Sunny’s Story

Sunny's Story

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Sunny's Story, written by Ginger Katz is a drug prevention book for all ages. It is a compelling story for children, teenagers, parents, grandparents, teachers and more. Sunny’s Story tells of joyful times and sad times, and of how a dog’s best friend was needlessly lost to drug abuse.

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It is narrated through the eyes, ears and mind of Sunny, the family beagle. The story tells the ups and downs of life with his young master Ian, beginning with their meeting at an animal shelter, and ending with a futile effort to ward off disaster

Sunny's Story is read at many dinner tables across the country, in schools, libraries, as part of Courage to Speak® Drug Prevention Curricula for elementary, middle and high school students as well as a standalone book for children of all ages, parents, grandparents, teachers and professionals in the field of treatment and prevention.

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Courage to Speak® Drug Prevention Education Program for Middle Schools

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The Courage to Speak® Drug Prevention Education Program is a research-based program for Middle Schools which builds skills to help students make good decisions and resist the pressure to use drugs. Students take part in specific social emotional skill development and asset-building activities through:

  • Internet Research
  • Creative Writing
  • Group Discussion
  • Scientific Demonstration
  • Art

drug prevention education programs for middle school

The Program consists of 16 highly interactive classroom lessons taught by teachers. An additional option for the curriculum is the book Sunny’s Story: Written by Ginger Katz, #1 on Google for Drug Prevention. This book is a glimpse at teen drug abuse and loss told through the eyes of Sunny, the family beagle.

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The lessons enable students to:

  • Have a clear plan to refuse alcohol and other drugs when offered, including vaping, marijuana, tobacco, prescription drugs and opioids.
  • Develop clear decision-making strategies.
  • Identify 3-5 adults who will support them when needed.
  • Communicate with their parents about risky behaviors and the dangers of drugs.

Yale University School of Medicine evaluation reported statistically significant increases in youth’s communication with their parents about substance use and an increase in the number of times students talked to their parent(s) about: family rules and expectations about drug use; things they could do to avoid drugs; drug use in movies; and people they know who have been in trouble because of drug use.

This study further demonstrates the effectiveness of the Courage to Speak® Foundation Drug Prevention Education Model that engages home, school and community to keep our children safe from drugs.

The Courage to Speak Foundation also offers a Courage to Speak – Courageous Parenting 101® course for parents which compliments the Middle School curriculum and cultivates mutual understanding between students and parents about drug prevention.

Teacher Comments

“The work the kids have done to this point has been well beyond what I could ever hope for.” Pat Vigilio, Ponus Ridge Middle School, Norwalk CT

“The students’ reactions to these lessons are genuine…and their comments demonstrate their insights into this highly charged material. The Courage To Speak Program is one of the finest I have ever encountered.” York Mario, West Rocks Middle School, Norwalk CT

Student Comments

“The most important thing this program teaches is not to be afraid. It’s better to talk out your problems than resort to drugs.” Julie, 7th Grade, Norwalk, CT

“The program taught me to speak up when I have a problem.” Jason, 7th Grade, Waterbury, CT

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Ian James Eaccarino

Ian James Eaccarino
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