Calmer Choice, non-profit organization in Barnstable, Massachusetts Calmer Choice, non-profit organization in Barnstable, Massachusetts

2024 spring appeal

Are we paying attention to the right things in our classrooms? What seeds are we cultivating in our kids to ensure they grow and flourish throughout their lives?

Children Haven’t Changed. Childhood Has. Mindfulness Can Help.

It’s not easy to be a kid these days. Mental health challenges are the leading cause of death among 3–17-year-olds. Why are we so concerned with test scores when there were over 400 school shootings between 2021 and 2022?

Mindfulness creates a common language that students can use to help them respond better when they feel overwhelmed.

“Over the years, there has been an increase in anxiety in students. Young children often do not have the words for why they do what they do. Calmer Choice gives them those words. I really hope they carry these words and strategies with them as they go into the higher grades, as it will help them to be better adults, as it is helping them be better children now.”
Renee Lee, second-grade teacher at Ezra H. Baker Elementary School

Mindfulness also helps children become better learners, improving their ability to learn. Better focus increases their confidence and enhances their ability to connect with peers, leading to both improved mental health and richer academic performance.

What We Pay Attention to Grows.

This is not only true for students, but also for adults. In a recent Gallop poll, 28% of teachers experience symptoms of depression, which is almost double that of other professions. K-12 teachers have the highest burnout rate of all professions surveyed (52%), and 85% report their job as unsustainable. So why aren’t we focusing on supporting mental health and wellbeing in our classrooms?

Our mindfulness coach Stephanie Goley is witness to the growing gap between what is needed and what is happening in school classrooms. She sees the impact this has, not just on kids, but also on teachers.

"I get to be present with students and staff every day. I am often an observer to the weight of responsibilities that teachers carry as well as the burdens students bring to school each day. There is a difference in schools today compared to what I experienced over 20 years ago. Sometimes you can feel the stress in a school when you walk in the building. Teachers and administrators are working so hard, usually without the human and financial resources they truly need."
–Stephanie Goley, Calmer Choice mindfulness coach

The good news is we can change all of this by shifting our attention (and our resources) to helping schools, teachers, and students with the skills and practices they need to live full, happy, and successful lives.

Just as mindfulness is a healing path for children, it also helps teachers deal with job-related stress, anxiety, and burnout. Through professional development workshops and peer practice groups, we help teachers and staff build the skills they need to support their own wellbeing. Our mindfulness coach is a full-time resource who helps school districts grow a healthier educational cultures

The work in my role is to help find ways I can support the adults in each school without creating more work, as well as support the students in learning strategies to support their wellbeing. Just offering a 15-minute mindfulness practice before school to teachers has gone a long way in supporting the mental health of educators.

With over 14 years of experience working directly in classrooms, Calmer Choice offers best-in-class programming with scientific research to prove that mindfulness works for kids and adults.

Help us Bridge the Gap.

Our evidence-based mindfulness programming for schools and community organizations is filling a critical gap in our community. The Cape and surrounding regions simply do not have enough resources to respond to the growing needs for social, emotional, and mental wellness services that are needed right now.

This year alone, we are providing over 3,000 students in 11 schools across three school districts with mindfulness education, and their teachers with the professional development training and personal wellness support they need to stay in their classrooms.

But money matters.

Right now, many schools are facing a funding crisis as COVID relief funds vanish. To continue this programming, we need your help to bridge the gap:

We aim to raise $50,000 this spring to continue our school-based programming for the 2024-2025 school year. To help us get there, our Board of Directors is offering a generous $7,500 match for your donation.

What will your impact be?

One Student

Your gift of $75 gives one student our 8-week classroom program.

Donate Now

One Teacher

Your gift of $250 gives one teacher our educator Mindfulness Circle.

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One Classroom

Your gift of $1,500 gives one entire classroom our 8-week program.

Donate Now

Your support allows us to reimagine what is possible in our classrooms. Thank you.

With gratitude,

Sarah Manion
Executive Director, Calmer Choice