We don’t specifically address current events or racial injustice in the curriculum, per se. However, the Choose Love Formula is proactive and preventative and the literature component teaches diversity, social justice, and inclusion through multicultural literature, group activities, videos, and contemplative questioning. Students learn how we are all the same and how to value and celebrate our differences.
Choose Love for Schools Pre K-5 curriculum utilizes literature to teach SEL and character education. Through literature, students are invited to use their imagination to become part of the journey and inner thoughts of the characters. As students “live” through the characters, they develop a better understanding of others, and in turn a better understanding and awareness of themselves. Literature deepens students’ awareness of different emotions. It helps them recognize and label those emotions in themselves and others. In addition, literature can teach students how to handle failure, solve problems, build resilience, have compassion, appreciate diversity, and instill character and moral values.
Multicultural literature has the power to unite children from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. When students learn to appreciate differences they realize there is beauty in our diverse and blended world. They learn to take different perspectives and develop respect and compassion when they learn about various cultures. Students also see themselves represented in literature and learn to develop self-love and self-compassion.
When students are taught SEL through multicultural literature, they are able to empathize and sympathize with diverse characters. This, in turn, helps students develop a greater understanding of other people’s perspectives and experiences. Having perspective is a crucial element for promoting peace, acceptance, and love, more so in the time and place we live in today.
The Pre K-5 multicultural literature component of the Choose Love curriculum is like a treasure map that allows children to search deeper into their hearts, explore their feelings and beliefs through the feelings and experiences of others, and discover the Choose Love Formula of SEL for themselves. Literature is the pathway to the heart and connections with others. It fosters positive self-esteem and empathy, supports inclusion, and nurtures respect and acceptance among students. When students realize everyone feels the same emotions, no matter the color of their skin, where they come from, what language they speak, or how they look, they realize their similarities are more than their differences.
Through an inclusive and diverse lens, the Choose Love curriculum serves as the foundation to our schools, homes, and communities to open minds and hearts. The Choose Love formula has proven to positively change school, family, and community culture.
By fourth/fifth grade the curriculum more directly and specifically addresses the concepts of racism, social justice, diversity, and inclusion. There is so much literature that addresses these topics, but it is done as a way to help students develop perspective so they can have empathy and begin to have deeper conversations about the topics.
The educator has the leeway to incorporate the lessons into whatever context or examples they would like.
For example, you can cite examples of events in history and ask the students to think about ways that the Formula might have changed the outcome had it been applied.
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Choose Love Movement is inspired by 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, his final acts of love, and his mother’s path of forgiveness after Jesse was killed in a school shooting.
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