Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to create safer schools through a no-cost, lifespan social and emotional learning platform that not only teaches students the life skills that are essential to happiness and success, but also fosters a school culture that reduces violence from the inside out.
Our signature program, the Choose Love Enrichment Program™ (CLEP), is available as a no cost Infant-Toddler, and Pre-K through 12th grade,character development and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program that teaches educators and their students how to choose love in any circumstance through wonderfully simple yet powerful themes and practices for the classroom that naturally evolve into a culture where students feel safe, nurtured, connected, and empowered.
Scarlett Lewis founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement™ shortly after her six-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, alongside 19 of his first-grade classmates and six educators in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. Scarlett found out after the tragedy that Jesse used his final moments to heroically save nine of his friends.
Jesse left a message on their kitchen chalkboard, “Norturting Helinn Love” (Nurturing, Healing Love). When Scarlett learned that these words are included in the definition of “compassion” across all cultures, she realized that love, connection and belonging are universal wants and needs that connect all of humanity.
These 3 words led to the creation of our Formula for Choosing Love, which can be used by anyone, at any time, anywhere in the world, to manage their response to any situation (Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion in Action = Choosing Love). Inspired expert educators joined together and created a social and emotional education program that incorporates the latest advances in neuroscience, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and positive psychology to provide children the essential life skills that will not only help them succeed, but also reduce the likelihood that they will harm one another.
The Choose Love Movement™ sparks an emotional connection that opens the hearts and minds of students as well as educators and other school staff, to fuel connection and stoke personal growth. The Choose Love Enrichment Program™ teaches critical social and emotional learning skills that improve school culture and cultivate an environment that is welcoming, supportive, compassionate, and safe.
The program has proven to be so successful in engaging students and schools that we have created extension programs to teach and help reinforce these character values outside of school, including on athletics teams, at home and throughout communities (Champions Choose Love, Choose Love At Home, and Choose Love for Community Leaders and Businesses.)
“Nurturing, Healing Love” (the Formula for Choosing Love)
The three words first-grader Jesse Lewis wrote on his kitchen chalkboard shortly before he died,
“Nurturing, Healing Love,” serve as the foundational values for the organization.
These words, “Nurturing, Healing Love”, are in the definition of compassion across all cultures. The meaning of each of the words form a profound and powerful formula for choosing love:
1. Nurturing means loving kindness and gratitude.
2. Healing means forgiveness.
3. Love is compassion in action.
When you practice these three character values, in that order, you are choosing love.
Courage is also a core value, as Jesse courageously saved nine of his classmates’ lives before losing his own. Courage is an overarching concept as it takes courage to be grateful, especially when things aren’t going your way. It takes courage to forgive, especially when the person who hurt you isn’t sorry and it takes courage to step outside your own universe of busyness and pain to help others.
The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation was incorporated in the state of CT as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in January 2013. The organization continues to sustain and grow thanks to contributions from generous donors, grants, and fundraisers. Below you will find a breakdown of the revenue earned in the past year and a trend in revenue increase since the organization’s inception as well as a breakdown of expenses for the 2017 fiscal year. We still have a long way to go to give every kid and adult worldwide access to social and emotional learning and facilitate this teaching in school, at home, in communities, at work and beyond! Please consider joining the Movement and being a part of the solution to the issues we face and, in turn, make this world a loving and more peaceful place!
To learn more about our organization, please review our 990 Tax Filings and Financial Audits for the most recent fiscal years:
We’re proud to have achieved the 2018 Gold Seal of Transparency on GuideStar!