Scarlett has taken an unspeakable and unbearable tragedy and used her journey to help and inspire so many through the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. She shares her son Jesse’s message of "Nurturing Healing Love" in a powerful way which brings hope to us all. It was an honor to meet Scarlett and to support the Choose Love Movement.
I learned to read before I started school. My parents brought us to the public library every Saturday to borrow books. I still remember choosing books by how they felt when I moved my hand over the cover. My father told me Dr. Suess was my favourite child author, then he fessed up. He chose Dr. Suess because he liked Dr. Suess. I devoured Trixie Beldon and my cousins loved Nancy Drew. My grandmother, my aunts, my cousins and I would read a books then pass them along. If you were to walk into my home, you would find books in every room. They are my connection to self, to others, to my soul, to my dreams, and to possibilities. My love of reading has a solid foundation, so how did I get to the Choose Love Book Club?
Life is a series of twists and turns that lead to either open windows or doors or little cracks that beckon – just come a little closer to see what awaits on the other side. Over 10 years ago, Kevin Cameron, North American Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response came to our community to lead us in a process to address those who were on a pathway towards violence. He enlightened us to move in a direction to figure out what is going on in a person’s life before they reach the point when they would engage in a violent act. Since that time, I have been a part of the Community Threat Assessment Protocol leading the implementation of the process working alongside countless community members of like-mind to provide wrap around services for families and individuals. Each time a tragedy would occur in the news a piece of my heart would hurt, no longer a sense of despair there was now determination to be a part of the shift. Eventually, through Kevin’s direction I came across Safe and Sound Schools as a resource. They had a series of talks and that is where I first learned of Scarlett. She was sharing her story and resources. Here were three women who experienced one of the most unimaginable crimes putting themselves out there to do what they could to change the trajectory. What struck me about them all, was their authenticity and openness to be supportive, to be leaders, to show the way. In their presence, even though it is virtual the sense of purpose was clear. So, my connection to work led me to the Choose Love Movement. Combine the two- love of reading and love of work. When I saw the Book Club on the site, I was ecstatic and selfish. This would be an opportunity to spend time with Scarlett Lewis.
And if that was all I would get from the Book Club; it would have been more than enough.
Let’s talk about some of the book selections:
Nurturing Healing Love a Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness by Scarlett Lewis with Natasha Stoynoff
Life Lessons Oldest & Wisest by David Romanelli
The Gift of Forgiveness Inspiring Stories from Those Who Have Overcome the Unforgivable by Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt
The Choice Embrace the Possible A Memoir by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
The Compassionate Achiever How Helping Others Fuels Success Christopher L. Kukk, Ph. D.
All titles were new to me and each one of them – enriched and enhanced my lens to see differently, lead differently, live differently. Who knew? How many book clubs provide the opportunity to engage with the author?
And if that was all I would get from the Book Club; it would have been more than enough.
Did you know you can actually take what you learn to share with those who are open to exploring different strategies to reach classrooms and the broader community? David Romanelli’s Life Lessons Oldest & Wisest Inspiration, Wisdom and Humour for All Generations was motivation to reach out to one of our schools to create a connection between Gr. 7/8 students and a seniors’ home. The teacher is well on his way working in collaboration with a home and he reached out to the author.
And if that was all I would get from the Book Club; it would have been more than enough.
Book Club informs the reader there will be other people attending, sharing insights from different perspectives, sharing how the reading impacted on their lives, posing questions to go deeper. Did you know you could participate in a virtual book club with complete strangers and come away knowing you are a part of a community? All you have to do is listen with your heart to hear the kindness, the curiousity, the respect and yes, the love.
And if that was all I would get from the Book Club; it would have been more than enough.
However, my life has changed for the better. Because of the people in this book club, I witness firsthand people who truly believe love is the answer. The Choose Love Formula – Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion in Action is the way. It is through active participation in the Book Club that I am nurtured and nourished.
Anna Maria Barsanti
Sudbury ON Canada
The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement empowers children and adults with possibility. It empowers us to respond to life’s challenges with courage, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion instead of reacting in fear. Social emotional learning cultivates a compassionate connection to self and others. Choose Love is an invitation and a gift that empowers us to transform our perception of life’s possibilities.
