Ginger Katz along with her husband Larry presents substance use prevention programs to children, parents, educators, clergy, professionals and others at many forums including state and national conferences. With a team of experts the organization developed evidence based substance use curriculum evaluated and recommended by Yale School of Medicine. Many facilitators and teachers across the country implement the Courage to Speak Foundation student curriculum in elementary, middle and high schools as well as a multi-session program for parents called Courage to Speak – Courageous Parenting 101® which give parent tools to keep their children safe.
The Courage to Speak® Foundation was founded in 1996, shortly after Ginger and Larry Katz lost their son, Ian to a drug overdose. Since then, The Courage to Speak Foundation has been dedicated to fulfilling a promise Ginger made to Ian: She promised to do everything in her power to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family through her substance use prevention programs.
The Courage to Speak® Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing a home, school and community approach to drug prevention through substance use prevention programs including presentations, community forums, evidenced based school curriculum, and parenting programs. The Foundation delivers social-emotional skill building programs to increase youth’s ability to live healthy lives and empowers parents with skills to communicate effectively with their children about the dangers of drugs. The Courage to Speak® substance use prevention programs were evaluated by Yale University School of Medicine and were found to produce significant positive changes in communication and behavior among students and parents.
The organization was founded in 1996 by Ginger and Larry Katz and is devoted to fulfilling a promise Ginger made to her son, Ian, who died when he was just 20 years old of a heroin and prescription drug overdose – to do everything in her power to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family. The heart of the work is the nationally renowned Courage to Speak® Presentation. Ginger Katz tells the story of how her son Ian’s losing battle with drugs began with cigarettes, beer and marijuana, and ended with his death from an overdose.
The Courage to Speak® substance use prevention programs have been in 40 states, 89 towns in Connecticut and 2 countries. Over a million students, parents, teachers, health professionals and others across the country have been involved in the Foundation’s programs. Developed with teams of experts in the prevention field, The Foundation’s programs include: an 8-lesson Elementary School Program (Grades 4-6) based on the book Sunny’s Story written by CEO and Founder Ginger Katz; a 16-lesson Middle School Program (Grades 7-8); a 12-lesson High School Program; and an After-School Program (4-8) and Courage to Speak-Courageous Parenting 101® a multi-session course offered in both English and Spanish, providing parents with tools to communicate effectively with their children about the dangers of drugs.