Contact Us
Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

Menu

Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

Nearby Towns

lifestyle

Norwalk Mom, Kids Find 'Courage To Speak' On Drug Prevention Night

A taping of the Courage to Speak Foundation Drug-Free Family Night 2015. The public is invited Monday, March 13 to West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk about the foundation's drug prevention education program.
A taping of the Courage to Speak Foundation Drug-Free Family Night 2015. The public is invited Monday, March 13 to West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk about the foundation's drug prevention education program. Video Credit: Courage to Speak Foundation
Ginger Katz with local families at the Courage to Speak Family Night. She will be among speakers Monday, March 13 at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk. Katz started the foundation in 1996 after her son Ian's drug-related death.
Ginger Katz with local families at the Courage to Speak Family Night. She will be among speakers Monday, March 13 at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk. Katz started the foundation in 1996 after her son Ian's drug-related death. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. — An annual drug prevention night led by a Norwalk mother whose son died from an overdose is returning to Norwalk on Monday, March 13.

Residents of Norwalk and beyond are invited to the 13th annual Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to Be Drug-Free Family Night at West Rocks Middle School.

The initiative was started by Ginger Katz in 1996 soon after the death of her son Ian, 21, from an accidental overdose of heroin and prescription drugs.

"It takes a community to help kids stay drug-free," said Katz, founder and CEO of the Courage to Speak.

Community members, students, parents, educators, government and school officials, and local business leaders are encouraged to attend and support the commitment to keep kids safe from drugs and risky behaviors.

Katz is also the author of "Sunny's Story," a drug prevention story that helps families talk openly about the dangers of drugs.

Each year 900 Norwalk students in grades four to seven complete a drug prevention education curricula begun by the foundation. The program is taught in other schools in Connecticut and around the county.

Some of the children will speak at a podium Monday night.

"Their stories are incredible. The children are incredible. They learn so much about drug prevention in the program. Their parents will hear from them for the first time at this event. At our last family night, one boy came up to me to read his letter. He was so sweet," Katz said.

Politicians and community leaders will also talk about drug prevention. Katz said the family nights draw many from Norwalk and beyond.

Her son would have turned 41 this year. She said he would like that his death helped to prevent other deaths. She's told his story thousands of times and will share it again Monday night.

"I'm No. 1 when you Google drug prevention speaker," she said.

Since 2002, nearly 19,000 kids in seven Norwalk schools have learned the curricula of her foundation.

"It was developed by experts and the foundation, and some of the principals in the Norwalk School system," she said.

The evening's emcee will be state Sen. Bob Duff, and speakers include Peter Corbett, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Courage to Speak Foundation; Norwalk Chief of Police Thomas Kulhawik; Mayor Harry Rilling, and Norwalk Public Schools Chief of Schools Operations Frank Costanzo.

Monday's program will begin at 5:30 p.m. with networking and dinner, followed by the program at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the school, 81 West Rocks Road, Norwalk. There is a snow date of Tuesday, March 14.

Click here for program details, here for information about Courage to Speak, and here for information about "Sunny's Story." Katz will sign copies Monday night after the program.

To become a sponsor or volunteer for Courage to Speak, call 877-431-3295 or email Ginger Katz at gkatz@couragetospeak.org .

Welcome to

Norwalk Daily Voice!

Serves Norwalk & Rowayton

This is a one time message inviting you to keep in touch

Get important news about your town as it happens.