CA with tag line 

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



 "Children desperately need to know - and to hear in ways they understand and remember - that they're loved and valued by mom and dad."

-Paul Smally-




In This Issue
Charity Basketball Game
Ten Reasons to Quit Smoking
Great Start to Quality Update
Child Advocacy Banquet
Teaching Touching Safety
Scheduled Classes
Child Advocacy 5K Event
Kindergarten Round Up Information

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



March is Parenting Awareness Month.   We hope you will consider attending one of our parenting classes, visiting our lending library, and/or attending one of our fun family events. 


Parenting is for a lifetime.



Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our website

CAN BasketballCharity Basketball Game 


Alma High School Alumni

Even Years vs. Odd Years


Friday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m.

Alma High School



Join us for a night of fun! 

Half-Time Entertainment!  Children's Games!


Tickets are $5.00 available at the door

T-Shirts $8.00 call (989) 463-1422 to order


Hosted by: Donald L. Pavlik Middle School Student Council

Proceeds to benefit: Child Advocacy's

Child Abuse & Neglect Programs



Ten Reasons

to Quit Smoking
Submitted by Lisa Cannon

  Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator


1.    You will reduce your chances of having a

       heart attack or stroke.

2.    You will reduce your chances of getting lung cancer,

       emphysema and other lung diseases.

3.    You will have better smelling clothes, hair, breath, home and


4.    You will be able to climb stairs and walk without getting out of


5.    You will have fewer wrinkles.

6.    You will be free of the morning cough.

7.    You will reduce the number of coughs, colds and earaches

       your child will have.

8.    You will have more energy to pursue physical activities.

9.    You can treat yourself to new books or music with the money

       you saved from not buying cigarettes.

10.  You will have more CONTROL over your life.

If you would like more information about ways you can quit smoking, please contact Lisa Cannon, Prevention Coordinator at 989-462-0142 or

Source:  The National Institutes of Health

Great Start to Quality Update
  Submitted by Pam Mahin
Regional Resource Center Coordinator
If any of you have logged on to the Great Start CONNECT database to update your child care record in the last couple of weeks, you will notice that it looks quite a bit different. Don't worry! You will still find the Provider/Program Log In tab on the far right. You will still log in the same way. To see the changes, just click Great Start CONNECT.
You will still be able to look at trainings while you are in your own record, or you can just click on the Educator and Provider Training tab.
On December 17, 2012, the Great Start to Quality (STAR rating system) rolled out for providers who had completed the entire process and have a 4 or 5 STAR rating. These rating are visible to parents searching for childcare. To learn more about participating in the rating system, click on the Great Start to Quality Resource Centers tab.
If you have questions about the STAR rating system, or would like help on completing your self assessment survey, please call our office at 989-463-1422.
Child Advocacy Banquet and
Grand Opening Ceremony of the Children's
Advocacy Center of Gratiot County 
Thursday, April 11 at 12:00 p.m.
Tyler Van-Dusen - Alma College
Lunch Tickets - $12
The following awards will be presented:
Child Advocate of the Year
Child Advocate Organization of the Year
GCSAC - Business Compliance
This year's banquet will be a celebration of those who advocate and care for children and for those who strive to improve the welfare of children and their families through support for the prevention of substance abuse, and child abuse and neglect.
To make a nomination for one of the awards, please click here to fill out an nomination form.  Please submit the form to Child Advocacy by March 22.

Teaching Touching Safety

by Richelle Davis

Prevention Educator


Teaching your child how to keep their bodies safe should be as natural as all of the other safety issues we practice with our children.  Such as when riding a bike, you wear your helmet.  Or when riding in a car, you wear your seat belt.  Teaching your child how to keep their bodies safe should begin when children are very small and be revisited often. 

Begin by teaching your child the proper names for their body parts.  Just as they have arms and legs, they have a penis or a vagina.  Children can't tell you if they've received a NOT OK touch if they don't have the words to describe the touch.  If something does happen to them, they need to have the correct language to tell you about it.

Teach your child that they are the "boss" of their own body.  They should be taught that their bodies are their own, and that they have the right to say 'No' when it comes to who touches them and whom they touch.  In addition, do not insist that your child give or receive hugs or kisses from relatives if they do not wish to.  This teaches children that it's okay to say no to touches from people in their family.

Explain to your child that there are three kinds of touches.  There are safe touches, unsafe touches, and unwanted touches.

*Safe Touches-These are touches that keep children safe and are good for them, and make the child feel cared for and important.  These can include hugging, pats on the back, or an arm around the shoulder.

*Unsafe Touches- These are touches that hurt children's bodies or feelings, such as hitting, pushing, pinching, and kicking.  Teach children that these kinds of touches are not okay.

*Unwanted Touches-These are touches that might be safe but that a child doesn't want from that person or at that moment.  It is okay for a child to say 'No' to an unwanted touch, even if it is from a familiar person.  Help your child practice saying no in a strong, yet polite voice.  This will help children learn to set personal boundaries.

Next month, we will continue teaching your child about specific touching safety rules.

Scheduled Classes


Daycare Provider Trainings  

(Parents are welcome to attend)


Connecting Parents to Community - TIER 2 APPROVED

Tuesday, March 12

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

Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma

No Cost

To register go to 


Healthy Teeth, Healthy Smiles - TIER 2 APPROVED

Tuesday, March 26

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

Veteran's Memorial Library annex  - Mt. Pleasant

No Cost

To register go to


Healthy Teeth, Healthy Smiles - TIER 2 APPROVED

Wednesday, March 27

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

Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma

No Cost

To register go to 


Great Start to Quality Orientation 


Thursday, March 14

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

Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma

No Cost


Other Trainings/Groups


Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group

Tuesday, March 12

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

Youth for Christ - Alma

No Cost 


Nurturing Parenting Class 0-6 Years Old

March 5, 6, 7, 26, 27, & 28

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

Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma

No Cost


Nurturing Parenting Program

for parents and their school-age children (5 to 11 years)

Thursday, March 7 - meeting for 10 consecutive weeks

5:00 p.m. light meal served

5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Class

United Methodist Church - St. Louis

No Cost


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

Child Advocacy 5K Event

Saturday, May 4
9:30 a.m. Fun Run/Toddler Trot
10:00 a.m. 5K Run/5K Walk
Alma Armory - 710 S. State St., Alma
All levels of runners and walkers are welcome!
Click here to view and print the race registration form.
Early registration deadline is April 19
All proceeds help prevent child abuse & neglect in Gratiot County.
Kindergarten Round Up Information  
Click here for the
Gratiot/Isabella Kindergarten Round Up Schedule
March is here and hopefully Spring is right around the corner.  We love the Spring months, and look forward to celebrating Parenting Awareness Month in March and Month of the Young Child in April.  We also spend a great deal of time building awareness for Alcohol Awareness Month and Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in April.   Many of the events at Child Advocacy are centered around these important months and campaigns. 
We hope you will join us by participating in at least one of our fundraising events this Spring.  We work hard to raise money to provide education and prevention programs in Gratiot County.  We also work very hard to make sure that our events provide fun for the whole family. 
Lastly, we would love to have you join us for this year's annual Child Advocacy banquet at Alma College (see above for details).  We will celebrate those who work hard in our community advocating for children and their families.  We will also be celebrating the grand opening of our Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County.
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. 
Audra Stahl
Executive Director