Donor Newsletter – Letter from Scarlett Lewis

jesse pic with chalkboard
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Donor Newsletter – June 2020

Dear Choose Love Movement Donor Family,

Every human being is the same in the want and need to love and be loved. We are all united in this despite any real or perceived difference. Our core message has been one of inclusion, from the beginning. Jesse’s kitchen chalkboard message summed up what we need more of in our schools, homes and communities. The three words, “Nurturing Healing Love” serve as comfort to those who have been hurt or angered by the social injustice that plays out daily in our world and can help our nation come together, heal, and move forward with more understanding and compassion.
  1. NURTURING = LISTEN. We must nurture these wounds by listening to the stories of people who have experienced racism first hand. In order to truly understand the problems in the world, we must be informed. Listen to those protesting injustices, and have empathy for their struggle.

    Jesse’s message that inspired the Choose Love Movement
  2. HEALING = REFLECT. After listening and educating ourselves, reflect on this knowledge. Through understanding and compassion, healing can begin. Be mindful of our privilege, ability to enact change, and take personal responsibility to be part of the solution. Look inward and see what we can do to change our thoughts, home, and community for the better, every day. Change starts from the inside, out, with commitment and effort.
  3. LOVE = ACT. Show love through action. Show kindness and caring to every person you encounter because the world will only change if we all take responsibility and do something about it. Start a dialogue with family, friends and local officials about race and inequality to ensure what has happened in the past does not repeat itself. Join the Choose Love Movement and become an advocate for SEL in schools to help teach our future generations these essential life skills. Hate is taught, and so is love.
Change takes courage, especially when feelings are raw and defenses are high. To change an entire culture will take each one of us making a commitment. We all have the courage that Jesse showed when he saved 9 of his classmate’s lives before losing his own. We can practice this courage now to be part of the solution and create a safer, more equitable and inclusive world.
During the shutdown we have made tremendous progress. We are launching a 2.0 version of our lifespan social and emotional programming this fall to meet educators and their students where they are, specifically in the midst of COVID. This will include a brand new website, digital platform and easier access. The program will be aligned with brand new standards being launched by Character.org that will surpass anything else on the market. A special reintegration section will be included in each grade level to help children, and their educators, navigate the drastic changes in their world and offer cutting edge tools to self regulate and manage their emotions. We now have almost 50 ambassadors and advocates that volunteer across the country and world to help spread our message. We have certified almost 20 who are trained to provide professional development and other services. We are also launching a workplace initiative due to an overwhelming demand for this version of our programming and recent research showing these skills increase personal and professional success.
When I began this movement, my goal was to keep kids safe. During the past 7 years I have begun to realize what we’ve created addresses the cause of so much of the suffering we are experiencing in our society including substance abuse, suicide, mental illness, bullying as well as social inequity and inclusion. The Choose Love programs address the cause of these issues and therefore are the solution. We can proactively reduce and prevent the suffering before it begins by teaching these essential life skills. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued love and support and for being part of the solution.
Choosing love,
Scarlett Lewis
Jesse’s mother and founder