On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town of Newton, Connecticut and shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children between six and seven years old, and six adult staff members. The incident is the deadliest mass shooting at an elementary school in U.S. history. As first responders arrived, he shot himself in the head.

Scarlett Lewis’s six years old son Jesse was among the children who died. Shortly thereafter, Scarlett decided to be part of the solution to the issues that we’re seeing in our society today—and that also caused the tragedy. She created the Choose Love Movement and became an advocate for character development and social and emotional learning (SEL), which teaches children how to manage their emotions, feel connected, and have healthy relationships.

Before his death, Jesse left a message on their kitchen chalkboard, “Norturting Helinn Love” (Nurturing, Healing Love). When Scarlett learned that these words are included in the definition of “compassion” across all cultures, she realized that love, connection, and belonging are universal wants and needs that connect all of humanity.

With the guidance of Christopher Kukk, PhD, Dean of the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars and Professor of Political Science at Longwood University, a Fulbright Scholar and author of “The Compassionate Achiever,” these three words led to the creation of a formula that can be used by anyone, at any time, anywhere in the world to manage their response to any situation.

The Choose Love Formula™ is the foundation of our next-generation Social & Emotional Learning and Character Education programming that was originally created for schools, but has quickly spread into homes, communities and the workplace to strengthen connection and promote a more peaceful, loving world. 

The Choose Love Formula™ is:
Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion in Action = Choosing Love

Choose Love is a community-led movement offering free social and emotional learning (SEL) to help people thoughtfully respond to any situation, circumstance, or interaction.

Two million people across 95 countries have already decided to choose love.

To learn more about this organization, or to join the movement, please visit: