CA with tag line 

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




"Parents need to fill a child's bucket of

self-esteem so high that the rest of the world

can't poke enough holes to drain it dry." 


 - Alvin Price -

In This Issue
Prevent Sexual Abuse Kids ages 2-4
Outdoor Play - Winter
Smokefree Teens Text Service
Stranger Danger
Scheduled Classes
Family Expo 2013

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
RRC Coordinator


Lisa Cannon
GCSAC Coordinator
 Richelle Davis 
Prevention Educator 

Heather Gardner
 CAC Coordinator
Brenda Shafley
Office Assistant 

Board of Directors 

Kent Schulze
Dept. of Human Services

Vice President 
Wes Wickes 
Youth for Christ

Michael Hetzman
Community Mental
Health - Gratiot Co.

 Kim Vetter
MI State Police
Mt. Pleasant Post

Lori Apple
Comm. Mental Health - Isabella Co.
Dan Buschle
 Alma Products 
 Wendy Currie
Mid Michigan Dist. Health Dept. 
Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
Toni Davis
Women's Aid Service
Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions
Tammy Funnell
David Justin
 Alma School Board
 Jennifer Leppien
Governor's Task Force/Child Abuse & Neglect 
Kelly Piotrowski
DHS - Gratiot Co.
Jennifer Stambaugh
DeafBlind Central CMU
 Carolyn Studley
Retired - Alma Public Schools


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.


Lung Clinic

Lung cancer is the leading cause of deaths from cancer for both men and women.  Tobacco use causes 87 percent of all deaths from lung cancer.  Mid-Michigan Cancer Center is offering smoking cessation education.

If you are interested in learning more about the Lung Clinic a free telephone screening is available by calling
(press 2). 


Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List



Welcome to 2013!


With every new year, there is a refreshing feeling of starting "new" again.  A perfect time to reflect on the past year and to plan for the future.


We are very thankful for a fruitful 2012 and are very excitied about what 2013 has to bring. 


Happy Holidays from the

Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our website



Prescription Medications

TIPS for Protecting Your Family

By Lisa Cannon 
ubstance Abuse Prevention Coordinator



* Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare professionals to understand why a certain medicine is recommended, what side effects to watch for and any possible interactions with what you are currently using.


* Know what you and your family members are taking -know the ingredients: when, how, and how long to use medicines; as well as what they are supposed to do and when to expect results, and when to contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience a problem.


* Read and re-read the label - follow the instructions and always double check you have the right medicine for the right person.


* Avoid interactions by knowing which other medicines, dietary supplements, foods and/or beverages might cause problems if used with your prescription medicine.


* Pay attention to the medicine's effects.  Ask your children or partner how certain medicines are making them feel.


If you have left over medications or the doctor has changed your prescription, please properly dispose of the unused, unwanted, or outdated medications.  In Gratiot County, there are two locations for proper disposal.  The Alma Police Department is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The Gratiot County Sheriff's Department is open 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  Both locations will accept pills, patches, and liquids including narcotics. 


For more information, visit or contact Lisa Cannon, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator at (989) 462-0142.


CAC logoHow to Talk with Kids

Ages 2-4 to

Prevent Sexual Abuse

By Heather Gardner

CAC Coordinator




Please keep in mind your child's developmental stage, you will need to focus on specific issues and address or avoid certain topics.


Use the correct words - Skip childish names for body parts.  Call a vagina a vagina and a penis a penis.  This limits the confusion in talking about body parts, so you know what the child is talking about.  It improves your child's ability to be able to explain any potential abuse.


Explain what is private -  Tell your child that the only person who is allowed to touch private parts are their parent, doctor, and caregiver if your child is in diapers or needs assistance using the bathroom.


Give your child ownership of their body - Has a stranger ever rubbed your child's back and said how cute they are?  You may have politely tolerated this behavior.  This could be used as a good teachable moment.  You could tell the person that you do not feel comfortable with having someone you don't know touching your kids.  This will model to your child that it is okay to say "no" to touches from people they do not know, even touches where someone may be coming across as friendly.


Be a Safe Refuge -  You may think this is obvious to your child, but clearly state to them that they can tell you if they ever feel confused or scared about anything.  You love and support them no matter what happens.


Break the taboo around sexuality - If your 4 year old asks where babies come from, give them a brief, honest, and age appropriate answer.  "If we tell a child that she's not old enough to know, or to not ask such questions, then we've given the message that this subject is off-limits", according to Robin Castle, child sexual abuse prevention manager at Prevent Child Abuse Vermont.


Article information obtained from "Protect Your Child from a Predator", By Jessica Snyder Sachs from Parent Magazine.


Stay tuned for next month - we will look at how to talk with kids ages 5 - 8 on preventing abuse.


"Safety and security don't just happen.  They are the result of collective consensus and public investment.  We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."


-Nelson Mandela-

Is it Safe to Play Outdoors in the Winter?
Submitted by Pam Mahin
RRC Coordinator
Fresh air is healthy - Studies have shown that contrary to the common belief that "exposure to cold air causes a cold," fresh air is good and healthy.  When children and adults spend a long time together in indoor spaces that are small, overheated, and poorly ventilated, germs and illnesses pass easily from one person to another.  In fresh, outdoor air, children do not have to rebreathe the germs of the group, and the chance for spreading infection is reduced.
Outdoor play is healthy even in winter - Children of all ages enjoy and benefit from playing outdoors in all except the most extreme weather.  Daily outdoor play is healthy and burns energy.  It gives children an opportunity for a change of environment, a balance in play, and routine, large muscle activities (gross-motor development).  Even children who are mildly ill but active should go outside if the weather is not severe.  Staff and children alike will feel refreshed when fresh air is part of the daily routine.
By Rahman Zamani, MPH
California Childcare Health Program

Smokefree Teens

Submitted by Lisa Cannon

Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator


Please click here to check out the Smokefree Teen website (a CDC-affiliate website) that now has smoke-free text services for those who want to leave tobacco dependence behind them.  While the service does not have a fee directly associated with it, it may cost users for individual texts, depending on their current service plan with their cell phone carrier.


Stranger Danger: Tricks and Lures

By Richelle Davis

Prevention Educator


If you have ever seen the Dateline MSNBC show "To Catch a Predator," you probably wonder what you can do to protect your child from being lured in by a child predator.  The best way to keep your children safe is to teach them different tricks and lures that predators may use to steal away your child.  Below are a few examples of the most common tricks.


The Help Lure


One trick a predator may use is to ask the child for help.  They may ask the child to help them find a lost dog, or help them carry groceries to their car.  Children need to be taught that there is no "lost dog."  Many times children's natural instincts take over, and they want to be helpful and help someone in need.  We need to teach our children to never go anywhere with a stranger to help them do anything!  If an adult needs help, they need to ask another adult, not a child.

The Messenger Lure

 Another trick a predator may use is to bring bad news to a child and instruct them to come with them right away.  For example, they may come to your child and say "Your dad was in an accident and had to go to the hospital.  Your mom said to come and pick you up and take you their right away."  You should have a family password that only you and your child know for this type of situation.  If he doesn't know the family password, your child should refuse to go with him.

The Gift Lure

Sometimes predators may offer children some type of gift to get their attention.  It could be the offer of a video game that they have in their car, or an ice cream cone.  They may even offer your child money to do a simple job for them.  Teach your child to never accept gifts or money from a stranger.

These are only a couple of the tricks a predator may use to lure a child in.  The best way to protect your child is by teaching them about typical lures and what to do if they find themselves in these types of situations.  Awareness is the key to our children's safety.

Scheduled Classes


Daycare Provider Trainings


Budget Grocery Shopping and Size Portions

Great Start Parent Coalition

Tuesday, January 15

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

Central Assembly of God - Mt. Pleasant

1.5 hours

RSVP to Jennifer Peska - (989) 463-1325 ext. 1114 or


Budget Grocery Shopping and Size Portions 

Great Start Parent Coalition

Wednesday, January 16

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

Middle of the Mitten Learning Center - Alma

1.5 hours of training

RSVP to Jennifer Peska - (989) 463-1325 ext. 1114 or



Great Start to Quality Orientation 


Wednesday, January 9

Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma 

No Cost


Other Trainings/Groups

Surviving your Adolescents-class for Parents of Teens

Starts Monday, January 14 for six sessions on Mon. & Wed.

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

Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma

No Cost


Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group

Tuesday, January 8

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

Youth for Christ - Alma

No Cost


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


Clown Expo
Family Expo 2013
Saturday, January 26
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Central Michigan Youth for Christ
2550 W. Cheesman Road - Alma
FREE Family Fun for all ages!
This is a valuable one-stop event with informational resources and fun for ALL families of Gratiot County.  There will be more then 40 businesses and organizations in Gratiot County on display.  Fun activities are planned for the kids including games, interactive activities, clowns, face painting, and more.
If you are interested in participating in the Family Expo as a vendor, please call Child Advocacy at (989) 463-1422.
Happy New Year!  
With a new year comes new hope and a new promise for a brighter future.  Our wish for you is a happy, healthy 2013!
See you at the Family Expo.  You will not want to miss the fun! 
Audra Stahl
Executive Director