CA with tag line 

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



"Believe in yourself as a parent, 

you are your child's best 

therapist and advocate." 






In This Issue
Mother-Daughter Conference 2013
Back-to-School with Protect Yourself
Children's Advocacy Center
Classes Available through Child Advocacy
What's New in our Lending Library?
Scheduled Classes

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


Position Available
GCSAC Coordinator
 Richelle Davis 
Prevention Educator 
Heather Gardner
 CAC Coordinator
Brenda Shafley
Office Assistant 

Board of Directors 

Wes Wickes
Youth for Christ
Vice President 
Jennifer Leppien
Michael Hetzman
Community Mental
Health - Gratiot Co.

 Kelly Piotrowski
Dept. of Human Services

Lori Apple
Comm. Mental Health - Isabella Co.
 Wendy Currie
Mid Michigan Dist. Health Dept. 
Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
Toni Davis
Women's Aid Service
Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions
David Justin
 Alma School Board
Mike Morris
Detective, Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
Kent Schulze
Dept. of Human Services
Jennifer Stambaugh
DeafBlind Central CMU
 Carolyn Studley
Retired - Alma Public Schools
Kim Vetter
MI State Police


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 October!


Child Advocacy has many exciting things happening this month. There are two wonderful parenting classes starting.  If your child has been through a traumatic life experience, consider attending the Trauma Training Class.


We are excited to offer the Mother-Daughter Conference 2013. Please read about this event.  This is a fun and informational day for females - young and old.

         "Girls are the future mother's of our society, and it is                     important that we focus on their well-being." 

                                       Miriam Makeba  



Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our website

Mother-Daughter Conference 2013

"A Day of Empowerment for Women and Girls"


Keynote Speaker:  Shuba Vedula - American Idol Finalist


This event is designed for mothers and their 8-14 year old daughter(s) of Gratiot County to enjoy a special day together and gain valuable information on today's hot topics.  Break-out sessions include: 


Sessions for Mothers- Bullying, Teach to Protect, Internet Safety

Sessions for Daughters- Bulling, Protect Yourself, Nutrition

Sessions for Mothers and Daughters- Maturation: The Changing Body and Communication.


Saturday, October 26

9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

St. Mary School - Alma


Cost:  $10 for Mother/Daughter

$15 for Mother/Daughters (2 or more)

Lunch will be provided


Click here for a registration form.


Contact Child Advocacy at (989) 463-1422 or with any questions.


Sponsored by:

Child Advocacy, St. Mary School, and Mid-Michigan Health

Back to School with Protect Yourself

By: Richelle Davis

Prevention Educator


Back to school time is such an exciting time of year.  Children are entering a new grade with new school supplies, new teachers, and new classmates.  It's also exciting for teachers, such as me, to get a brand new start with a whole new group of excited children to teach.  Here at Child Advocacy, a new school year brings about a new opportunity to bring the Protect Yourself Program to students who have not heard it before.


The Protect Yourself Program is an awesome program we take to first and third graders in Gratiot County.  In the Protect Yourself Program, students are taught just that, how to protect themselves.  The program is designed to teach children how to recognize dangerous behaviors; such as dangers with strangers and inappropriate touches.  It also teaches students to recognize and listen to their instincts.  The program teaches children three personal safety rules to help them get out of a variety of dangerous situations.


The children not only enjoy the program, but it is effective and life changing for some of them.  As the children learn about what's appropriate and what is not appropriate, they are given the tools to protect themselves from behaviors that are not okay.  They learn what to do if they have a problem.  We discuss who they can talk to and how to make the behaviors stop.  I find it a privilege to teach our young children how to keep themselves safe!




Children's Advocacy Center

 by: Heather Gardner

 CAC Coordinator




I know we have done a good job creating a child friendly environment at The Children's Advocacy Center.  This is reinforced to me every day when my 3 and 5 year old daughters ask to come to work with me.  One day, my 5 year came by the center after school.  She went right to the family room and enjoyed visiting the giant stuffed frog.  She asked me (as she usually does) "mommy, what is your job?"  I told her, "I get to work with kids".  She responded, "you always say that, but every time I come here there are no kids!" 


