orientation - Aids/Relatives 

Monday, March 26

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

Winding Brook Conference Center - Shepherd 


Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group

Tuesday, March 13 and 27 

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

Special topic this month - Trauma Training for parents caring for children who have experienced trauma in their life - divorce, loss of parent, abuse, etc.

Youth for Christ - Alma


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

Trauma Training Program
A training program will begin on Tuesday, February 28 that will focus on children who have been victims of trauma.  The training is in conjunction with the Foster/Adoptive/Relative Parent Support Group that meets twice a month on the second and fourth Tuesdays. 
All parents who are caring for children that have been victims of trauma (divorce, loss of biological parent, abuse, etc.) are welcome to attend.  Please plan to attend as many sessions as you can.
Trauma Training Program
Tuesday, February 28, and March 13 & 27
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Youth for Christ - Alma
2550 W. Cheesman Road
can 5k
Child Advocacy 5K Event
New Location - New Route for 2012
Saturday, May 5
Gratiot County Fairgrounds - Alma
5K Run/Walk - One mile Fun Run - Toddler Trot
Registration is from 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
One mile fun run and Toddler Trot start at 9:30 a.m.
5K Run/Walk begins at 10:00 a.m.

2012 Kindergarten Round Up

for Gratiot and Isabella Counties


Click on the link below for information

 in your area.


Kindergarten Round Up Dates 

Parents and Child Care Providers....


Do you have concerns about the social-emotional health of your child or a child in your care?


EightCap can help you with an assessment called the DECA. The DECA identifies and strengthens young children's protective factors and thereby increases resilience. The mission of this is to promote young children's social and emotional development, foster resilience, and build the skills for success in school and life.


To learn more, contact Melissa Maedar, GSC Coordinator, at 989-772-0110 ext. 107.

Once again we thank you for reading our newsletter!  Spring is in the air and here at Child Advocacy we are gearing up for many spring activities.  Stay tuned next month for details about all of our Spring Events!
Audra Stahl
Executive Director