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


baby watermelon




"Each day of our lives

 we make deposits

 in the memory banks

 of our children."


- Charles R. Swindoll - 




In This Issue
Bullying-Can it effect my child?
Back-to-School Event
A Bully-Free School
CAC Update
Great Start Update
Scheduled Classes
Summer Hours


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 

Heather Gardner -
 CAC Coordinator

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
Mt. Pleasant 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

Permanent Prescription Drop Off



Alma Police Dept.

525 E. Superior St.

Mon. - Fri. 

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Gratiot Co. Sheriff

226 E. Center


open 24 hrs./day

7 days/week


Both sites accept

prescription pills, liquids, and patches.


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It's back to school time! 


With that in mind, we have included articles about bullying, the Gratiot County Back-to-School event, and an update on the Children's Advocacy Center.



Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our website www.linkforfamilies.org.




Bullying - Can it effect my child?

By Lisa Cannon





According to the 2012 MiPHY survey 87% of students in grades 9th & 11th, surveyed in Gratiot County, have heard another student called mean names or get "put down" one or more times during the past 12 months and 74% have seen someone get pushed, hit or punched one or more times in the past year.


Bullying is intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extorting money and treasured possessions. Some kids bully by shunning others and spreading rumors about them. Others use email, chat rooms, instant messages, social networking websites, and text messages to taunt others or hurt their feelings.


As parents, this should be a concern for our children. Bullying can have lifelong effects on our children. According to researchers, teen girls who are bullied at school are more likely to be at risk of developing heart disease and diabetes when they enter middle age. They are more likely to be obese, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as being at greater risk of developing diabetes by their early 40's.


Here are some tips to help your child at home:

  1. Talk about it.  Talk about bullying with your kids and have other family members share their experiences. If one of your kids opens up about being bullied, praise him or her for being brave enough to discuss it and offer unconditional support. Consult with the school to learn its policies and find out how staff and teachers can address the situation.
  2. Remove the bait.  If it's lunch money or gadgets that the school bully is after, you can help neutralize the situation by encouraging your child to pack a lunch or go to school gadget-free.
  3. Buddy up for safety.  Two or more friends standing at their lockers are less likely to be picked on than a child who is all alone. Remind your child to use the buddy system when on the school bus, in the bathroom, or wherever bullies may lurk.
  4. Keep calm and carry on.  If a bully strikes, a kid's best defense may be to remain calm, ignore hurtful remarks, tell the bully to stop, and simply walk away. Bullies thrive on hurting others. A child who isn't easily ruffled has a better chance of staying off a bully's radar.
  5. Don't try to fight the battle yourself.  Sometimes talking to a bully's parents can be constructive, but it's generally best to do so in a setting where a school official, such as a counselor, can mediate.

For more information you can contact Lisa Cannon, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator at 989-462-0142 or lisa@linkforfamilies.org. These tips and additional resources can be found at www.kidshealth.org




10th Annual Gratiot County

Back-to-School Event 


This event will take place on Wednesday, August 29th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Youth For Christ located at 2550 W. Cheesman Road, Alma, MI. This event is free to the public allowing local families the opportunity to get good used clothes for their children (kindergarten thru 12th grade) as well as new underwear & socks for each child. 


In addition, school supplies will be available, refreshments, free haircuts for the children as well as valuable resource information from the many agencies/organizations that will be in attendance. 


Set-up for the event will take place on Tuesday, August 28th starting at 9:00 a.m.  Volunteers are needed to assist in the set-up. Also, clothing donations as well as donations for socks/underwear and school supplies are needed.  Please contact Dan Carley @ (989) 875-8228 for details. 

Click here for the event flier.

10 Questions Parents Can Ask to Ensure

a Bully-Free School


1.  Can parents view a copy of the district's Anti-Bullying Policy?

Note:  A critical section in an anti-bullying policy would cover the procedure for reporting bullying and how the report is investigated by the school.