The Choose Love Movement is near and dear to my heart. The day of the shooting in Newtown, I was instantly inspired to do more with my work of creating early brain development understanding. I wanted to greatly increase the awareness of the positive influence we can so easily have on the healthy development of young children for mental health and getting along with others. As a result of the shooting, Scarlett Lewis had the same passion and has been working to make it reality ever since with the Choose Love Movement. The needed impact she and her team are making is fabulous and fortunately for all of us, it continues to grow. It is a wonderful honor to have partnered with this effort and am pleased to support it as it benefits increasing numbers of individuals, schools and communities.
I was honored to have my book, The Thank-You Project, chosen by Choose Love as its book club selection in September 2021. It was a wonderful (virtual via Zoom) event, with such thoughtful questions and inspiring conversation among the organization's leaders, membership, and supporters. Gratitude is a key component of their work and mine, but one that can't be highlighted often enough. I truly admire the work of the Choose Love Movement and would welcome the chance to collaborate with them again.
Dear Great Non-Profits,
I met Scarlett Lewis four years ago, when I was making a documentary called " Peace be with you ." The documentary was about people making a difference for peace during their lives. I had heard of Scarlett through a friend.
So, I called her up and she said sure, please come over and shoot an interview for the documentary. I met her at a local diner, and I found her to be extraordinary.
On the drive back I wondered about Scarlett.
I had no problem with a person (no less a mother ) after losing a child, going into their bedroom and staying for good. It's only natural. After a huge sting our defense is to go down and in. And Scarlett's sting was life threatening. How did she forgive the shooter?
No one would blame her for staying in bed. They would say, " The tragedy broke her. She went down and in."
But Scarlett did not go down and in. She went up and out! And she has been and unending unbending unchanging force to let the world know a better way.
The answer is that she practices her curriculum. ( Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness and Compassion with Action.)
During the making of two more documentaries ( about immigration justice )
I kept thinking that the choose love method could soften hearts. I wanted my documentary to show that in life we will all get stung, yet there is a way to heal. And this movement has the method!
There is a way.
It is a method ground in science.
Proven by people's lives.
In over 100 countries!
I am honored to bring the Choose Love documentary to fruition.
I want it to open up the world's heart.
This foundation has impacted my entire family is so many positive ways. All 3 of my children have benefited from the curriculum as well as the general message of Choosing Love! All children and adults will benefit from this simple yet often over over-looked message.
We are living in very difficult times and sometimes a simple gestures can change the course of somebodies life! Let's continue to be ambassadors of Love and agents of change!
After teaching secondary STEM subjects for 25 years, it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime to teach SEL skills to elementary students on the island of Kauai using the Choose Love curriculum. The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement provides simple and elegant tools that prepare kids to respond to life's challenges from a calm and mindful viewpoint. It provides them them practical ways to reducing the life chaos, destructive neural pathways and negative mental habits that result from low emotional self-management skills. It provides them with a kind of user's guide for their own brain, turning emotional self-management into a user-friendly experience. Their simple approach to SEL empowers students to learn and discuss essential intra- and inter-personal skills that last a lifetime. It earns my highest recommendation!
Damian Nash, M.S., M.Ed., NBCT
Kilauea Elementary School
I have been following the Choose Love Movement for several years. THIS year after watching Scarlett Lewis interviewed on the Tapping World Summit I decided to volunteer to become an Ambassador. What an amazing experience it has been so far. Such a dedicated, well rounded, intelligent, compassionate group of people! I am humbled every time I engage with them. I am excited about the journey I am embarking on. As an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Practitioner, I look forward to influencing children, their families and communities with the tools and principles of the Choose Love Movement. It is an honour to serve the world this way.
