NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – Just like the rest, Jesse Lewis wasn’t here to celebrate what would have been his 15th birthday back in June and he won’t be here to celebrate the holidays or play on his farm.
“The loss is the same. It’s very painful. I feel pain every day. I cry every day,” said Scarlett Lewis, Jesse’s mother.
Sandy Hook sits along the Housatonic River. Nine years ago, it made headlines for all the wrong reasons as 26 children and educators went to school and never returned. Scarlett at that point made it her mission to be part of the solution.
“We shouldn’t ask them to protect themselves in their classrooms like Jesse had to and I know that every school shooting is 100 percent preventable, so how could I do anything, but dedicate the rest of my life to being part of the solution,” Scarlett said.
According to law enforcement, Jesse yelled to his classmates to run on that unspeakable day. He couldn’t save himself but saved several others. To honor Jesse’s legacy and keep kids safe, Lewis created a learning curriculum that is taught in 10,000 schools in more than 100 countries.
Her organization is called The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement.
“Instead of resisting and avoiding difficulty or maybe even numbing ourselves, we need to understand that it’s an opportunity for growth. It’s called post-traumatic growth and we can actually teach this. That is exactly what we focus on in all of our programming in the Choose Love Movement,” Scarlett said.
To help others, Scarlett penned her first book, “Nurturing Healing Love.”
“The message of nurturing, healing, love that Jesse left on the kitchen chalkboard, my realization that if the shooter had been able to give and receive nurturing, healing, love, the tragedy would never have happened. Jesse’s example of courage and my wanting to honor and remember him and at the same time keep other children safe and not have other parents go through what we went through in Sandy Hook because they don’t have to,” Scarlett said. “My ability to take what I’ve learned through my journey over the last nine years and use that wisdom to help other people, that is a huge part of my healing and that’s why I continue to do that.”
To find out more about the Choose Love Movement, click here.