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Program Evaluations and Testimonials

Evaluation Background

Comprehensive Health Education Foundation surveyed a sample of 463 participants from 13 Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ trainings conducted in the spring of 2004.

This survey determined how participants used the skills and materials after the training and the degree to which the training was successful in changing adult and child behavior (based on real-life stories and testimonials). Please review the information below on program application, effectiveness, and training.

Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ Program—
Ease of Application

93% of respondents rated the Calming Activities very useful or useful. 91% of respondents reported using The Calming Skill™ at least once in the last week. According to respondents, Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ has considerable practical value and is easy for children and adults to apply to many everyday situations. Its simplicity and portability allows for use in schools, homes, stores, clinics, hospitals, the outdoors, and a variety of other venues.


“In our early learning program, we have trained
both parents and children to use calming breath
before problem solving. Our teacher uses
different calming activities to prepare children
for stories. Above all, everyone is learning that
problem solving, no matter how great or small,
is not effective unless one is calm.”

—Les Foss, Director/Parent Educator,
Everett Community College, Everett, WA

“From the feedback we received from our staff, the program was well received and usable, not only in a classroom setting but with the teachers themselves. One child I was working with could not get enough of the strategies for calming himself. We did two or so every time we met.”

—Rick Goudzwaard, School Counselor,
Breidablik Elementary School, Poulsbo, WA

Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ Program — Effectiveness

94% of respondents rated Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ as highly effective or effective for calming children. 87% of respondents rated Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ as highly effective or effective for calming themselves. According to respondents, Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ has been highly successful in reducing stress among a variety of children and adults in a range of situations. The resulting calmness soothes both adult and child, creating a dual benefit.


“One day we were grocery shopping, and my son was beginning to lose it. So we stopped what we
were doing and began shaking like puppies! Pretty
soon, we were laughing too hard to be mad, and
I have to say, we received a few chuckles from
other shoppers. One mom came up afterwards
and asked me what we were doing and said that
she was going to use that tool with her toddlers.”

—Kellie Rogers, Children’s Advocate,
Children’s Domestic Violence Program,
YWCA, Renton, WA

“One day my little granddaughter came over to visit during child
care hours, and she really ‘busied’ things up. She spilled her milk
and then rocked back in her chair and fell backwards, so lunch
went everywhere, and she was crying. The rest of the lunch
carnage was still on the table. I was feeling stressed, and the
only thing I could think to do was shake like a puppy. It did help.”

—Jeni Meissner,
In-Home Family Child Care Provider,
Lynnwood, WA


“Eight-year-old Mimi carries a lot of stress and has trouble going to sleep. Now, at bedtime, she uses the ‘melting snowman’ calming technique and is able to go to sleep soon after going to bed. She’s getting more sleep, is more willing to go to bed, and her mom has more late evenings left for herself.”

—Lanie Riley, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
and Massage Therapist, Seattle, WA

"I shared that it is easier to calm yourself when you are singing. So we
sang the song from class, and it was like letting air out of a balloon. It
calmed everyone in the room. I also used the calming music CDs to start
class, and if I forgot, the students would say, 'Where's the music?'"

—Linda Starkenburg, Instructor,
Renton Technical College, Renton, WA

Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ 6 Hour Training — Usefulness

95% of respondents rated the training very useful or useful in helping them use the activities and skills. According to respondents, there was significant value in participating in the Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ training. It was perceived as practical, informative, easy to understand, and hands-on. Participants walked away ready to begin using the techniques immediately.

“For the past two years, this has been the most requested staff training
in our program for pre-service, and also at the local Early Childhood
Conference in the spring. The teachers and early learning professionals,
both at our agency and in the community, take it over and over again.”

—BJ Hellman, Children’s Programs Coordinator,
Chelan-Douglas Child Services Association,
Wenatchee, WA


Links to find the following information

• Program Overview
• Program Materials
Program Background
» Program Evaluation and Testimonials

More Testimonials

angry boys

“I have been using the program constantly in my work. I work with kids who have experienced domestic violence, and the program works beautifully with my curriculum. I use it as a teaching tool throughout my program but especially during the anger management and conflict resolution skills-building sections.”

—Kellie Rogers, Children’s Advocate,
Children’s Domestic Violence Program,
YWCA, Renton, WA


“The Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ program reinforced skills that I use every day in my practice as a public health nurse. I use these skills on a daily basis at work in my clinic and my practice in the community (i.e., home visits). As a bonus, these skills are very effective at home with teenagers as well as with younger children.”

—Kelly Anderson, RN, BSN,
Public Health Nurse, Northeast Tri
County Health District, Colville, WA

"In a multi-age Camp Fire USA club, the leader noticed one young boy was becoming agitated. She recalled the steps for managing stress and immediately asked all the children to take a deep breath. All the kids loved the breathing break. It calmed the young boy who sparked the activity, and the rest of the meeting went great. The leader said they didn't do all the steps, but the boy was aware that he was less agitated.”

—Donna S. Fischer, Club Program and Training Specialist, Camp Fire USA Snohomish County Council, Everett, WA


"Children were not relaxing for rest time. They get up at 6 a.m. and were very tired and in need of rest. I taught them some relaxation methods, and they were able to relax, therefore falling asleep for much-needed naps.”

—Deborah K. Hayford, In-Home Child Care Provider, Vancouver, WA

"I used the calming skills with my husband as he lived his final weeks with cancer, when he was scared and in pain. I also shared the information with hospice, and they were happy to hear some new calming techniques.”

—Sherie Schmitt, Child Care Provider, Bothell, WA


"I have done many (Calming Ourselves) trainings for early learning professionals for the past two years. Each time, the teachers are very excited that they have some hands-on tools that they can use with the children in their daily lives. The activities in the book are very useful. Some teachers said they can use the same activities for themselves."

—Cam Do Wong, Community Health Educator
Seattle and King County Public Health—Kids Get Care
Seattle, WA

©1998  EyeWire, Inc.

"I have had adults in the training
actually be brought to tears realizing the amount of stressful moments they have and how to better calm themselves. Staff members have let each other know how helpful this training was to them and how they are using it in their classrooms."

—Cheryl L'Ecuyer, Human
Resources Assistant,
Educational Opportunities for
Children and Families, Vancouver, WA