Courage to Speak® Drug Prevention Curriculum for Grades 4-6

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Courage to Speak® Drug Prevention Curriculum

for Grades 4-6

Based on the book Sunny’s Story

Written By Ginger Katz

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The Courage to Speak® Drug Prevention Education Curriculum for Elementary School (grades 4-6) teaches students age-appropriate social and emotional skills on living a healthy lifestyle, how and why to avoid drugs, communication and decision-making strategies, and how to identify and avoid risky behaviors. The program is based on Sunny’s Story: Written By Ginger Katz, this is a tale of family love and tragedy narrated through the eyes, ears, and mind of Sunny, the family beagle.

The reading of Sunny’s Story is followed by a nine-lesson user-friendly curriculum developed by teams of experts in the drug prevention field. The lessons support children in avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, taught by classroom teachers. Students take part in skill and asset-building activities through:

  • Creative writing
  • Group Discussion
  • Art
  • Scientific Demonstration
  • Journaling

A recent Yale University evaluation reported among the key findings, that the Program increased:

  • Knowledge and perceptions of harm regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
  • Parent-child communication about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
  • Coping strategies and assets to avoid use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs

Given the cost-effectiveness and ease of implementation for schools, this study demonstrates the program’s effectiveness at positively changing attitudes and behavior for students in grades 4th – 6th regarding substance use.

Madison School 6th Grade Class Yearbook

6th Grade Class Favorite Book: Sunny’s Story

A Favorite Lesson: When we read Sunny’s Story… - Brenda

Best Book I Read: Sunny’s Story - Derek


“Sunny’s story is a perfect way to introduce the sensitive topic of substance abuse to children in elementary, middle, and high school. It engages the students at the outset and keeps their attention throughout.” - Dominic Splendorio, Health Educator

“Educators and parents need to be as strong in voice as Sunny is in the story. This story has to be told, and it will save lives.” - David Hay, Brookside Elementary School Principal

For more information or to learn more about this curriculum for elementary school students in your community, please call 203-831-9700 or email