This year, we moved through administrative transition to reach a place of clarity, stability, and centeredness. This year’s report is a celebration of our continued seamless mindfulness program delivery to our school and community partners, and a sneak peek of the exciting road ahead as we step into our next organizational chapter.View Report PDF
This was truly a year like no other! Read our Annual Report to learn how we are continuing to innovate our program model and services to provide children and those who support them with the mindfulness education, mentorship and training they need to live lives of kindness and compassion.
Our 2020-2021 Annual Report includes a farewell letter from Fiona Jensen, a message from incoming CEO Emily Smalley, and details our accomplishments over the year as our organization enters our second decade of service.
Another year gone. Amazing. Every year it seems amazing to me. I am filled with such awe.
So much has changed since our first programs were introduced nearly 10 years ago. In response to a community crisis, we had one instructor work with 64 children, starting in January 2010. As we head into the 2019-2020 school year, we now have over 12 Calmer Choice instructors, 22 trained school-based teachers and have reached over 32,000 students and teachers, including over 20 community programs! What started as a vision of simply helping the kids in my daughter's school has turned into one where the whole community is involved and supported.
We have been fortunate to have attracted the likes of Tufts, Yale, MIT and the Harvard School of Education to study the efficacy of our program with startling results. The latest news that an MIT research study confirmed a link between Calmer Choice and better academic performance and mental health. How fortunate are we to have been the program being studied!
And yet there is so much that hasn’t changed. Many children continue to say they struggle with anxiety and depression, have problems getting along with others at school, and have difficulty managing and navigating challenging emotions. Substance use, self-harm, and mental health challenges remain a concern for both children and adults alike. We are still very much needed.
Community problem requires community solutions, and I am deeply thankful for those who are with me on this journey – our small and AMAZING staff, our dedicated tenacious board, our committed instructors and our generous donors. I am oh so very grateful to all of you!! Thank you for being part of the solution!
With much love and gratitude,
Fiona Jensen OTR/L
I often wonder how to summarize my awe and gratitude when I am asked to write something like this. How does one put onto one page all there is to say and acknowledge? Thank you to our staff, our board, our volunteers, our donors and business partners. It has been quite a year with many great things happening along with our fair share of growing pains and challenges.
Now nine years into our mission, we find ourselves at an interesting juncture as an organization and as a community. One that has caused all of us to pause and reflect with more and more frequency on both the why and how of what we are doing and where we are going.
In the fall of last year, we received preliminary findings from a research study with MIT and the Harvard School of Education including brain scans that concluded that the Calmer Choice program was in fact making a difference in decreasing anxiety, improving emotional regulation, enhancing attention and reducing stress. Researchers for both MIT and Yale now have papers pending publication with more in the pipeline, providing increased evidence in the efficacy of our programs and what we teach.
We hosted new events and had record-breaking fundraising in others. And then to top off the year, this last June, in an effort led by Senator Julian Cyr, we received notice that Governor Charlie Baker approved $50,000 in state funding for Calmer Choice, recognizing us as an innovative leader in the substance abuse prevention movement.
And yet... among our small staff, we have attended 5 more funerals of young people dying of opioid overdoses in the last six months alone, and have known of many more here on Cape Cod who have lost their lives to this battle. There is still more work to be done, and every day we must begin again, inspired and determined to bring our mission of kindness and compassion to all those who need us.
Thank you for being a part of the community of people who make this work possible.
With love and gratitude,
Fiona Jensen, OTR/L
A Sound and Steadfast Non-Profit
As we complete another incredible year at Calmer Choice, I am filled with gratitude for this community, its schools, its teachers, its students, and for everything we have been able to accomplish together.
Together, we have created a network that supports our children, teachers, parents and community members, all for the betterment of Cape Cod.
A Year of Growth and Reflection
This past school year has been full of amazing growth and reflection for both myself as the Executive Director, and for the Calmer Choice organization itself.
With all we have walked through, our small, local, grassroots organization that started in 2010 as a response and outreach to a community in crisis on Cape Cod has grown to be an organization, now recognized around the country.
What an incredible journey, one that I could never have predicted. With such a dedicated team who have put their hearts, knowledge, time and energy into Calmer Choice, I feel blessed and see that anything is possible.