2.  Has the school completed a staff and student survey to assess the level of bullying and other aggressive behavior?


3.  Does the school have a team identified to review the survey results and to look at evidence-based solutions that will be sustained long-term?


4.  Who is on the team, and does it include a broad representation of parents?


5.  Has all staff received training on bullying prevention?  This includes every adult who interacts with the children (custodians, bus drivers, secretaries, food service, etc.)


6.  Is the training focused on giving adults the skills necessary to intervene effectively with aggression and create a positive environment?


7.  Has a behavioral chart (often called a rubric) been developed that lists the consequences earnedfor choosing aggressive or bullying behavior?


8.  What formal instruction are the children receiving on how to behave? In other words, where, and how, is social-emotional skill development being taught?  Note:  This would generally occur through a comprehensive health education class using curricula such as the Michigan Model for Health® K-12.


9.  Does the school use a positive behavior approach to intervening with mean/hurtful behavior (e.g., helping the aggressor reflect on how he/she has caused harm) versus a punitive approach (e.g., suspending)?


10. Does the school offer workshops or resources to help a parent support their child whether they are the target of bullying, the aggressor or the bystander?


Source:  Barb Flis, Founder of Parent Action for Healthy Kids, and Kathy Gibson, Safe & Healthy Schools Consultant, Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency



Children's Advocacy CenterCAC Logo Update

by Heather Gardner



We are hard at work and have almost completed the building renovations on the new Children's Advocacy Center.  We are also in the process of purchasing new audio and video equipment that will be used for our forensic interviews in the center.  We will also begin working on furnishing the center to make it child friendly and welcoming to the families we serve.   Murals have been painted in the center, keeping with a child friendly theme.  We are very excited to present this center to the community and look forward to its near completion.


 Remember that we are still accepting donations for our "Giving Tree Wall" that will be proudly displayed in the new center.  Please contact us if you would like to be part of this wonderful opportunity.  

Great Start 
Great Start Update
by Pam Mahin
We have new materials available to you in our Lending Library!  Four new theme based totes and one new story stretcher have been added to the Lending Library. The totes are Gross Motor & Sports, Diversity, Five Senses, and Colors & Numbers.  The new story stretcher is "The Story of Ferdinand".  The totes consist of books, music CD's, and activities related to the theme.  The story stretcher consists of the book and an activity sheet with ways to "stretch" the story.


We would like to thank the Gratiot-Isabella Great Start Collaborative and Great Parents Great Start for sponsoring this project which allowed us to purchase the items for the new resources.  We would also like to thank our intern, Brittany, for planning, researching, shopping as well as putting together the totes after the materials arrived.


Remember, these items are available to anyone caring for children and can be checked out, free of charge, for two weeks at a time.  The library is located at our office in Alma but there are also materials available at Veteran's Memorial Library in Mt. Pleasant.  If you do not have a library card or cannot make it to our office to pick up/drop off the materials but would like to check something out, please let us know and we will work with you to get the materials to you.


Scheduled Classes


Daycare Provider Trainings -

Monday, August 6

Great Start Parent Coalition - Topic is Advocacy

5:30 p.m. - Light dinner served

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

East Superior Christian Church

605 East Superior St., Alma

No Cost


Monday, August 27

Stress Relief: Calgon Take me Away!

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

Veteran's Memorial Library - Mt. Pleasant

Cost $25


Great Start to Quality Orientation - Aids/Relatives 

Monday, August 13

8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

CMU- EHS Building Room 195

195 E. Ojibway, Mt. Pleasant

No Cost


Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group

Tuesday, August 14 & 28

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

Youth for Christ - Alma

No Cost

No childcare available during the summer.


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

Summer Hours
Starting June 1, 2012
Monday - Thursday
9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Thank you for taking time to read our newsletter each month.  If there is something you would like to see us do a story on, or a topic you think would be interesting for a parenting class or community event please send us your suggestions at audra@linkforfamilies.org
Stay tuned for a new and exciting year at Child Advocacy! 
Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Audra Stahl
Executive Director