The Formula For Moving Forward

We are a group of Darien parents who, in partnership with Darien United, invite our Darien friends, family and neighbors to learn and practice the Choose Love Formula™ through a series of fun and family-friendly community activities designed to help us heal and foster a more connected and inclusive community.

A Call To Action by Scarlett Lewis, Darien Native; Founder of Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement; Mother of 6 year-old Sandy Hook Victim, Jesse

Take The Choose Love CHALLENGE

Show your neighbors that you are ready to take ACTION to help heal our community by putting a sign on your lawn (and getting one for a neighbor!)

Let’s show each other that we have the COURAGE to color our neighborhoods with CHOOSING LOVE.


Download and print a Challenge Book for yourself and each member of your family. 

Visit participating local businesses to perform that the Choose Love action that correlates to the Challenge Week and get a sticker for your book.

When you’ve acquired all 4 stickers, sign the Choose Love Oath on the back of your Challenge Book, take a picture of the completed book, and email it to us for 1 entry into the random prize drawing.


For each Challenge, we will offer the opportunity to earn additional prize entries for watching 5 minute instructional videos, sharing the Challenge on your social media page, and more.

DOUBLE BONUS ENTRIES for sharing a photo showing you/ your family participating in the Community Activity on ANY social media platform using #chooselovedarien.

Community Activities will be announced at the beginning of each challenge. You can register to be notified by email of each challenge, or check this page or the Darien Times weekly for updates.

What Is Choose Love?

"You cannot control what happens in life, but you CAN always choose how you'll respond; you can use the Choose Love Formula™ to turn an angry thought into a loving thought and CHOOSE to respond with thoughtful consideration instead of fear and anger. By doing so, you will create a ripple effect of kindness that can ultimately create a more peaceful, loving world." #chooselovemovement #chooselovedarien

The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to create safer and more loving communities through healthy communication, decision-making and character development programs that are suited for all stages of life.

At the core of our programs is a simple formula (COURAGE + GRATITUDE + FORGIVENESS + COMPASSION-IN-ACTION = Choosing Love) that anyone can learn and practice to improve the world around them.

In only 6 years, our Choose Love Programs have been adopted by over 10,000 schools across the United States and more than 150 countries worldwide — ENTIRELY THROUGH WORD-OF-MOUTH.

Choose To Be Be Part of the Solution

"Being Part of the Solution means taking our personal power back. It means accepting responsibility for what's happening in our lives, and in our world, and to our children, and coming together to be part of the solution, individually and collectively. Being Part of the Solution means ‘choosing love’ in every situation, especially in the one we find ourselves in today!” #chooselovemovement #chooselovedarien

ChooseLoveDarien is an activation campaign that science has shown can help us grow beyond the fear and uncertainty of the past year and a half and create a ripple effect of positivity and connection throughout our community by taking action.

We can ALL learn and practice the 4 simple character values of the Choose Love Formula™ to transform our own lives, our relationships with others, and exponentially impact the happiness, health, inclusivity and productivity of our community.  And the best news is that, even when the campaign ends, the skills and tools you develop along the way will be with you for the rest of your life.

Learn more about the 4 character values we will be learning and how you can choose to be part of the solution of creating a stronger, more unified Darien by participating!

Courage is the willingness and ability to work through obstacles despite feeling embarrassment, fear, reluctance, or uncertainty.

Proven Benefits of Practicing COURAGE

  • Less anxiety and stress
  • Less fearful (in the present and future)
  • Enhanced self-esteem
  • Improved ability to express oneself and one’s feelings
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Willingness to try difficult tasks

Gratitude is mindful thankfulness and the ability to be thankful even when things in life are challenging.

Proven Benefits of Practicing GRATITUDE

  • More positive attitude towards self and others
  • Improved attitude about school and learning
  • More likely to show appreciation and kindness towards self and others
  • Increased mindfulness
  • Improved ability to see other perspectives and show empathy

Forgiveness means choosing to let go of anger and resentment toward yourself or someone else, to surrender thoughts of revenge, and to move forward with your personal power intact.

