“Although we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can always choose how to respond. Children can learn to choose a loving thought over an angry one. When a child realizes that they have the power to positively impact themselves as well as those around them, it is empowering and perpetuates their positive actions and interactions.”
–Scarlett Lewis, Founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement and Jesse’s mother
Quinnipiac University School of Education and Dean Kevin Basmadjian will host an event for SEL Awareness Week on February 12, 2016 at 10 a.m. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal will discuss his recent legislative efforts on behalf of SEL. In December 2015, Congress approved the Every Student Achieves Act, incorporating language Blumenthal advocated for to advance and support social and emotional learning. This will allow federal funds to be used for mental health awareness training—providing training to school personnel to de-escalate crises, and to recognize the early signs and symptoms of mental illness, enabling early intervention and support.
On the morning of December 14th, 2012, Jesse McCord Lewis walked out of his house and down the driveway towards his father who was waiting to drive him to school. Along the way, Jesse stopped to write a message with his finger in the frost on his mother’s car: “I love you.” Just hours later, Jesse was gone. He was one of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.
Days prior to the tragedy, Jesse wrote three words on his chalkboard at home: “Nurturing. Healing. Love.” We understand these final words as a calling from Jesse that says, ‘I have something for you to do for us. That’s to consciously change an angry thought into a loving one’ because it is a choice.”
The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement collaborates with professional educators to bring lasting meaning to Jesse’s murder by developing school-based educational programs to change our current culture of violence to one of safety, peace and love for everyone in our world.
This is the single guiding principle, the sole purpose and motto of our work: Teaching others to Choose Love.