Sandy Hook mom talks about ‘Choose Love’ project
(WFSB) - Days before the shooting at Sandy Hook, 6-year-old Jesse Lewis wrote a message on his kitchen chalkboard.
His mother has been spreading his message for the past 10 years.
Jesse Lewis had a presence about him.
He is remembered as brave and compassionate beyond his years.
That’s why his mother started the Choose Love movement in his honor.
“Jesse was very mature for his age. He was very strong and he was very confident,” said Scarlett Lewis. “He was always loud. Always happy. Always running around.”
On December 14, 2012, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School, she tells us in the middle of the shooting, the gun jammed.
“His brave actions saved nine of his classmates’ lives,” Scarlett said. “During the short delay that it took for him to change his clip Jesse called for his friends to run and nine of his classmates ran and he is credited with saving their life before losing his own.”
We caught up with Scarlett on their family farm.
“I can’t believe I’m saying it has been a decade since Jesse was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” said Scarlett.
She said she was picking out his clothes for his funeral when she noticed this on the kitchen chalkboard.
“He wrote three words: ‘nurturing, healing, love,’” Scarlett said.
Ten years later it is still there, protected, because it inspired the Choose Love movement.
With the guidance of experts, she created curriculum to teach social emotional learning in 2013.
“Such as how to manage our emotions, how to self-regulate-self-awareness how to have healthy relationships and connections,” Scarlett said.
It’s all free and promotes courage, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion in action, to address the root cause of violence.
“Our kids got better grades and test scores through COVID, but they have better relationships. The culture and climate in the classroom at school is better. Kids get along better,” said Scarlett. “We can reduce and prevent the suffering before it escalates.”
It is taught in all 50 states and 120 countries.
“It saved multiple lives,” Scarlett said.
It all started by 6-year-old Jesse.
His mother is just spreading his message, on their barn that drivers pass by every day, and through her work encouraging everyone to choose love.
“I’ve just been adding to this the entire time and I will continue to add to it,” said Scarlett. “When you can have the courage to step outside of even your own hurt and pain to help other people, you help and heal yourself.”
She believes if the shooter had been taught this curriculum it would have prevented what happened and thinks as a society, we should invest more money into social emotional learning to stop future violence.
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