This fall, students at Valley Middle School of STEM will be able to use a new calm room that will be piloted at the school as part of a $40,000 grant awarded to District 196 by PrairieCare, a Minnesota organization that provides a full continuum of mental health services.
Since 2016, the PrairieCare Fund has been awarding grants to Minnesota school districts and nonprofits to support youth mental health innovations in education, services and research. Dr. Stephanie Ochocki, the district’s student support and social-emotional learning coordinator, said the grant funding will provide teachers access to social-emotional tools they can integrate into their classrooms, materials and furniture for the calm room, and professional development from MoveMindfully that teaches educators how to integrate the practice of mindfulness, movement and social-emotional learning.
“We are incredibly thankful for the support we have received from The PrairieCare Fund,” Ochocki said. “This will allow us to continue our partnership with MoveMindfully to support the wellness of our students and staff while we also explore new ways of helping students self-regulate.”