“When educators and students prioritize teaching and practicing essential life skills such as relationship building, emotional management, and coping skills, it cultivates a sense of trust and security. This creates a connected and compassionate environment. When students feel a sense of belonging and psychological safety, they are happier, more well-adjusted, and more likely to seek help.”
The Choose Love Movement was founded by Scarlett Lewis after her son Jesse was murdered in a school tragedy in December 2012. He, alongside his 19 first-grade classmates and six teachers, died. After his death, Scarlett wanted to be a part of the solution and started this movement. This movement emphasizes social and emotional learning (SEL), which promotes character development, connection, and healthy relationships. To help promote kindness and a sense of community, the Choose Love formula was devised. This formula stands for courage, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion in action. These values are simple and easy and aid in creating a safe environment for all cultures and communities. This formula is the basis for all the programs that the Choose love movement has taught in schools.
The foundation of this program is connection, love and support for others providing a holistic environment by focusing on a solution rather than dwelling on the issue. The Choose Love Moment provides a perfect balance of SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) and academic learning. These programs are designed using positive psychology, mindfulness, growth mindset, brain-body integration and emotional intelligence, making this a solution for well-being at all levels of learning and growing. This movement has also focused on the proper training of school counsellors by ASCA (American School Counsellor Association). This program is a no-cost flagship from pre-k to grade 12 and a no-cost program for infants, toddlers, homes, and communities. They rely on donations to support their mission and cause.
After reading, listening to videos and checking the testimonials, how one mother started a movement to help protect other children and their wellbeing is a perfect example to support this quote by Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in this world”. Scarlett has singlehandedly understood the root cause of many significant problems we face, and the solution is understanding others and creating an environment where others can nourish and flourish. One more key aspect raised by this movement is the importance of emotional learning.