Courage to Speak Foundation heads to D.C.
By MATT COYNE
Hour Staff Writer | Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:01 pm
NORWALK -- Ginger Katz is taking her anti-drug curriculum on the road, but it all started here in Norwalk.
Katz, who founded the Courage to Speak Foundation after her son, Ian, died of a heroin overdose sixteen years ago, will give a talk and present her elementary, middle and high school curriculum at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of American (CADCA) forum in National Harbor, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C.
"They're giving me this forum to share Ian's story, but I also have the opportunity to share the curriculum that's been developed in Norwalk," said Katz. "A long time ago, right after Ian died, someone said work in your community and they'll raise you up, and I never understood it until I saw it."
The CADCA forum is an annual event that brings together anti-drug coalitions from around the country. Many coalitions give talks, allowing the groups to learn strategies from each other and share programs.
Since Katz began her anti-drug activism, the Courage to Speak Foundation has grown with towns all over Connecticut from Milford to Hamden to Killingly teaching the curriculum. Schools and organizations in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and even Missouri have started using the materials as well.
"That's how I got to the 22 towns across the country, because I've gone to this CADCA for the last five years," Katz said. "This is a national forum. All the coalitions across the country come to this event and they choose your workshop. I've always had standing room only workshops."
Even with the growth of the foundation, Katz is still quick to point out that most of what she does is still in Norwalk and that the program began here.
"Larry (Katz, her husband) and I went to the superintendent and said we wanted to work with the school district to develop an anti-drug curriculum," she said. "Dr. (Lynne Moore, principal at West Rocks Middle School) said, of all the principals, I want to do this."
Katz added, "It all started here. … It's Fairfield County, it's Connecticut, and there's some national reach too."