Next Generation Social & Emotional Learning and Character Education



My name is Scarlett Lewis, and I’m the founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement. This initiative started with three words written on a kitchen chalkboard by my six-year-old son, Jesse McCord Lewis, on the morning of December 14, 2012. He wrote, “nurturing, healing, love.” He lost his life later that day alongside six educators and 19 of his classmates at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. His message constitutes a powerful formula for choosing love. 

The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to reaching students, educators, and individuals, both nationally and internationally, with a simple, yet profound formula for choosing love. Our signature program uses “nurturing, healing, love” as a foundation for learning and for life. 


Choosing love means having the courage to be grateful when life isn’t easy, to forgive even when the person who hurt you isn’t sorry, and to step outside your own pain to help someone else. It’s an empowering lesson that love is a choice. 

Almost half of our young people will have a diagnosable mental illness by the time they are 18 years old (“Child Mind Institute,” 2016). Children today are under more stress than children of previous generations. The most common diagnosis will be anxiety, and the majority will not get professional help (Bluth & Blanton, 2014). The average onset age for anxiety is six years old. The long-term effects of anxiety are mental illness, substance abuse, anger, violence, and incarceration (Harbaugh & Vasey, 2014). It’s not a mystery why we have issues in our schools and society. The solution is teaching children to choose love. 

Children who feel connected, who are resilient, and who can reciprocate love won’t want to harm each other (Garney, 2016). We can teach children to choose love. Love is a universal need, the lack of which can be devastating. That’s why I started the Choose Love Movement. 

Over 30 years of research substantiates the benefits of social and emotional learning (SEL) (“CASEL: What is SEL,” 2016). SEL lays the groundwork for academic learning and responsible citizenship. It has been proven to increase grades, attendance, and focus while reducing aggression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other issues (“CASEL: What is SEL,” 2016). SEL fills a critical role in improving children’s academic performance and lifelong learning (Zins, Bloodworth, Weissberg & Walberg, 2004). Children who are aware of their emotions and have good planning skills by the time they enter school are also at lower risk for problems with aggression and anxiety disorders (Greenberg, Kusch, & Mihalic, 1998). 

Students aren’t the only ones to benefit from SEL. Schools are challenged by teacher attrition and unsafe learning environments (“CASEL: What is SEL,” 2016). When educators teach SEL, they help students create safe, loving, and healthy problem-solving communities that enhance teachers’ ability to teach as well as students’ ability to learn (CASEL: Outcomes Associated with Five Competencies, 2016). 


The Choose Love For Schools™ Program is a Pre-K through 12th grade curriculum that emphasizes the simple, universal teachings of courage, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion in action. The lessons are divided into these four units, which create a formula for choosing love: 

The Choose Love Formula™  

Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion in Action = Choosing Love 

The Choose Love For Schools™ Program teaches the foundational concepts and skills of social and emotional learning (SEL), and is informed by current neuroscience. The goal of the program is to provide children with the knowledge, attitude, and skills they need to choose love in any situation. These abilities include: 

  • Understanding and managing emotions (self-awareness and self-management); 
  • Setting and achieving positive goals;
    Feeling and displaying empathy and compassion for others (social awareness); 
  • Establishing and maintaining positive relationships; and, 
  • Making responsible decisions. 

Choose Love For Schools™

Grade 7 Standards Alignment


Although the course was developed by teachers for teachers and designed to be “learn as you go,” we do have an optional Educator Training Program available that offers a more in-depth understanding of the principles taught in the program.

To navigate through the program after you have enrolled, use the Get Started menu below.  

Take a moment to review the Course Preparation section, including:

  • The Educator Guide — filled with additional information, research, and resources that will support your teaching practice. The Educator Guide provides an in-depth look at the value of developing positive classroom climates, educator leadership, and SEL teaching strategies. In particular, read the neuroscience section and familiarize yourself with the impact this curriculum has on healthy brain development. 
  • Supplemental Materials — contains essential tools to further enhance the Choose Love For Schools program, including printable posters and visual support, calendars, surveys and more.

Also, we encourage you to explore the Extension Programs section that features complementary practices for students – and adults – designed by our partners to specifically align with and enhance the Choose Love For Schools program.

Have a lot of fun!

Get Started

    • Supplemental Materials
    • Unit 1 – COURAGE
    • Unit 2 – GRATITUDE
    • Unit 3 – FORGIVENESS
  • Extension Programs
    • All Calm Down
    • Compassionate Connection
    • Grow & Guide
    • Healthy Grieving
    • Healthy Grieving
    • The Tapping Solution
    • Zensational Kids

Course Information



Choose Love is able to reach millions of children because we are committed to providing our curriculum at no cost. Donations from our supporters make this possible.