04 ‌• Independence Day              (Office closed)

13 ‌• In-Service

31 ‌• In-Service


10 ‌• Celeste Carlson

18 ‌• Marva Bever

24 ‌• Bill Reynolds

In Remembrance of Nettie Graham

Nettie was a retired Dental Assistant and had many other interests.  She was an accomplished quilter, enjoying many hours with The Cut Ups.  She was also an avid bridge player, flower gardener, bird lover, and a fantastic cook. She and Duane traveled extensively, they frequently visited the Flint Hills and most Southwest states, traveled to England, Alaska and recently Hawaii.  She was active in the First Presbyterian Church, currently serving as a deacon.  Nettie also served her community with PEO and Hesston Women’s Civic Club.

She was a wonderful mother and wife and instilled a strong sense of family history with her daughters. She had a strong “pioneer spirit” and taught her children how to be good mothers and spouses by example. She deeply loved her children and grandchildren, making quilts for all of her grandchildren when they graduated from high school.

She is survived by her husband: Duane Graham; four daughters: Rebecca Troyer and spouse Dean, Emily Sims and spouse Mark, Sarah Bauer and spouse Kris, and Katie Gaeddert.

Duane has been a faithful volunteer for the last 17 years.  He served as a CASA volunteer for 10 years and is currently serving the first year of his third term on the Board of Directors.  Please join us in sharing our deepest sympathy to Duane and his four daughters during this time of sorrow.

*Obituary from Petersen Family Funeral Home
CASA: A Voice For Children, Inc.
welcomes new Program Assistant

Ray Strunk, a recent graduate of Barton Community College,  joined the CASA staff in May.

Strunk, a resident of nearby Valley Center, will be starting his junior year at Wichita State University in the fall where he will be working toward a degree in journalism with a minor in political science.

While attending Barton Community College, he competed on the school’s nationally ranked NJCAA tennis team and capped off his sophomore season with a third-place regional finish and a national tournament qualification.

In his free time, he competes recreationally in tennis and table tennis and just recently began golfing at the new public course in Valley Center.

“I’m very excited to be working at CASA,” he said. “I believe in the work that they do and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

July 13 In-Service
Noon - 1:00 PM
Harvey County Courthouse

Independent Living Program Manager, Jen Walters, will be presenting.

July 31 In-Service
Noon - 1:00 PM
Harvey County Courthouse

Joy Hoofer, Phd, will be presenting on infant-focused mental health issues.

Recess Necessity:
Playtime is more than just fun and games

By: Ray Strunk, CASA: A Voice for Children, Inc. Program Assistant

I remember spending much of my time in elementary school with my eyes glued to the clock in anticipation of recess. Recess felt like a much-needed break from the rigors of public school learning; a time of running around, interacting with peers and, most importantly to me, playing games. I didn’t realize this at the time, but I was learning just as much during the "learning breaks" as I was in class.

Aside from the obvious benefit of exercise, playtime serves as a basis of social development. Through participating in games or activities, children are given an opportunity to learn how to effectively interact and communicate with others in ways that they wouldn’t normally experience through everyday schoolwork. It is important to establish these skills young as they follow the child through their teenage years and even into adult life.

Additionally, playtime enhances a child’s sensory development. Through play, the child utilizes each of his/her five senses which is vital to brain development. When a child uses multiple senses during a playtime activity, he/she learns more and better retains what was learned.



Fred Rogers, beloved television personality and host of every child’s favorite show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood understood the importance of play.

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning,” he explained. “Play is really the work of childhood.” 

Unfortunately, children today are experiencing a drastic decline in important playtime. Children are trading the outdoor games and activities for phones and video games. Research from nonprofit child advocacy group, Alliance for Childhood, found that, “Compared to the 1970s, children now spend 50 percent less time in outdoor activities. Children ages 10 to 16 now spend, on average, only 12.6 minutes per day in vigorous physical activity. Yet they spend an average of 10.4 waking hours each day relatively motionless."

While spending a moderate amount of time playing video games and using other electronic devices isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it becomes harmful when it replaces traditional playtime and the social interaction and sensory stimulation that comes along with it.

Parents and mentors should play a leading role in encouraging children to put down the phone and pick up the lasting benefits of playtime.

Join the conversation: 
Share a picture to Twitter or Instagram with #PlayMatters to join the conversation!

Book of the month:

The Broken Cord


Michael Dorris

This is the heartrending story, full of compassion and rage, of how the author's adopted son grew up mentally retarded, a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome, a boy whom no amount of love could make whole. The volume includes a short account of his own life by the 20-year-old Adam. 320 p.

CEU Opportunity:
Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don't like.'" A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.

Follow this link for the CEU credit report form:

Note from the Director’s Desk
Sandra Bradley, CASA: A Voice For Children, Inc. Executive Director

Why Monthly Reports?

Each month we ask you to complete a report for each child/case you are assigned to.  This may seem tedious and overwhelming at times, but it is extremely important.  I wanted to take a moment to inform you why monthly reports are so important and why we ask you to do them.

  • Monthly reports are mandated. Per State Standards, all CASA volunteers must turn in a report each month.  The CASA program must be in 100% compliance with all State Standards to be certified by the Office of Judicial Administration, per Supreme Court Rule 110.  If the program is out of compliance and certification is denied, there will no longer be a CASA program in the 9th Judicial District.

  • Monthly reports are used to secure and maintain funding.  Goals and objectives are required for every grant the CASA program receives.  In order to continue to receive funding from these grants the program must report accurate information and show the difference the CASA program makes.  You, the CASA volunteer, have the most up-to-date information for each child.  Your reports are used to complete grant reports, grant applications and complete mandated annual reports to the State and National CASA.  Some of this information includes:
    • Reports of further abuse
    • Placement retention
    • Volunteer Hours
    • Protective factors put into place for each child
    • Child visits
    • In-kind donations (mileage and volunteer wage rate)
  • Monthly reports provide a tool to write court reports.  The monthly report and court report forms were designed to complement each other.  The sections for each report match.  By completing monthly reports, the information for the court report has already been compiled.

We are here to help!  We know there are times in your life when you need to focus on your family and yourself.  If there is something that momentarily takes your time and attention away from your case and CASA child, please communicate this with Kim Meier.  She will be more than happy to help you in any way possible.  There are accommodations and further assistance we can offer.

Thank you for all you do!  Without you, the CASA program would not exist.  We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful people helping the most vulnerable children in our community.  

Upcoming Events:

CASA: A Voice for Children, Inc. is a United Way Partner Agency.

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CASA A Voice for Children, Inc. · Harvey County Court House · P.O. Box 687 · Newton, KS 67114 · USA

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