• Less anxiety and stress
• Less fearful (in the present and future)
• Enhanced self-esteem
• Improved ability to express oneself and one’s feelings
• Increased self-awareness
• Willingness to try difficult tasks
• Positive attitude towards self and others
• Improved attitude about school and learning
• Showing appreciation and kindness towards self and others
• Increased mindfulness
• Ability to see other perspectives and show empathy
• Healthier relationships and deeper connections
• Better emotional self-regulation
• Less aggression and anger
• Better able to handle personal/social issues that arise
• Improved resilience
• Improved decision-making skills
• Heightened self-management
• Enhanced connections and relationships
• Able to respond in a loving manner
• More caring and concern shown to others
• Improved social skills
• Social and Moral Awareness
• Improved focus and attention to task
• Eagerness to learn
• Improved self-confidence as a learner
• Improved emotional intelligence
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 MovementTM 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 through our CHOOSE LOVE ENRICHMENT PROGRAM through social, emotional, learning.
– Teacher, Elementary School in Stamford, Connecticut
“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™
The Choose Love Enrichment Program™ is a free, downloadable, pre-K through 12th grade, evidence-based social and emotional (SEL) classroom program teaching children how to choose love in any circumstance. The program focuses on four important character values – Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Compassion in Action – which cultivates optimism, resilience and personal responsibility. Included elements are positive psychology, mindfulness, neuroscience, character values, and more.
Children learn that Choosing Love means choosing to live a life with Courage and Gratitude, practicing Forgiveness, and being Compassionate individuals. Being able to Choose Love promotes their resilience in challenging times. As a result, children learn personal responsibility and the understanding that they always have a choice in how they respond. They realize they can choose to love themselves, and others, and the program teaches them how to do this.
Through decades of research, including long-term studies spanning over 30+ years, we know that SEL is the most proactive and preventative mental health initiative available. SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions (CASEL). The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is the world’s leading organization advancing one of the most important fields in education in decades: the practice of promoting integrated academic, social, and emotional learning for all children in preschool through high school.
Courage is one of the elements that had a profound effect on me when learning to Choose Love this year. The program has changed my perspective on life, who I am today, and who I want to be later. Through patience, growth and synergy, and choosing love I am able to implement all these elements in my mature adult life and frame my perspective on the meaning of my life.
Teaching the core concepts of the Choose Love Enrichment Program fundamentally transformed my classroom and became part of our culture. During the course of teaching the formula for choosing love, my classroom climate improved dramatically and students began using the phrase ‘choosing love’ not only in our classroom but in their daily lives. In addition, I personally benefited and was able to use the lessons in my own life. I feel that I am a better person because I implemented the Choose Love Enrichment Program in my class.
This Movement is empowering children to be both self aware and aware of the feelings and emotions of those around them. SEL should be taught right along with the regular classroom curriculum.
Choose Love Enrichment Program is not only for the students but it gives me the important tools to be a better teacher. I learned to use courage, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion-in-action in the classroom. It has given me the vocabulary to help my students through challenges.
Mother of slain Sandy Hook pupil brings her ‘Choose Love’ message to N. Kingstown October 12, 2017 http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20171012/mother-of-slain-sandy-hook-pupil-brings-her-choose-love-message-to-n-kingstown NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Jesse Lewis, 6, saved the lives of nine of his classmates at Sandy Hook Elementary by yelling for them to “run!” as he stepped in front of the shooter when the gun jammed. He was one of the 20 children who died in the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012. At age 6, he was…
Students learn compassion and courage in Sandy Hook mom’s program October 9, 2017 Students learn compassion and courage in Sandy Hook mom’s program
Mother of Sandy Hook Victim Speaks at Sacramento School September 26, 2017 Click to watch video: Mother of Sandy Hook Victim Speaks at Sacramento School SACRAMENTO — On December 14, 2012, Scarlett Lewis’ life changed forever. Her 6-year-old son, Jesse, was one of 26 people killed when gunman Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. At least nine survivors say the only reason they lived was because Jesse yelled for them to run. After the massacre, the Sandy…
Choosing Love in the Time of Grief Arkady Bukh, Contributor Criminal defense lawyer, entrepreneur, philanthropist September 18, 2017 https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/59c01fc3e4b0f96732cbc850 The smell of gunsmoke was still in the air when first responders arrived at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut eleven days before Christmas, 2012. The shooter, twenty-year-old Adam Lanza shot himself in the head. Research and studies following the shooting all reached the same conclusion. No one could determine why Lanza did it. Lanza had Asperger’s syndrome and suffered from depression, anxiety and…