I started to think about her statement.  She was exactly right.  We talk about child abuse and those children and families that it affects, but we never see their faces.  I can provide you with national and countywide statistics regarding child abuse.  However the full impact is not able to be absorbed in reading the statistics alone.  The nature of our work and child abuse is that it is done behind closed doors, where no one can see it.  This applies to both the abuse and the investigation.  We do not see the survivors of child abuse, but I assure you, this is a road that far too many children travel.    


Please consider donating to the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County.  Your generous donation will help us to continue to provide quality services to the children and families of Gratiot County. 

Classes Available through Child Advocacy
by Ronda Sorensen
Parent Educator

August and September is a time that we at Child Advocacy plan and schedule classes and training opportunities.  I am excited about the classes that we will have available this year and hope you can spread the word if not participate yourself.  
The ACT program, a parenting class aimed at reducing the violence in our homes and our children's lives is geared for parents of children 0-8 years old.  This class was offered in September and will be repeated again in November.  
Dr. Bavolek's Nurturing Parenting Program for Parents of Children 5-11 years old is a 10 week class that will meet on Thursdays beginning October 3.  Child Advocacy will again participate in a Trauma class sponsored by Community Mental Health beginning October 1 and will meet weekly for 6 weeks.  This is a great opportunity to better understand the behavior of children who have experienced trauma in their lives and to better meet their needs. 
Also, our monthly support group for Foster/Adoptive/Relative care homes will continue to meet on the second Tuesday of each month.  Professional training will be offered each month as well as mutual support.  If you have any questions about these classes, please contact me at Child Advocacy.  I look forward to seeing some of you there.

What's New in our Lending Library?
  by Pam Mahin
RRC Coordinator

We have received many new items for our lending library.  We now have story stretchers geared toward infants and toddlers.  You can tell the story of the Five Little Ducks with a glove puppet. After reading Inch by Inch, the children can measure items with the snail tape measure.  You can even build a sandwich when you read Peanut Butter and Jelly.


We also have some new items for young school age children.  We have sets of folder games which consists of 10 activity folders per set emphasizing a particular subject, such as phonemic awareness, numbers & counting, beginning operations, patterning & sorting, vocabulary, and many others.  We have a numbers & counting kit, some math cubes for counting money as well as 3 fill in the blank activity kits. We even have 3 measurement center kits for measuring length, weight and volume.


If you have a particular theme you are working on and need some supplemental materials, come on in and check out what we have.  If you are unable to make it to our office during business hours, give us a call and we will make arrangements to get the materials to you.

Scheduled Classes


Great Start to Quality Orientation 


Friday, October 18

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

Gratiot-Isabella RESD - Shepherd

$10 prepaid fee required


Other Trainings/Groups 


The Trauma Informed Parenting Workshop

Starts Tuesday, October 1 

Class will meet six times (10/15, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/19)

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

Community Mental Health Building

608 Wright Ave. - Alma

The class will be learn and discuss the impacts of trauma on children's behavior and how it affects others supporting the child.  The class will learn and discuss how to strengthen the support networks around children on our lives. 


Contact Stacey Graham at (989) 463-4971 to register. 


Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group

Tuesday, October 8

6:00 p.m.

Youth for Christ - Alma 


Nurturing Parenting Program

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

Starting Thursday, October 3 (meets for 10 weeks)

5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 

United Methodist Church - St. Louis

No Cost


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


Saturday, October 19
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

2 Locations -
Alma Middle School
CM Youth for Christ - Alma

$2.00 admission

What an exciting summer we have had here at Child Advocacy!  Our Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County went through the process of applying for accreditation with the National Children's Alliance.  We began the process by submitting an application to the NCA this Spring.  After our application was approved we hosted two site reviewers, from NCA, for a thorough review of our Center in August.  We are very proud to announce that we passed the review with flying colors and received many compliments about what a great program we are running here in Gratiot County.  Hold on to your hats, because I am about to brag a little more. The Site Reviewers told us that we had an amazing team of therapists, law enforcement, physicians, court staff, DHS staff, and of course Child Advocacy staff working together to provide this service.  They complimented us on having an educated and caring Board of Directors, Family Advocate, and Forensic Interviewer.  They also gave us high remarks on having a beautiful Center.  Heather and I couldn't be more proud of the CAC and the team of professionals we work with to provide such a meaningful service in Gratiot County.  We look forward to our accreditation being final after the NCA board meeting at the end of October.  It's an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the National Children's Alliance.


Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter.

Audra Stahl
Executive Director