Cultivating Awareness. Living Mindfully. Enhancing Resilience. That’s Our Mission.

10 Year Anniversary


December 2008 Barnstable High School student murdered

August 2009 Two Barnstable High School graduates die by suicide.

Cape Cod community in crisis. What if...?


$5,000 100% fundraising

  • Creation of the Inner Resilience Project Raising $$ for one stress reduction program at BHS in the Alternative Learning Porgram
  • 1st 5K DeStress Express raises $5000. Many local businesses and community members willing to sponsor
  • CC Times article about the Inner Resilience Project creates public demand
  • 1st programs at Barnstable and Mashpee High School
  • Creation of non-profit started. Shift name from the Inner Resilience Porject to CALMER Choice (Cultivating Awareness, Living Mindfully, Enhancing Resilience)
  • 1st official board meeting. Executive Director sits as board chair, 501c3 status approved

Pictures: Patty, Bob, Katie, Fiona, David, Betsy


$15,000 raised

  • Founding instructor goes to Mindful Schools training over the summer
  • Grant writer hired. Demands for programs continues to grow. Word of mouth referrals
  • Volunteer driven. Passionate, hands on board
  • Five people sent to NYC for training in January of this year
  • 1st NPR interview and initial website and marketing materials created
  • Limited financial resources. Few if any operational routines exist
  • CALMER Choice logo changes to Calmer Choice after feedback from Suffolk University Marketing Program consult


$60,000 first grants received

  • Jon Kabat Zinn and others in the world of mindfulness offer support, goodwill towards organization following further NPR interviews
  • Calmer Choice Curriculum creation started, working group meeting monthly
  • 1st SWOT and Strategic Plan – rtecommneding staying within 5 districts, and focus on elementary school students
  • ED now paid 1 day a week. Instructors hourly. All other back office needs volunteer
  • Demand for programming greater than capacity
  • Relationship with Tufts University begun

Picture: Caroline



  • Tufts University begins research with Mashpee, DY and Chatham schools
  • Barnstable District Issues emerge. Told to put all programs on-hold until Calmer Choice Programs evidence based
  • Calmer Choice trademarked
  • 1st major presentation at Umass Center for Mindfulness
  • Mindful Magazine features Calmer Choice and founding story creating national
  • Jon Kabat Zinn speaks at CCCC launching the Calmer Choice Speaker Series, sold out
  • New relationship with Yale researchers begun


$174,000 budgeted

$224,299 raised

16% schools, 33% donations,26% fundraisers, 25% grants

  • Part time administrative assistant hired along with first shared office space
  • 1st Calmer Choice Instructor Training initiated
  • Support of foundations and funders continue to grow with increased public recognition
  • ED hired fulltime and steps down as board chair
  • Courage of Conscience award presented at Quaker Meeting House
  • Tufts University presents outcomes/research Calmer Choice board with positive results
  • Yale Research project begins in Cape Cod Light House Charter, Mattacheese Middle and St Francis , grade 6


$345,000 budgeted, $394,437 raised

12% schools, 28% donations, 26% fundriasers, 34% grants

  • Three year Tower Tech grant awarded allowing for organization to begin purchasing its own equipment including computers and copy machine
  • Creation fo the beginnings of the Calmer Choice Partner School model
  • Moved to larger office space in South Yamouth
  • 1st NATIONAL Calmer Choice Presentation in California
  • 1st Part Time resource development staff funded by the CC Foundation
  • Yale presents research at CCCC. Cape Cod Times covers event creating further interest across the country
  • Full Time Program Director and School and Cmmunity Based Program Director now in place creating significant financial changes from previous years

Pictures: Stephanie, Sasa, Forest, Paula


$500,000 budgeted, $617,220 raised

13%schools, 28% donations, 21% fundraisers, 38% grants

  • Record budget passsed by the board
  • Concerned parent steps forward in DY following Calmer Choice Brings Satan to Cape Cod Schools letter to the editior leading to first hire of a PR firm and much research into the First Amendment/Establishment Clause
  • MIT Research begun in Dorechester at Boston Collegiate Charter School
  • Calmer Choice becomes thought leaders in how to bring Secular Mindfulness into public schools
  • Board turnover with roles shifting
  • Calmer Choice invited to create anOMEGA conference with 24 other national thought leaders concerning the Secular issue of schools and mindfulness

Pictures: Karen H, Michaela, John Fulone


$615,000 budgeted, $648,398 raised

18% schools, 28% donations, 16% fundraisers, 38% grants

  • Initating of new website begun. Professionalizing operations happening in house
  • Establish and improved relationships with key funders and donors noted
  • Invited to do a State House presentation to legislative delegation.
  • Invited to Bridging Hearts and Minds Conference as Keynote Speakers- Secular Mindfulness in Schools
  • Calmer Choice ominted for the Non-Profit Excellence in Innovation Award at State House

Pictures: Sue Curran, Mary Acunzo, Sherry Santini


$679,000 budgeted, $659,276 raised

13% schools, 32% donations, 19% fundraisers, 33 % grants

  • Instructor training hosted by Falmouth District with 5 school districts involved.
  • First full time off Cape hire with expertise in the area of development
  • Part time Community Based Program Director
  • Increased in house marketing and communication procedures
  • Transitioning of Founding Staff
  • 50K in State Budget for CC prevention programming

Pictures: Peggy, Chris Brenner, Liam, Emily, Patience



  • Full-time School-Based and Community based Director positions filled with the restructuring of the programming department
  • First Off Cape school program initiated in Marion
  • Adding professionals to the board with expertise in various needed areas
  • More invitations happening to speak about teaching secular mindfulness in schools
  • Multi-Year Strategic Planning Process underway.

Picture: Laura Newstead

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