CA with tag line 

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

"Childhood should be carefree, 
playing in the sun; 
not living in the darkness of the soul."

Dave Pelzer, Author of
A Child Called "It"

In This Issue
The Emergency Lure
Upcoming Events
Alcohol Abuse Prevention
We Need More Help
Transition to Kindergarten
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


Ty Warczinsky 
GCSAC Coordinator
 Richelle Davis 
Prevention Educator
Heather Gardner
 CAC Coordinator
Michelle Zombeck
 CASA 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

Donalynn Ingersoll
Principal, Luce Rd. Elementary  
David Justin
 Alma School Board
Mike Morris
Detective, Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
Jennifer Stambaugh
DeafBlind Central CMU
 Carolyn Studley
Retired - Alma Public Schools
Kim Vetter
MI State Police
Joe Yourchock
Community Representative


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



April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that we each play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities. Learn more on the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website.   


Also this month is our annual banquet, Alma vs. Ithaca Alumni Basketball game, and the early registration deadline for our Superhero 5K.  Come join the fun and help support child abuse and neglect prevention!!



Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our website

The Emergency Lure

By  Richelle Davis

Prevention Educator


You may have heard that just this month in Montcalm County there was an attempted abduction of an 8 year old Howard City girl.  The girl was walking to a friend's house when she was approached by a man in a red truck.  The man reportedly told the girl that her aunt was in the hospital and to "get in" and he would take her there.  The girl refused and continued walking to her friend's house and the man drove away.


This is very much like a scenario that we talk about in the Protect Yourself Program.  I usually tell the kids to imagine they are playing in the park with some friends, waiting for their mom to come and pick them up.  A stranger approaches them and says that their grandma had to go to the hospital and their mom sent them (the stranger) to pick you up. I ask the kids, "What would you do?"  Some kids say they would go because they want to see their grandma.  Other kids like to be detectives and start asking the stranger questions, such as, "What is my mom's name?"  We discuss all of the different scenarios and it all comes back to the fact that this person is a stranger.


This is called the "emergency" lure.  Children are lured into going with a stranger when presented by some type of emergency.  Some kids may be so concerned about their grandma in the hospital that they do "get in" with the stranger.  Talk to your kids about strangers and possible lures they may use to trick them into coming with them.  When it comes to strangers, teach your children the personal safety rules: Say NO, Get Away, and Tell Someone. 

Upcoming Events


Child Advocacy Annual Banquet

Thursday, April 10

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma

Lunch Tickets $12

Tickets may be purchased in advance by contacting

Child Advocacy (989) 463-1422


Alma High School vs. Ithaca High School Alumni Basketball Game

Friday, April 11

7:00 p.m.

Alma High School

Tickets are $5.00 at the door

Event is sponsored by the Donald L. Pavik Middle School Student Council and all proceeds go to Child Abuse and Neglect programs in Gratiot County.


Child Advocacy Superhero 5K

Saturday, May 10

9:00 a.m.

Alma Armory - 710 N. State

Online registration at 

Registration forms are available at 


Early registration deadline is May 4


"Every child needs a hero, 

but abused children need superheroes!"


All proceeds go to Child Abuse and

 Neglect programs in Gratiot County.



Alcohol Abuse Prevention 

Starts Now

By Ty Warczinsky

GCSAC Coordinator


With the school year fast approaching, our teens will be facing many different challenges. With prom and graduation parties on the horizon, it is important as parents and a community to be proactive and not reactive. We must have challenging conversations with our youth. Here are a few tips when addressing our teens from Harvard Health Publications.



If you know any local vendors who sell alcohol, ask them if their staff will be attending our TIPS training taking place May 15th and 16th, which will help keep alcohol out of our youth's hands.  TIPS' training provides real-life information about the effects of alcohol, and it empowers employees with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to:


            ~ Recognize signs of intoxication 

            ~ Intervene more quickly and assuredly in potential

problem situations

            ~ Spot underage drinkers and prevent sales to minors

            ~ Handle alcohol-related situations with greater



Open up and listen


Ask open-ended questions, and listen to the answers without interrupting.

