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