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Cook Center for Human Connection Awards $100,000 in Matching Grants to 20 Schools to Build ‘Calm Rooms’

by PRP Group, on 04/03/2023

Cook Center for Human Connection Awards $100,000 in Matching Grants to 20 Schools to Build ‘Calm Rooms’

Funding from the Utah nonprofit will help schools across the nation create therapeutic spaces for students who need time to regulate their emotions and return to class able to learn

(Salt Lake City) TK, 2023 — The Cook Center for Human Connection, a nonprofit dedicated to mental health and suicide prevention with schools and families, today announced the 20 rural and urban schools from across the nation that were selected to receive Calm Room Grants. The grant program was launched last year to help schools create an in-school safe space for students to reset when they feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, angry, or frustrated. 

The Cook Center offered matching grants of up to $5,000 per school for up to 25 schools to create a Calm Room in their building. More than 200 schools applied, and those that demonstrated the greatest need and ability to make an immediate impact were selected as grant winners.

The grant awardees selected were:

School: District:   State:

Woods Elm

Fort Smith 


Cutter Morning Star School District

Cutter Morning Star


Baboquivari High/Middle School

Baboquivari Unified School District #40


Hayward High School

Hayward Unified School District


Savoy Elementary School

Washington DC


Ft. Clarke Middle School

Alachua County


Declo Elementary

Cassia County Joint School District


Highland Park High School

Township High School District #113


AVAP- Avoyelles Virtual and Alternative Program

Avoyelles Parish School District


Genesee Jr/Sr High School

Genesee School District


Cleveland Elementary

Livonia Public Schools


Wegienka Elementary School

Woodhaven Brownstown Schools


Lockwood Elementary School

Lockwood School District #26


Ben Franklin Middle School

Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union School District


Pickaway Pathways for Success

Pickaway County ESC


Norwin Middle School

Norwin School District


Wallenpaupack Area High School

Wallenpaupack Area School District


Mansfield Timberview High School

Mansfield ISD 


Backman Elementary School

Salt Lake City School District


Bingham High School

Jordan School District


Salem Junior High School

Nebo School District


Whittier Elementary School

Salt Lake City School District


Walden School of Liberal Arts: High School

Walden School of Liberal Arts


Parley's Park Elementary Calming Room

Park City School District


Summit Innovations School

Teton County School District



“The Cook Center is proud to support schools across the nation that are dealing with the mental health crisis,” said CEO Anne Brown. “As school leaders implement a variety of strategies to address mental health concerns in students of all ages, calm rooms are a powerful, research-backed tool to improve student well-being.” 

A calm room is a supportive, therapeutic environment where students go to focus on self-calming efforts and learn to self-regulate their bodies and their emotions. Calm rooms feature quiet spaces with low-stimulation decor and fixtures, soft furniture and carpet, and other materials that reduce stress and foster positive coping techniques. Research shows that calming spaces can:

  • Reduce negative student behaviors;
  • Create stronger relationships between staff and students;
  • Boost student learning; 
  • Improve students' self-esteem; and
  • Reduce stress on students and staff.

Through the Calm Room Grants, the Cook Center aims to help school communities throughout the United States get the resources they need to boost mental health support and improve student well-being and school culture. The grants require that each school have a plan to open a new safe space in their school building within the 2022-23 school year and have matching funds of $5,000 or more to pay for the installation. Each school will be required to report on the building, completion, and usage of the calm rooms.

For more information about the Cook Center for Human Connection and their Calm Room grant, go to

About the Cook Center for Human Connection

The mission of the Cook Center is to bring together the best organizations, programs, and products to prevent suicide, provide mental health support, and enhance the human connections vital for people to thrive. The foundation’s current focus is on supporting children, families, and schools with youth mental health resources and on the goal of eradicating suicide. This work is accomplished through various grants to schools, programs for parents, and global resources to bring greater awareness to the support needed for those affected by mental health needs and suicide. Their free resources created to support child mental health and prevent suicide include  My Life Is Worth Living™, the first animated series about teen mental health and suicide prevention, and, a mental health resource giving parents the tools to have the important conversations at home. Their content includes free on-demand courses taught by licensed therapists, and family mental health nights hosted by trained professionals. Learn more at

Topics:News Release