Proven Benefits of Practicing FORGIVENESS

  • Healthier relationships and deeper connections
  • Better emotional self-regulation
  • Less aggression and anger
  • Better able to handle personal/social issues that arise
  • Improved resilience
  • Improved decision-making skills
  • Heightened self-management


Compassion In Action is BOTH the understanding of a problem or the suffering of another and acting to solve the problem or alleviate the suffering. 

Proven Benefits of Practicing COMPASSION-IN-ACTION

  • Enhanced connections and relationships
  • Better able to respond in a loving manner
  • More caring and concern shown to others
  • Improved social skills
  • Better social and moral awareness

Choosing Love means having the COURAGE to do the right thing, even when no one is looking; feeling GRATEFUL even when things aren’t going your way; LETTING GO of your anger, even if the person who hurt you isn’t sorry; setting aside your busy-ness to DO SOMETHING KIND for someone else.  The more you can practice this formula when things are beyond your control, the more automatic a thoughtful response will become!

Meet Scarlett Lewis

Darien native and mother of Sandy Hook hero, Jesse.

"We are ALL the SAME in our want and need to love and be loved.” #chooselovemovement #chooselovedarien

In 2018, Darien First Selectman Jaymie Stevenson officially proclaimed August 31st to be Darien Chooses Love Day.

“Helping our children strengthen their social and emotional resilience will be proven to be one of the most powerful ways to ensure we have a society of healthy, compassionate and empathetic people. ” – Jaymie Stevenson

Local Awards & Recognition

CT Entrepreneur Award 2021 — Scarlett was honored for her dedication, resiliency, ingenuity, and her mission of continually finding innovative ways to help children and adults thrive in life and to make the world a safer more peaceful and loving place for all.

Remarkable Woman for Connecticut 2021 — WTNH News 8 named Scarlett Remarkable Woman for Connecticut 2021 for being a woman who inspires, leads, and forges the way for other women, and the great contributions she has made to her local community and to our nation. Remarkable Women is part of a nationwide Nexstar Media initiative to honor the influence that women have had on public policy, social progress, and the quality of life.

2019 Courage, Confidence, and Character Award —Presented by the Girl Scouts of Connecticut to an individual who has overcome unique challenges in their life and has made outstanding contributions to their community or achieved extraordinary success.

Certificate of Accomplishment –Senator Murphy recognized Scarlett’s commitment to empowering educators and students by promoting social and emotional education in schools and being an inspiration to young women and girls everywhere. He noted that Scarlett’s leadership exemplifies all that it means to be a Girl Scout, not only for those she works with now, but for generations of change-makers in the years to come.

Certificate of Special Recognition — CT Senator Richard Blumenthal recognized Scarlett for receiving the Girl Scouts 2019 Courage, Confidence, and Character Award for her extraordinary work and advocacy for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).

2018 Woman of Distinction — The YWCA Darien/Norwalk selected Scarlett Lewis as a recipient for the 2018 Women of Distinction Awards. The award recognizes women who have made significant and unique contributions that have made a difference in the community. Scarlett is recognized for her work at Hindley School in Darien, CT and All Saints Catholic School in Norwalk, CT as well as the global impact she makes teaching students how to Choose Love through the Choose Love Enrichment Program.

"People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." #chooselovemovement #chooselovedarien is an independent initiative developed by Darien parents based on the free programs, tools and support for community advocates provided by The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, a registered 501(c)(3) organization.  Please consider donating to this very important and hugely impactful movement (see below.)


Choose Love Movement is inspired by 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, his final acts of love, and his mother’s path of forgiveness after Jesse was killed in a school shooting.

© 2020 Choose Love Movement All rights reserved


Choose Love Movement is inspired by 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, his final acts of love, and his mother’s path of forgiveness after Jesse was killed in a school shooting.

© 2021 Choose Love Movement All rights reserved