TBCAC Local Council: Request for Safe Sleep Proposals

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As a recipient of grant dollars from the Michigan Children’s Trust Fund, the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center and its local council must commit to raising awareness and providing support around the issue of safe sleep in Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties. In accordance with this requirement, the Local Council for this region is requesting proposals from nonprofit organizations that wish to purchase and distribute safe sleep materials in their area as well as educate community members about safe sleep practices.

The purpose of this project is to grant safe sleep funds to nonprofit organizations with the capacity to carry out safe sleep education and distribution of resources to infant caregivers within Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties. Successful proposals should include plans for purchasing materials (i.e. safe sleep sacks, pack and plays, etc), as well as delivering face to face education to those receiving materials.

Nonprofit organizations serving Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, or Leelanau counties that provide safe sleep programming to infant caregivers may apply for these funds. Proof of 501(c)(3) status must be included with proposals. Proposals are to be submitted by Friday, March 11th at 5pm. Please review the full 2016 Safe Sleep RFP for more details. For questions regarding the process, or to submit a proposal, contact Hannah Rodriguez at hrodriguez@traversebaycac.org or at (231) 929-4250. Thank you for your support in spreading Safe Sleep awareness throughout our region and please feel free to share within your networks!

2016 Safe Sleep RFP

Making, Baking, and Talking…

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The Grand Traverse Pie Company’s “Kid’s Make and Bake” was about much more than cherry pie… This event is a big hit at the National Cherry Festival each year and provides a unique and effective platform to advocate on behalf of children everywhere. Within the Grand Traverse Pie Company’s message of “Love, Peace, and Pie” there lies an incredible opportunity to speak with parents and caregivers about the importance of prevention and speaking openly about child sexual abuse.

As we welcomed over 400 children (plus their accompanying adults) into the tent, there was an air of excitement accompanied by the sobering truth that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused by their 18th birthday. We know that prevention is the answer and that education is the first step in heading down that path. We are incredibly grateful to the Grand Traverse Pie Company for providing us with a national platform for relaying this message and to all those adults who took the time to bring their children to this event and take a moment to have a conversation with us.

It is clear that the community is ready to hear this message and they are also ready to respond. Let’s continue this conversation so we can create a world where every child has the opportunity to live a happy and healthy life. To learn more about what you can do to keep the conversation going, visit our Prevention Education page.

Also, be sure and check out the featured story on the Kid’s Make and Bake from 9and10 News!

Child Abuse Prevention Month: Celebrating Together

It is officially National Child Abuse Prevention Month and we here at the Traverse Bay CAC are thrilled to be partnering and hosting several events in honor of this important time of year.  From providing education on the topic of prevention to hosting an evening of music and celebration, we have a whole calendar of events for you to take part in:

Community Prevention Seminar
Wednesday, April 15th
Women’s Resource Center
720 S. Elmwood Ave.
Traverse City, MI

Join us for a conversation on creating a community where children are safe from sexual abuse, hosted by the Women’s Resource Center. Click HERE to register.

CAP Month Story Time
Thursday, April 16th
Darcy Library of Beulah
7238 Commercial Ave.
Beulah, MI

Join us at the Beulah Library for a special edition of story time, focusing on sharing stories with children that teach them about their bodies and personal boundaries.

My Body Belongs to Me!
Monday, April 20th
Traverse Area District Library (Woodmere)
McGuire Room
610 Woodmere, Ave.
Traverse City, MI

This special storytime for preschoolers and kindergarteners will be presented by storyteller Jenifer Strauss and singer/songwriter Miriam Pico. Jenifer and Miriam will be sharing an important message for children to understand: “My body belongs to me!” Groups of 10 or more please register by calling TADL Youth Services at (231) 932-8503.

Shine On! Gala
Thursday, April 23rd
Doors Open at 7pm
InsideOut Gallery
229 Garland St.
Traverse City, MI

Join us as we celebrate our community’s commitment to protecting children and help us “Shine On!” as we continue this journey! The evening will include a collage performance hosted by Miriam Pico and feature local artists, Seth Bernard and May Erlewine. There will also be a silent auction for a children’s bike, generously donated by the Grand Traverse Pie Co. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the TBCAC!

***NOTE ABOUT SUBJECT MATTER: This evening will include a spoken word performance that discusses experience with child sexual abuse as the subject matter. Please consider this if you plan to bring children or others who may be sensitive to this topic.


Spring Splatter 5K
Saturday, April 25th
9am Start Time
Central High School
1150 Milliken Drive
Traverse City, MI

The Spring Splatter 5k is a race organized by the Traverse City Central Student Senate that benefits the Traverse Bay CAC. This is truly a unique race, with runners being covered in a powdered paint at each kilometer, ending with a craze of colors at the finish line. This is a fun run and racers will not be timed. For more information and to register for the race, click HERE!

