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What is the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement and why was it started?

Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to create safer and more loving communities through groundbreaking next-generation social and emotional learning (SEL) programs that are suited for all stages of life.

Our signature program, Choose Love for Schools, 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.

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 For Home, Choose Love For Communities and Business Leaders.)

Here’s the Making of a Movement video – click here.