  • Talk openly about your family history. If your family has had problems with alcohol, your child should know about it. Be open about your own experiences, too.
  • Set clear expectations, and communicate your values. Youngsters are less likely to drink when they know that parents and other important adults in their lives have strong feelings about it.
  • Control your emotions. If you hear something that upsets you, take a few deep breaths and express your feelings in a positive way.
  • Ask about your teenager's friends. Express an interest in getting to know them better. Getting to know these friends and their parents will help you understand your teenager's world.
Click here to view the full article.


We Need More Help

Submitted by: Michelle Zombeck

CASA Coordinator


In 2013 Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) had 14 volunteer Advocates.  Those 14 Advocates served 44 children in the foster care system.  Each volunteer donated approximately 10-15 hours per month of their time to watch over children in the system and to advocate on their behalf until the children were placed in a safe, permanent home. 


With over 2,500 hours spent in 2013, we still were not able to reach all of the children in foster care.  In 2014, our goal is to reach more children but we need help.  To find out how you can help ensure that every child in foster care has a voice, please contact Michelle Zombeck at (989) 463-1422 or

Transition to Kindergarten
Parent Guides
 Submitted by Pam Mahin
RRC Coordinator

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Office of Great Start/Early Childhood Education and Family Services, is pleased to share a resource for parents of children entering kindergarten. The resource is a culmination of many offices within MDE working together to develop Parent Guides, a series of tip sheets which highlight a variety of questions parents may have when their children are entering kindergarten.  There are a total of 24 Parent Guides, with topics such as: Is my child required to attend kindergarten? What can I do at home? Will my child benefit from an extra year of kindergarten? 


Your Lending Library has materials that you can use with your soon to be kindergartner to help them with the skills needed to transition from home/preschool to Kindergarten. Please call 989-463-1422 for more information about the resources in the Lending Library.  


Feel free to print off the Parent Guides and share with your parents who will have children going into kindergarten.  You can find these parent guides at  Kindergarten Transition Parent Guides.

Scheduled Classes


Childcare Provider Trainings

(parents are welcome to attend)



Conscious Discipline

Saturday, April 12

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Winding Brook Conference Center - Shepherd
6 hours of training credit - MUST HAVE ATTENDED THE CLASS IN MARCH
Visit to register.

Outdoor Play & Experiences
Saturday, April 19
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wilcox Non-Profit Center - Alma
Visit to register.

Powerful Children:  Stories of Children and Teachers as Co-Investigators
Friday, April 25
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
CMU - Education and Human Services Building
4 Training Hours
Visit to Register

STARS SAS (Self Assessment Survey) 

Monday, April 28 
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Library - Mt. Pleasant
1.5 training hours
Bring your laptop (if available) and documents that need uploaded. Register at 
Gratiot County
Please check for the April workshop.

Great Start to Quality Orientation
Wednesday, April 16
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Winding Brook Conference Center - Shepherd
Visit to register


Other Trainings/Groups 


Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group

Tuesday, April 8

6:00 p.m.

Youth for Christ - Alma 


Please call our office with questions about any of the above classes/workshops at (989) 463-1422.

It's time for our Annual Banquet in April!  

Every year at this time I like to pause and reflect back on how far this agency has come, and how many people have supported us along the way.  It takes hundreds of people to do all of the things that we do here at Child Advocacy. We are made up of Board Members, Coalition Members, Advisory Team Members, Council Members, Multidisciplinary Team Members, Collaborative Partners, Consortium Partners, CMU and Alma College Students, Volunteers, and 8 Employees. 

A couple of days ago a co-worker said, "we have built a super agency", and I would have to agree!  With the support and help of the community, we have been able to grow this agency into a full service agency, supporting children and families in Gratiot County, through our multitude of prevention and intervention services. 

Thank you for your support of our agency!  We look forward to serving the community another year. 
See you at the Banquet!
Audra Stahl
Executive Director