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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Educational Programs & Curriculum

Learn more about Courage to Speak® substance use prevention education programs for Elementary, Middle, and High School students.

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Drug Prevention Education Presentation Audiences

A typical presentation consists of five age-appropriate programs designed for different aspects of the community:

  • Elementary School Students
  • Middle School Students
  • High School Students
  • Colleges
  • Parents
  • Teachers, Counselors, Health Class Teachers, Athletic Directors
  • Local, State and National Conferences
  • Law Enforcement

Examples of several National Conference and Platforms

  • Connecticut Education Association Summer Leadership Conference
  • Massachusetts Teachers Association Summer Conference
  • Connecticut School Counselors Conference
  • CADCA National Youth Conference (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America)
  • DEA
  • National Association of Drug Court Professionals
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National Association of Independent Schools
  • CT Association of Schools Winter Conference
  • PTA of CT and beyond
  • US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Comments from “Students” After Hearing the Drug Prevention Education Presentation from Speaker, Ginger Katz

  • “After hearing Ian’s story, I shall never do drugs.”
  • “I will always remember this story. When somebody asks me to do drugs my auto response will be your story in my mind and my answer will definitely be no”
  • “There are a lot of kids in high school who do drugs. They think it’s a joke. I wish everyone could hear you speak.”
  • “I see now that drugs can affect all kinds of kids, not just ‘drop-outs.’ I can understand that if you stay silent to protect a friendship, you could end up losing the friend, like you lost Ian.”
  • “After hearing you speak and looking at all the pictures of Ian, I actually had the feeling that I knew him and I was very upset. I came out of class with a new attitude towards drugs and alcohol.”
  • “When she read from her journal, I had tears in my eyes. It was different to hear about a drug addiction from a parent’s viewpoint. It was overwhelming. I don’t think I will ever forget it.”
  • “The three things I’ve learned are to never do drugs, choose my friends wisely and have at least one person I can tell anything to.”
  • “My sister got into trouble again and my parents always make excuses for her. You made me see the ‘wall of silence.’ “
  • “I just heard ur speech and i wanted to say u really touched me. i mean for the past couple weeks, i have been smoking cigeretts with my friends and, at parties, drinking a little and i didn’t realize it could lead to so much stronger drugs, so i just wanted to say thank u.”
  • “The only thing I thought was bad about the presentation is that everybody said that my life seems like Ian’s, but I don’t think my life is. I do drugs, but I don’t feel I have a problem. But besides that, it was a good program. A sign of denial?”
  • “Once you start, you can’t stop and the drug can make you do things you normally wouldn’t. Drugs can have a major impact on your brain and make you think about crazy things or not think at all.”
  • “It made me realize how other people are affected by drugs, not just the drug user. I don’t want to use drugs because I wouldn’t want to hurt my mother.”
  • “I cried during and after her talk. I hadn’t fully grasped the enormity of what drugs could do. I had thought about doing drugs, but now I never will. I don’t want to hurt myself or the ones I love.”
  • “Ian looks like a normal person, not a drug addict. The saddest thing was that he died right when he had decided to get help.”

Comments from “Parents” After Hearing the Drug Prevention Education Presentation from Speaker, Ginger Katz

  • “You gave me insight to start my own gathering of information and outreach in my neighborhood. We need to help each other help our kids.”
  • “On our way home from your presentation, my son told me he knew of kids in his eighth grade class who were taking drugs. On the way to your talk, he had emphatically said just the opposite. Thank-you for enabling him to confide in us.”
  • “Listening to Ginger gave me the courage to make the hard decisions needed to help our son who is an alcohol and heroin addict receive the treatment he needed. Parents who love their children can ill afford not to invest their time to attend, learn and understand how they can help their most precious possession, their children.”
  • “As a mother, I could not help but feel both your love for Ian and your pain. Thank-you for speaking the truth.”

Click here to learn even more about the presentation

Comments from “Professionals” After Hearing the Drug Prevention Education Presentation from Speaker, Ginger Katz

“The Courage To Speak presentation is unique because of the degree of emotion Ginger Katz brings to it. I have a strong sense of people walking out of there alerted. The program cuts through denial and can be a really important catalyst to help others take action.”

Dr. Thomas Kirk
Former CT State Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services

“What a wonderful contribution to our efforts to encourage youth to talk openly with their parents and mentors. You are to be commended for your courage and wisdom. The Courage To Speak program you have created one step in the right direction.”

Barry R. McCaffrey, Director
Executive Office Of The President
Office of National Drug Control Policy

“With your partnership in CASA’s missions, we can make a major difference in our private schools and set a standard for the country. I hope you will join forces with us to help protect our teens from the scourge of addiction and substance abuse.”

Joseph A. Califano
Jr. President
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University

“Ginger Katz is currently working with us to develop a Public Service Announcement that will be included in a national anti-drug campaign. Personal stories are always the most connecting and persuasive. Parents are key to prevention. If only more people whose own lives or families have been torn apart by the tragedy of drug use and addiction would speak out instead of turning away.”

Thomas A. Hedrick, Jr., Vice Chairman
Partnership For A Drug-Free America

“I wish to extend our thanks to Ginger Katz who gave a powerful testimony relating to her personal experience with the effects of narcotics engulfing one’s own family. She has demonstrated the importance of sending the message to our community to get involved in reaching our youth.”

Harry W. Rilling, Chief of Police
Norwalk, CT

“I was Ian’s Housemaster at Norwalk High School. We knew he had a problem, but didn’t realize how severe it was. I watched the expressions on the faces of the young people as Ginger Katz spoke. Her impact on the students is extraordinary. She has helped so many realize they need to seek help.

Dewey Amos, Housemaster
Norwalk High School