As a school psychologist who has expertise in social-emotional learning (SEL), I recommend Choose Love Movement to all teachers and families with no reservations. When students returned to school full-time after a year of hybrid instruction from COVID-19, staff quickly realized that addressing our social-emotional and behavioral needs had to be the priority. Research tells us that providing explicit instruction in SEL is a critical part of meeting those needs. The ready access to Choose Love Movement, specifically because it is FREE, allowed my school to begin implementation within just a few weeks of identifying the need for an SEL program. Most SEL programs are such a pricey investment, which delays the process while staff try to get district buy-in, find the funds, formally train staff, etc. Choose Love allowed us to bypass those barriers to get kids what they need when they need it. The lessons are developmentally appropriate, engaging, and simple so teachers can implement them with little prep. Thank you for your generous work on these lessons and resources. During such a hard time for educators, you make our work a little bit easier.
Four years ago I heard Scarlett being interviewed on TV, she was talking with Brett Baier. Scarlet was talking about the murder of her son Jesse, but also how she knew that if Adam his killer, had had the Choose love program in his life he would have never chose to kill anyone. Her strength had me in tears. I needed to know more. I researched everything, read all the programs. I was so excited I shared it with everyone I knew. I did not know why this was not in every school. To me this was a no brainer. I shared my information with my friend and school teacher Lori Biagini who took the information, looked into it, and started teaching it in her Elementary Pre K class. Fast forward and the whole school is on board. Several other schools in our district are also using Choose Love. I am hoping The Cornwall Schools ( my Grandsons schools) will be following soon. The Choose Love Movement is the most all encompassing SEL program in existence and it is Free for schools. Our children need this desperately, but so do we, the parents, Grandparents and the Community.
A huge side note of how this program helped me personally. I gained strength from reading, talking about and practicing Choose love. I was going through a traumatic experience four years ago that almost ruined me but, I Chose to forgive because of this program and what I learned. That started my healing process and opened up my heart again.
The Choose Love program is for Pre K through 12th grade but it will positively effect every child and adult that is involved of that I have no doubt.
Scarlett Lewis and the entire Choose Love team are the most committed and caring group of people I have ever met. They have developed programs that educators can implement immediately to help children choose love. I have the honor of working with this team on our new How to SEL program - a way to introduce social emotional learning into our lives, daily. We are kindred spirits - Choose Love. Caroline Maguire, M. Ed
I'm so grateful to my position as a mental health coach in K-12 schools and having the opportunity to bring the formula of choose love to kids and youth! I also had the opportunity to send nurturing, healing, love with Scarletts' intention group to the middle school I work in. I feel they are super blessed. Thank you choose love!!
We were introduced to the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement about 8 months ago and it's been part of our culture ever since! It's an absolute honor to be part of their movement. We are so grateful for all of the love they are bringing to communities across the globe, AND for providing us the tools to help bring this to our own community!
I’ve been volunteering with the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation for about two months now and I can’t explain what an honor it’s been. This team is made up of beautiful women and men who have come together to spread kindness, love, and compassion throughout the world (at a time when we need it most!). One of the things I love most about Choose Love is the fact that they live and breathe this message - it isn’t just a “job” or a means to an end. We realize, we ourselves are learning and growing every single day. Everyone I’ve come in contact with has been so genuinely supportive, patient, and passionate about what we’re doing. It amazes and inspires me. Truly just good people looking to do good things. I couldn’t ask to be a part of something more. I am forever grateful to be a part of Choose Love and cannot wait to see what the future has in store!
Love to all,
Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion in Action = CHOOSING LOVE = Not only the most important resource/formula that we need in schools, homes, and communities today...but it is THE way that we can live happy, healthy lives...and encourage others to do so as well. It's not only the Movement, but the PEOPLE and EXPERIENCES who have supported this movement that truly have changed lives. Their dedication, despite obstacles has been life changing. Not only life changing for them, but for me and those I interact with everyday as well:
As an SEL Coach in a WI School District, my energy and excitement are overflowing when I walk by a classroom and hear them taking a Brave Breath or hearing their classroom affirmations for the day. OR, a student raising their hand during a classroom lesson reporting to out a time that he/she used an area of the formula over the weekend. :)
As a parent, our nightly gratitudes with my family shared at the dinner table are a positive way to talk about even those hard days- even my toddler responds with the times he was observed being happy with a smiling face, or something frustrating with a sad face. My daughter now chooses to wear her Choose Love t-shirt on those 'uncertain' days as a reminder of positive thoughts and love.
