Sunny’s Story

A drug prevention book written by a mother who lost her son to a drug overdose from the viewpoint of the family beagle, Sunny. It's a great learning tool for kids, parents, teachers, and others.

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By Matt CoyneHour
Staff writer
October 2013

NORWALK – The Courage to Speak Foundation is best known as an anti-drug organization, running workshops and programs to try to and keep children off drugs.

While the foundation’s upcoming Courage to Speak – Courageous Parenting 101 classes will cover that, parents who take the three classes will leave with something more.

“It’s about drug prevention, but it’s also about parenting skills,” said foundation co-founder Ginger Katz. “You want to protect your child. You just want to find out everything your child will be exposed to. This course is all encompassing.”

The Free, Yale University School of Medicine-evaluated, three-session course starts on October 30 at West Rocks Middle School. Ginger Katz will give the Courage to Speak presentation about her late son Ian’s battle with drugs the first night prior to the first session and the additional sessions are November 6 and November 13, also at West Rocks Middle school at 6 pm .

The program itself will be facilitated by Larry, Ginger’s husband, a former social worker with a master’s degree in nutrition and a BA in Psychology. The course will be offered in English and Spanish. Millie Seguinot will facilitate the Spanish program.

“We’ve had very good success with it,” Larry Katz said. The last session we had 110 parents take the program 55 in Spanish and 55 in English.”

The program, Larry Katz said, is designed to give parents the tools to communicate with their children, primarily about drug use, which can have a big effect on whether children use or not. He called it the number one deterrent in keeping children from taking drugs and only one in three parents have the conversation. The course will cover trends in drug use, which Larry Katz said is on the rise – the “teen party culture” children are faced with, the physiological consequences of drug use, warning signs and where to get help.

“There are a lot of issue involved in this. Children may not be getting the right message from the media, movies, and the Internet and all the other factors that come into a child making a healthy decision,” Larry Katz said.  “They need someone to give them the facts, not the to scare them but to make them realize what they’re getting into with these serious things.”

Child care will be available with reservations and light dinner will be served at 6 pm a half hour before the sessions are scheduled to begin. Parents can register for the training at by clicking on the Educational Programs or call 203-831-9700.

“It’s a very illuminating course and the parents have said it helped then communicate with their child on the topic,” Larry said. “They have found to have better relationship with their children. They have time to speak to their children and listen, part of being a parent is listening the their children.