February is Choose Love Month with a strategy

The initiative was founded by Scarlett Lewis in honor of her son Jesse, who was a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Orange County officials announced that February would be designated “Choose Love” month

| 16 Feb 2022 | 04:17

    Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and the County’s ThinkDIFFERENTLY Committee recently announced February as Choose Love Month, echoing Scarlett Lewis, who founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, a non-profit organization. Her her six-year-old son was killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012. Jesse’s actions that day were instrumental in saving the lives of nine of his classmates.

    County Executive Steve Neuhaus said he was inspired to celebrate Choose Love Month after participating with Lewis in the Making Healthful Decisions Conference (MHDC) in December of 2020. The virtual event was hosted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

    “I am amazed and inspired by Scarlett’s resilience and her commitment to the movement that she created to keep Jesse’s memory and message alive,” Neuhaus said. “The Choose Love Movement and its message can help students and adults to heal from anxiety and disconnection, particularly in difficult and troubling times.”

    The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement promotes the benefits of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) with a call to action for educators, students, families, and communities across the country. SEL is a preventative mental health initiative that has been proven to reduce anxiety, addiction, and behavioral issues, while increasing student performance and physical and emotional well-being.

    Choose Love Awareness Month brings attention to the importance of teaching children core competencies and skills, beyond academics, that can help them thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally. More than 500 schools in New York State and 48 in Orange County have embraced the Jesse Lewis Choose Love educational programs.

    “Providing our students with invaluable skills that will help them to thrive physically, mentally and emotionally now, will pave the way for them to effectively navigate both academically and in their own lives in the future. This serves the individual and the community,” Neuhaus said.

    For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations, at 845.291.3255 or jrodriguez@orangecountygov.com.