AND, I am eternally grateful to be one of the Ambassadors for the State of Wisconsin. Through this I have met an amazing co-Ambassador who started as a stranger, she's now a colleague and friend, who together, we have found SO MANY commonalities, and are working to support and spread the LOVE throughout Wisconsin!!
I am forever grateful for meeting Scarlett, and learning through her family's tragedy, as well as my own experiences to continue to spread LOVE through the United States and the world!
Choose Love is a program that is needed by students, teachers and communities. It is as important as reading, writing , and arithmetic. The dedication given to this program by Scarlett and her Choose Love team is remarkable and should not go unnoticed. I am an advocate for students and believe they need and deserve this program
The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement has had a profound impact on my life. As a retired educator with over 40 years of experience I decided to commit my time in retirement to worthwhile activities that made a positive impact in the world and activities that bring me joy and fulfillment. My involvement in this organization has done that and so much more.
When we speak of safety in schools we often refer to protocols and procedures to ensure safety in case of fire, earthquake or intruders on campus. The reality is that school safety must also include the emotional and social well-being of students. This includes learning strategies to resolve conflict in peaceful ways, building skills for resilience and creating a personal tool box to understand and combat bullying and harassment of all kinds. This program addresses all of these issues in a way that is developmentally appropriate for students in preschool through 12th grade. It affords educators flexibility in implementation and most importantly, includes parents in a meaningful partnership.
I am proud of the work we have done in California reaching thousands of students throughout the state. In a recent parent seminar I offered, a teacher came to demonstrate a lesson she had just taught to her first grade students. She shared a personal story that illustrates how impactful the program has been in her classroom. When preparing her class for her absence she noticed two of her students were very upset that she would be leaving. She explained that she would only be gone for a short time and that another teacher would be supervising the class. The students spontaneously decided to do a 'brave breath' so that they could practice being courageous while their teacher was briefly gone from the
classroom. Courage is the first unit in the program and students were able to implement, in real time, one of the lessons they had learned in order to deal with a stressful situation. That is an example of powerful learning and one that reflects why I remain deeply committed to bringing to program to schools throughout my state.
We just began using the Choose Love Brave New World online resources. My students are not only invested in this program but they come each day excited to learn more! Such a wonderful resource for teachers in all places to use!
The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement is the most powerful and most important SEL school based program of the 21st century. Scarlett Lewis should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her loving caring selfless dedication helping to make our schools a safer, happier more loving and productive learning environment by giving the children and their educators the skills they need to be more compassionate, respectful and grateful towards one another with the courage to express their views in a peaceful nonaggressive manner. Win-Win for everyone including the parents who are amazed by the success of Scarlett's program. Put her at the head of the class and give her Five Stars! Dr Forgacs
This program has been life changing for some of my students. Scarlett is amazing!
We began using the Choose Love program in our preschool last year. It is pretty amazing when you hear young children talking about being courageous or suggesting that a friend take a "brave breath" when they are upset or scared about something. Truly, having our whole school focus on Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness and Compassion in Action completely shifted our environment. In our second year of using the program, it only gets better as returning students remember and have embraced the program. The parents are thrilled at what their children are learning! We have also been able to share the Choose Love At Home program with our families and they all see the benefits of extending the lessons from school into their home.
Scarlett Lewis took the unthinkable and became a missionary for Jesse Lewis’ message. The message was healing, nurturing, love. This message inspired Choose Love and the formula which all should live by. Be part of the change that our world needs and our future youth need as well to help make our world one filled with love.
I give because there is an epidemic of a lack of human connection, empathy, kindness, caring, concern, and love in our world. If we ever needed a formula for choosing love, it's now. I am a donor, volunteer, advocate, and supporter of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement because it provides the solution to so many of our global problems.
Scarlett Lewis' 6-year-old son, Jesse, was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. Jesse was hailed as a hero that day ' when the shooter stopped to reload his weapon, Jesse yelled to his classmates to run. His courageous and loving actions inside the school saved 9 of his friends.
