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

Winter Programming Updates

Outside our windows these past few weeks we see grey skies, rain - and lots of snow! It feels comforting to settle into a cozy, winter hibernation-slowing down and enjoying of simple, ceremonial activities. Though the temperature outside be at times downright frigid – the staff of Calmer Choice feel the pull of our planet’s cycles and these days it’s feeling a bit like spring in the office (tulip bouquets on our desks surely contribute). The excitement for a new season is surely linked to our work starting our new Strategic Plan. The process is now underway as we have met as a staff 3 times: first for our internal staff-retreat with consultant Adam Brock from Regenerate Change, next with our dedicated Board of Directors and staff and most recently as an internal team to discuss the definition of mindfulness and how it supports our theory of change.

We welcome new instructor, Carolyn DeCristofano to the team! Carolyn brings with her extensive professional experience as a STEM curriculum developer, professional development specialist and children’s book author. She earned a certificate with Mindful Schools and completed her Calmer Choice Instructor Training in 2019. She will begin her teaching in Middleborough.

This is a memorable week for Calmer Choice as we officially launch in-classroom programming in the Middleborough School District! Third and fourth graders at Henry B. Burkland Elementary and Mary K. Goode Elementary will be learning with instructors Jennifer, Patty and Carolyn.

We continue to deliver in-classroom programming in Falmouth with instructors Laura and Liliana, along with our VIPS friends teaching in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades across 3 schools – Mullen Hall, Teaticket and East Falmouth.

Our support in Falmouth continues with an upcoming 8-week educator course to enhance personal resiliency and well-being, taught by Laura and Sasa. We dive deeper into Falmouth with a new initiative facilitated by Stephanie for the VIPS Pathways Program which empowers middle and high school students who are feeling disconnected and disconnected at school through mentorship, field trips, community building, college exploration, academic support – and now, mindfulness skills!

With thoughtful acknowledgement to all that it took to prepare curriculum and engage the hopeful ten new trainees; we are thrilled to have officially launched Phase 1 of our Instructor Training Program. We were delayed due the snowstorm but certainly not deterred! Patty leads a dedicated team including Stephanie, Forest, Karen, and Paula to pilot this new evolution in training that supports participants to teach mindfulness outside of Calmer Choice for the first time.

We’ve had our wheels in motion reaching adults through our community programs. In addition to our regularly scheduled 8-week virtual course for adults, Forest is facilitating an 8-week partnership program to support the staff at Children’s Cove. In addition to teaching the programs just listed, Forest also continues to provide access to the skills of mindfulness to our community partners including the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center with monthly mindfulness support group workshops and will soon begin working in collaboration again with the Homeless Prevention Council’s Reach Project. This nurturing program helps individuals through coaching, goal setting and establishing a personal mindfulness practice for lifelong wellness and long-lasting self-sufficiency. Thank you to Forest for holding all these learning groups safely in her care.

Teachers worldwide have access to our educator course via our almost year-old partnership with Dominican University thanks to the facilitation of Stephanie. She’ll start teaching this course again very soon - next week in fact! We encourage teachers to join us starting February 16th for an opportunity to learn how to establish a mindfulness practice while earning graduate credit and PDPs (for Massachusetts teachers).

Finally, we have made an update to our morning sits. To facilitate access to this lovely offering, we are posting the daily zoom invite directly on our website. No need to register - just join in! Thank you to Patty, Karen, Liliana and Pau for supporting this community. Here’s the website link for English Sits and here’s the link for our Spanish-speaking sit page.