After more than six months of no in-person school visits, Scarlett Lewis, Choose Love Founder & Chief Movement Officer, and Shannon Desilets, Choose Love Program Director in NH, had the privilege of meeting students and staff in Moultonborough, NH on Monday, October 5. Shannon recounts this special day:
“We started the day by having the privilege of presenting to the middle and high school staff. (There has been a tremendous upswing of middle and high schools reaching out to me. COVID has definitely made people aware of just how crucial SEL is).
We then went to the elementary school that has fully embraced Choose Love since last fall. We met with the elementary students who are remote via zoom and they shared with us what they’ve been doing in Choose Love. They even read us Choose Love poems. We then spent the rest of the day outside with the elementary staff and students. They shared with us what Choose Love has meant to them and what they loved most about it. They shared with us positive affirmations and journal entries. Some shared how Choose Love makes them feel safe, and that it’s ok to share their emotions or ideas and they know they won’t be judged for it by one another. They shared with us how everyone helps each other out now and is kind… and so much more!
The staff shared how they see the kids automatically doing brave breaths during stressful times. They shared how Choose Love has personally also helped them as adults. They also shared how it’s helped them pause, and also ‘helped them get back to the ‘why’ they became educators in the first place.’ They shared that they formed a buddy system with staff- so that ALL staff, no matter their roles would know Choose Love and an authentic culture would be created in their school. When Choose Love lessons happen, that staff buddy would also join in as well.
The staff showed gratitude for their librarian who has created a phenomenal collection of books to support the staff with Choose Love in order to make it even easier for them. This librarian also shared that Choose Love has given her the gift of being able to have a better connection with the students through reading stories that correlate with the units of Choose Love and the discussions that then organically happen.
New teachers to the school this year shared that because of the loving and supportive culture that’s been created within the school through Choose Love being embraced by all- they felt like they found home.
Moultonborough, you truly, truly SHINE. You are exemplary! Thank you for all that you do; thank you for this amazing day.” – Shannon Desilets