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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Courage to Speak Foundation hosts series

Published 03:55 p.m., Monday, October 10, 2011

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Parents are invited to learn about substance abuse and gain the knowledge and skills needed to keep their children safe.

A free parent education series, “Courage to Speak — Courageous Parenting 101,” developed by the Courage to Speak Foundation, will be offered in English and Spanish at West Rocks Middle School, 81 West Rocks Road, Norwalk.

The kick-off to this three-session course will be presented by nationally renowned speaker Ginger Katz, CEO and founder of the foundation and author of “Sunny’s Story,” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. The Courage to Speak presentation empowers students, parents and educators to break the silence surrounding drug use and find healthy solutions.

Session one of the Courage to Speak — Courageous Parenting 101 will follow the presentation and sessions two and three will continue Thursday, Oct. 27, and Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. A light meal will be served.

The course will be taught in English by Dawn Roy and in Spanish by Mille Seguinot, community health educator. Parents will learn effective communication strategies; gain confidence to talk to their children about the dangers of drugs; understand how to set clear rules and boundaries with their children related to use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and gain confidence in knowing how to deal with substance use among their children.

The course covers teen drug use trends and party culture; guidance to help reduce the risk of substance use; how to help children handle stress; warning signs; what to do if use or abuse is suspected and much more. Parents will also develop improved listening and communication skills, which have been shown to be a critical factor in prevention.

Childcare is available with advance notice. For additional information contact:Ginger Katz at 203-831-9700 email and visit

The Courage To Speak Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Norwalk whose mission is “to save lives by empowering youth to be drug free through fostering education and open communication about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.”

Ginger Katz founded the organization in 1996, just months after her 20-year-old son, Ian James Eaccarino, died of an accidental drug overdose. She and her husband Larry Katz pledged that they would do all they could to help prevent such a tragedy from befalling another family. Since then, Katz has given nearly 1,000 presentations reaching hundreds of thousands of individuals young people and the adults who care about them. The Courage To Speak Foundation develops drug prevention curriculum for elementary, middle and high school students as well as parents through Courage to Speak — Courageous Parenting 101. Katz also has authored a book called “Sunny’s Story,” a book for children of all ages.

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