The Courage to Speak® Foundation is a 501(c)(3) and its mission is dedicated to " Saving lives by educating and empowering youth to be drug free and encouraging parents to talk to their children about the danger of drugs."
Ginger Katz along with her husband Larry presents to students, parents, educators, clergy, professionals, law enforcement and others at many forums including state and national conferences. With a team of experts the organization developed drug prevention education curriculum evaluated and recommended by Yale School of Medicine. Many facilitators and teachers across the country implement the Courage to Speak Foundation student curriculum in elementary, middle and high schools as well as a multi-session program for parents called Courage to Speak -Courageous Parenting 101® which give parent tools to keep their children safe.
The Courage to Speak Foundation's office is located at 71 East Ave, Suite M, Norwalk CT with 4 staff and a host of volunteers and college interns Phone 203-831-9700.
CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE™:
The dark-green convertible couch where twenty-year-old Ian Eaccarino died of a heroin and valium overdose eighteen years ago is a silent presence in the basement studio that was his bedroom. His sister Candace, who has Down Syndrome, sleeps on it every Tuesday night when she visits from the group home where she lives in Fairfield, CT. Every week, she puts its cushions on the floor, covers them with a blanket and makes a bed for her brother. "Ian comes down from the clouds," she insists, "and sleeps there."
At the other end of the room, Ian's mother Ginger Katz has established headquarters for The Courage to Speak® Foundation, Inc., a project that took shape in the dark months following her son's death. "When I see Candace cry, I get angry with Ian for causing her so much pain," she says softly, "but I know it was the drugs. Drugs make you crazy. Drugs stole Ian from us."
Ginger Katz is determined to break what she calls "the conspiracy of silence"™ around the disease of teen drug abuse and addiction. Speaking as a parent who has experienced the ultimate loss, she has been telling Ian's story all over the country, sharing insights with parents about the signs of drug abuse and educating young people ranging from elementary school through college.
In 2009 the Courage to Speak Foundation received a grant from the federal government to build capacity and to evaluate its elementary, middle and high school Curriculum and the Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101®with positive outcomes.
Click here for the Overview of Work and Awards.
HOW TO ADDRESS DRUG ABUSE IN TEENS
The Courage to Speak® Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded by Ginger Katz that fosters open communication about the prevention of alcohol and other drug use among young people. Ginger has been inspired to speak out about the code of silence surrounding drug abuse in teens by the untimely death of her son, Ian, to whom her effort is dedicated. Since 1996, she has given over 1000 presentations nationally, reaching hundreds of thousands of middle school, high school and college students and their parents. Addressing young people, concerned parents, educators, state and local officials, community leaders and law enforcement professionals, Ginger tells her son's story. Through it she weaves powerful prevention information and identifies denial and enabling as part of the disease. She asks parents to listen and young people to speak out, encouraging an honest, open dialogue between peers and between generations.
Since 2002, The Courage to Speak® Foundation, along with experts in the field of prevention, developed drug prevention education curricula for elementary, middle and high school students as well as a program for parents called Courage to Speak - Courageous Parenting 101®. This free multi-session course, offered in English and Spanish, educates parents on keeping their children safe from drugs. Since 2008, there are over 100 trained facilitators, 13 of which are bilingual, teaching the course in several states. See link here
READ SUNNY'S STORY BOOK WRITTEN BY CEO & FOUNDER, GINGER KATZ AND NARRATED BY THE FAMILY BEAGLE WHICH IS READ IN HUNDREDS OF SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
Ginger Katz authored a book called Sunny's Story, in which the family dog tells of joyful times and sad times, and how the dog's best friend was needlessly lost because of alcohol and other drug use. Now in its third edition, it is in over 40 states and beyond. See link here
Click on this link to find out about The Courage to Speak's programs.