Several days after his death, Scarlett returned to their family home to retrieve Jesse's clothes for his funeral. It was then that she noticed a message Jesse wrote earlier on their kitchen chalkboard: "Nurturing Healing Love". The words 'nurturing" and 'healing" are a part of the definition of compassion across almost all cultures. Being loved is a basic human need. Jesse's words helped Scarlett realize her life's mission ' to teach others how to use Jesse's formula to choose love in any situation. Jesse's killer acted on an angry thought in his head. Scarlett believes that had the young man been given the support and tools to change that rage into a loving thought, this tragedy may never have happened.
Inspired by Jesse's words and courage, Scarlett founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement whose mission is to ensure that every child has access to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in their classrooms and to help facilitate this teaching within their families, schools and communities. SEL teaches children life skills that result in resilience, emotional intelligence, moral awareness and personal responsibility and is the single most powerful proactive mental health initiative there is. It has been proven to reduce current and future mental health issues, behavioral issues, incarceration rates, depression, stress, anxiety, suicide, and violence.
Anger and violence affect our entire global population ' every gender, age group, socio-economic bracket, race, religion, and culture. The good news is these negative life experiences and horrific tragedies are preventable. The solution is human connection, resilience and learning how to choose love.
The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Enrichment Program (CLEP) helps teach this. It's a Pre-K through 12th grade curriculum, which contains the universal teachings of courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion in action. The program is offered for free to all educators (online at www.JesseLewisChooseLove.org), which means that no one will be denied access to this life-changing and life-saving resource based on financial ability or economic status. Ultimately, Scarlett hopes that by teaching others how to Choose Love, we as a society will ensure that what happened at Sandy Hook never happens again.
Review from #MyGivingStory
The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation is an amazing organization and Founder Scarlett Lewis is an inspiration to all. She has taken an unspeakable and unbearable tragedy and turned into a catalyst for positive change in our society and throughout the world. She shares her son Jesse’s message of "Nurturing Healing Love" with impact and grace. I’m proud to support the organization and to help share Jesse’s message that we can all choose love!
Something that is so absent in the school systems, yet such a huge part of social learning, how to choose a loving thought over a negative thought, or a hateful thought. It is so simple and yet so powerful. You can change your day, your week, your life, by just choosing loving thoughts. This is something that is SO important that our children learn how to do. I would be honored to have this program in my child's school and hope this foundation gets the support it deserves to do so.
Choosing Love, simple enough I thought. And so I started espousing the idea to everyone I could through social media and within my daily life. And then I realized I had to walk the talk, and that's when my world changed profoundly, for I always believed in love, but to choose it every day, consciously in every choice! The response from others, it opens up an unexpected world of vulnerability and kindness and forgiveness and gratitude and courage from places within yourself and from others that is truly life altering. I now work directly with the non-profit, implementing their SEL program in schools in Hawaii and talking and sharing the Choose Love Movement whenever and wherever I can because I believe it can change the world and build peace for our future generations...this is the power of choosing love. Simple enough.
The message of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation is so simple, and that's what makes it so powerful. Jesse and Scarlett and JT Lewis each have their own powerful story of courage that resonates so deeply and touches your heart and makes you want to make yourself and your community and your world a better place. What's not to love?
The work of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation is essential especially now as students seek the skills to stand for compassion and understanding rather than hostility and blame. The foundation's emphasis on social and emotional learning as an antidote to blame and demonization is the tonic our society and schools need to move to a better place. The organization deserves considerable recognition and support.
Every school can benefit from this beautiful program. 2 of my grandchildren at two different schools in Columbus, Oh have witnessed forms of bullying, and I have asked my daughters (their Moms) to suggest to the school officials that they implement the Choose Love program at these schools. I feel it can do wonders!
Scarlet and JT Lewis are love and forgiveness missionaries! They received Serenity Awards in West Hartford in September of 2016, and inspired us with their courage and devotion to spreading the Jessie Lewis Choose Love Movement everywhere. Their mission is the hope of the world!
jesse lewis choose love,what more needs to be said,love this site
This is such an amazing foundation. What is more important than love? Much needed in this selfish world.
