Jesse Lewis Choose Love Enrichment Program Helps Children

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A Fayetteville native and mother of a child killed in the Sandy Hook massacre is trying to prevent a mass shooting from happening again.

You might remember us reporting about Scarlet Lewis, who lost her son Jesse during the shooting in 2012.

Now, Washington elementary school is one of four in the nation testing the program.

The program is called the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Enrichment program which provides social and emotional curriculum using mindfulness.

“These skills are all about, when I'm in this situation how can I make a loving choice. When I'm in this situation what can I do so I don't hurt anyone and that's important,” school counselor Tara Lechtenberger said.

The program teaches children to choose love in any circumstance and is based on a foundation of four values courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion.

Lechtenberger said if she can get kids to do those four things, it would make a huge difference in their lives and community.

“It makes me feel happy that these kids are enjoying a program and benefiting from it, I'm so glad. I didn't know it would catch on like this. I wanted to pilot it but I didn't realize it would just really resonate with everyone like it has,” she said.

Lechtenberger goes into kindergarten through fourth grade classrooms twice a month and the teachers reinforce what they have learned.

Third grade teacher Jodi Felkins said her students love this program and she has noticed when they are having a conflict they remind each other to choose love.

“What I love about it is that I don't only see it in the classroom, I see it outside at recess and that's one of the places I see it the most, is they are including each other in their games if somebody is left out, they are noticing they are left out,” Felkins said.

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