Scarlett Lewis lost her youngest son Jesse in the elementary school mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. She spoke at the Ceeds of Peace Kona workshop and inspired us with her decisions of choosing love over anger, gratitude over entitlement, and forgiveness over bitterness. Her story is remarkable and she believes that this type of tragedy is completely preventable.
Visit Scarlett’s foundation, Jesse Lewis Choose Love.
The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a commitment to reach students, educators and individuals, nationally and internationally, and provide them with a simple, yet profound formula for choosing love.
On the morning of December 14, 2012, on the way to school, Jesse McCord Lewis stopped to write “I love you” in the frost on his mother’s car. Just hours later, Jesse was senselessly murdered in his first grade classroom. He was one of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Days prior to the tragedy, on the kitchen chalkboard at home Jesse had written a prophetic message, ‘Nurturing, Healing, Love’.
These three words have become the foundation of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement and have evolved into a formula that is so simple, yet so profound that it has inspired people all over the world to not only choose love, but become part of the mission to help others do the same.
The signature program of the organization is the Choose Love Enrichment Program. A pre-k through 12th grade curriculum that contains the simple universal teachings of courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion in action – the foundational concepts of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).
SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy and compassion for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. This powerful and proactive initiative that has been proven to reduce current and future mental health issues including depression, stress and anxiety disorders and disruptive behavioral issues such as ADHD and bullying. The outcome reduces incarceration, addiction and suicide rates in individuals. Through the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement this program is free and available online to all educators.