Yes to positive, peaceful change through education!
Scarlett Lewis and her son J.T. have demonstrated the POWER of choosing love in their example to the Sandy Hook community, the greater Newtown, CT community, our country and this world. I have personally experienced the effect of the hugeness of their combined hearts. Thank you Scarlett and J.T. for your continued inspiration.
As a education professional who has been working with children for 20 years I can say with much confidence that the Choose Love program is much needed. The simple message it teaches has a huge ripple effect around the world. We want children to grow up to be the best they can be, both inside and outside. Courage+Gratitude+Forgiveness+Compassion!!!
After teaching for more than a decade, I chose to leave the classroom to focus on sharing SEL and wellness resources with teachers and young people. Since I have devoted my life to this work, I can honestly say that there are no other non-profit organizations sharing better content or a more powerful message of hope and love than Jesse Lewis Choose Love. Their new Choose Love Enrichment program should be in every school on the planet and I am going to do my part to share their work through my platform and during my trainings because our we all deserve to feel safe, nurtured and loved.
With the simplest of mantras, choose love, the foundation has turned an unfathomable tragedy into a means of improving our world. Integrating that phrase and perspective through education is intended to manifest the concept of love conquering all. Not only does it honor Jesse, it allows his spirit to live on through all of the other children who learn to choose love. A wonderful, meaningful, and purposeful organization!
The message of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation is so very powerful. That we can choose love over anger, gratitude over entitlement, empathy over hate, and forgiveness and compassion over bitterness. The JLCLF's goal is to create a more peaceful and loving world through planting these seeds of wisdom and teaching others how to choose love. It touches my heart and makes me want to make myself, my family, my community and the world a better place.
This foundation is an important piece to changing this world. You see, it has come to pass that the only way to evolve is to choose love.
This foundation is helping children learn about behavior's that can be changed through action and love. It also is providing scholarship to kids who otherwise would not be able to go college... I fully support this group and I hope you will as well !!!!
I just finished your book, Nurturing Healing Love! WOW! Thank you for raising such an amazing son and sharing him with me. I was so inspired by your words and the message of LOVE and FORGIVENESS! Teaching this message to kids will help the world to be a much more loving and compassionate place.
I choose Love too
In Mendoza , Argentina we follow the foundation And the activities. Is the best way to teach Love And compasion
The foundation and motivation behind the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, is love, healing and forgiveness. Working within the community and especially within the school system, Scarlett has worked to create a way for educators to incorporate this into their daily teaching. Helping children, and adults, form a different attitude towards one another that is grounded in love, hope, healing and forgiveness. She and JT have created change all over this country and around the world and have been an example of how to reach out to others who are hurting and offer them love, hope and forgiveness even when they themselves were hurting. They create workshops within communities and have reached as far as Africa with their message of choosing love and forgiveness. To choose love is indeed the greatest thing any of us can do on a daily basis. Because love never ends as Scarlett will tell you and I firmly agree. It just goes on and on. It is healing. Scarlett's book, Nurturing Healing Love, changed me. It moved my soul into a different place and really allowed me to believe that love is the remedy. I know Jesse. I think of him often and smile at the things I know about him just from reading her book. He inspires me. Jesse will forever remind me to have a lot of fun! If you are hoping and wishing for a change in your school or community where love and healing is incorporated into your daily life, Scarlett, Jesse and JT will guide you and show you ways to do it. They will move you to love. You'll be kept up to date on the website about changes within the government and policies concerning things such as gun control. You will see examples of how schools and communities are choosing love and ways you can do the same in your own community. Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation is a resource and reminder for me every day to.....choose love. Thanks Jesse!
Nobody has done more for this cause than the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. Scarlett Lewis has taken a personal devastating tragedy and shown us all what the power of choosing love can do. I will continue to stand behind her and this foundation and share their mission to ignite and inspire real change. She inspires me every day to make a difference by choosing love, together we can change the world, truly only love will.