MURFREESBORO, TN - In response to the emotional challenges faced by students, schools across the country are embracing the concept of calm centers. Often referred to as calm rooms, calming rooms, or reset spaces, these designated areas aim to provide students experiencing anxiety or emotional distress with a place to regain composure. The primary goal is to create a relaxing environment that calms the senses through visual, auditory, or tactile stimuli. Tactile stimulation, involving touch-sensations like texture and temperature, plays a significant role in these spaces.
Cason Lane Academy in Murfreesboro stands out as a pioneer in this initiative, introducing the first calm room in the district. Spearheaded by the dedicated Calm Coach, Anna Johnson, the room is equipped with tools to help students process and understand their emotions. The Murfreesboro City School System envisions extending this support by incorporating calm coaches and centers in all city schools by the 2023-2024 academic year.
The concept gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, where extended periods away from school took an emotional toll on students. Cason Lane, like many institutions, witnessed challenges as students returned to class, prompting the creation of a "Recharge Room" in 2020. This quiet and peaceful space, with a large portion of it funded by donations from the Parent Teacher Organization, aimed to assist elementary-age children in transitioning back to the classroom environment by prioritizing their emotional well-being.
As the demand for such resources grows, the proactive approach of implementing calm centers demonstrates a commitment to the mental health of students, providing a preventative measure to deescalate emotions and anxiety before they become overwhelming. In Murfreesboro, each calm coach undergoes extensive training, emphasizing the significance of these structured spaces in fostering a supportive educational environment.