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Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement - Organization of the Year


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Company: Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, Newtown, CT
Company Description: Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement™ is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission 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. We do this in honor of Jesse who was murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Organization of the Year – Government or Non-Profit– 10 or Less Employees

Nomination Title: The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated organization since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

The nonprofit was created by Scarlett Lewis, whose son, Jesse, was murdered, alongside 19 of his classmates and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary. Jesse was 6 years old and hailed as a hero that day. When the shooter stopped to reload, Jesse courageously stood in front of him and used his final moments to yell to his classmates to run to safety. He saved nine of his classmates that day.

Scarlett understood that Jesse’s killer acted on an angry thought in his head. She believes that had he been given the social and emotional tools and skills to transform his rage into love, the tragedy of Sandy Hook (and others like it) never would have happened.

Just before the funeral, Scarlett found a message Jesse wrote on their kitchen chalkboard shortly before he died which read, “Nurturing Healing Love.” Inspired by Jesse's words and courage, she founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement™. Our mission is to ensure that every child has access to Social and Emotional Learning in their classrooms and to help facilitate this teaching within their families, schools and communities.

In order to achieve our mission, Scarlett and a team of five women developed The Choose Love Enrichment Program™, a free pre-K through 12th grade, evidence-based program that teaches individuals to choose love for themselves and others. The program helps kids acquire and apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy and compassion, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. It was designed and created for educators by educators and is easily adaptable and implemented.

In the 2016/17 school year, the program was downloaded by nearly 1,000 educators in 40 states and 13 countries! By the end of 2017, we project that the curriculum will be downloaded by more than 2,000 educators who will reach more than 150,000 students!

We surveyed the educators who implemented the program across the country during the 2016-2017 school year. Of those who responded:

-100% said they saw an improvement in classroom climate an in students’ overall behavior
-More than 90% said their students get along better and have a more positive attitude
-More than 76% saw an increase in academic performance in their students
-More than 95% said they would use the program again or recommend it to other educators

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated company (up to 125 words):

Scarlett Lewis founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement after her son was murdered during the Sandy Hook tragedy in December 2012. Shortly after his death, Scarlett decided to be part of the solution to the issues that we're seeing in our society—and that also caused the tragedy. She created the Movement and became an advocate for social and emotional learning (SEL) that teaches children how to manage their emotions, feel connected, and have healthy relationships.

She has worked in the finance industry as a bond trader, investment banker and real estate. Scarlett is an artist and avid horsewoman; she lives in Connecticut with her son, JT.

Choose one (even if both apply): The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.