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Area School Hosts Courageous Parenting

by Joseph Cole 10/11/11

Ginger Katz is bringing her Courageous Parenting 101 course to West Rocks Middle School. Photo credit: Joseph Cole

It’s one thing to tell parents they need to talk to their children about the dangers of substance abuse. Ginger Katz of Norwalk knows that it is another matter entirely to communicate effectively.

Katz’s Courage to Speak Foundation will offer Fairfield County parents a free three-session course targeted at helping parents understand substance abuse and its affects on children and youth. Courageous Parenting 101 covers everything from the fundamentals of drug abuse through the effects of the social media and the Internet.

“Parents have to learn what their children will be exposed to,” says Katz. “These courses are about fostering communication and about setting boundaries and having the courage to talk while tuning in and knowing when to step back.”

The Courageous Parenting 101 course will be taught starting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk. It is open to families with children in school in any area town. Two trained facilitators will teach the course, one in English and another in Spanish.

Katz commissioned the course and worked with Yale University to evaluate its effectiveness. The study found that parents who took the course increased their knowledge on adolescent substance abuse issues and their confidence and ability to communicate with their children on the topics.

Katz lost her son, Ian James Eaccarino, to an accidental drug overdose in 1996. She formed Courage to Speak to help other parents avoid that tragedy. She has talked to thousands of students and written books to help encourage the dialogue. The Courageous Parenting 101 programs are designed to give parents the tools they need to continue the fight. The Oct. 20 session will begin with a brief presentation by Katz of Ian’s story.

The upcoming course will be offered in three sessions, Oct. 20, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. A light dinner will be served and child care can be made available upon request. For more information, contact Kate Pigue at 203-831-9700.