For questions or more information about any of these events, please feel free to contact Hannah Rodriguez at hrodriguez@traversebaycac.org or at (231) 929-4250.  We hope that you will take part in this important month and in the many events our community has organized in order to celebrate it.

CAP Month Ribbon

We All Play a Part

We All Play a Part

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  This month and throughout the year, the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making the Grand Traverse Region a better place for children and families.  By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.

Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted.  The six protective factors are:

  1. Nurturing and attachment
  2. Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development
  3. Parental resilience
  4. Social connections
  5. Concrete supports for parents
  6. Social and emotional developmental well-being

April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children.  Everyone’s involvement makes a difference.  By focusing on ways to strengthen the protective factors in every interaction with children and families, we can help to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development.

CAP Month Ribbon

Learn more by attending a TBCAC Community Prevention Seminar.

Community Prevention Seminar: Benzie County 12-03-14


December 4, 2014- Last night’s Community Prevention Seminar in Benzie County was very important to me.  As a native and current resident of Benzie County, I was very much looking forward to sharing this information with my home community and was looking forward to their support.  The Darcy Library of Beulah was kind enough to host this seminar and had a staff member volunteer to keep the library open for the evening so that we could have this important discussion.

Several Benzie County community members were in attendance (including some of my own family members!) and were very happy that the TBCAC had chosen to host a seminar in their own community.  As one of the more rural and outer-lying counties in the region, Benzie does not always have the same opportunities to receive the education and outreach that is available within Grand Traverse.

Many attendees stayed after to have conversations with me and to make suggestions about other groups within the Benzie County community that may benefit from a seminar like this.  I was very inspired by the conversation and enthusiasm of this particular group and it was great to feel that our efforts are being supported by many from my home community.  Our journey continues and we look forward to meeting all those willing to join the movement to protect our children!

Community Prevention Seminar: Grand Traverse County 12/02/14

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December 3. 2014- As our home base and the community in which we currently have the greatest presence, I was looking forward to our Grand Traverse Community Prevention Seminar yesterday evening.  The staff at Traverse City Michigan WORKS! was kind enough not only to host us but also to volunteer to stay after hours so that we could put on this evening seminar.  We can not thank them enough for their hospitality.

I decided to open the seminar a little differently than I usually do and gave attendees the opportunity to share their motivation for attending if they wished to.  Everyone one in the room chose to share and to express how grateful they were to have something like this in the community.  There were educators, students, parents, and coaches present and while each had a unique reason for being there, they all shared the same ultimate goal: Keep kids safe and healthy.

This particular group had several questions regarding how our community is working to share this information with educators and medical professionals, and how we can do better with educating our children to understand their own bodies and boundaries.  While we at the TBCAC have started having these conversations with many educators and medical professionals, it is important to know that the community wants this as well.

As the seminar came to a close, conversations throughout the room continued and I watched many connections being made.  Thanks to the Grand Traverse Pie Company we were able to provide attendees at this seminar a “Free Slice of Pie” voucher and in exchange they all agreed to pose for the lovely photo you see above.  This evening provided another great conversation and a big step in our journey to protect our children.  Thank you again to Traverse City Michigan WORKS! for hosting and to all those who attended.

Leelanau County: First to Host Community Seminar!

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December 2, 2014-  As I prepared for our very first Community Prevention Seminar yesterday afternoon, I began to ask myself many questions.  I wondered who would come to the seminar, what questions they may ask, and what their motivation was for taking this opportunity to educate themselves about this issue.  I will admit, I was quite nervous that no one would show up, that they would remain quiet during discussion, and hoped that our first seminar would be a success.  What actually occurred exceeded all of my expectations.

Adults from across Leelanau County came to join us and had a lot of insight as to why it is so important to protect our kids.  It is so meaningful to us that so many people in our area are coming forward and are willing to join this movement and we are thrilled to begin this journey together.  The Leelanau County Government Center (pictured above) was willing to host us in their beautiful Community Meeting Room, which made for a very inviting space in which to come together and have a sincere dialogue about this issue.

As we wrapped up our session and I began putting things away, every attendee asked if they could assist me in any way and, despite my objections, proceeded to clean up, stack chairs, move tables, and help me carry all of my belongings out to my car so I did not have to be out in the parking lot alone.  “After all,” one participant stated, “if we are supposed to be keeping our kids safe, shouldn’t we be keeping each other safe, too?”  If this is not a true testament to the caring and compassion that exists in our region, I’m not sure what is.

I left this seminar inspired and energized, realizing that our community is ready to take this leap toward creating an environment where children are safe and nurtured so they may go on to live happy and productive lives. Many thanks again to Leelanau County for getting us off to a great start and we are looking forward to the seminars we have planned for other communities in the region!