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Plymouth State University to host community-wide ‘Choose Love’ event on Sunday

By Staff | Oct 19, 2021

PLYMOUTH – Plymouth State University (PSU) will host a community-wide event to promote collective wellbeing on Sunday, October 24, from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., as part of the “Choose Love” New Hampshire Tour. PSU’s Office of Community Impact will welcome Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement founder, Scarlett Lewis, to campus and invites the public to Hanaway Theatre at 10:30 a.m. for an opening presentation followed by an afternoon of family-friendly activities on Alumni Green.

The event will feature a special performance by PSU’s TIGER theatre program, New Hampshire’s Kid Governor and mental health advocate, Charlie Olsen, various speakers, and fun, family-friendly activities. Local organizations such as Communities for Alcohol & Drug Free Youth (CADY), Pemi Youth Center and reach 1 teach 1 love 1 will be on-hand to provide information and resources.

PSU is an affiliate of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, which was founded by Scarlett Lewis after her six-year-old son, Jesse, lost his life during the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012. In the aftermath, Lewis found that love, connection and belonging are universal wants and needs that connect all humans. She went on to create Next-Generation Character Social Emotional Development programs to create a safer, more loving world. The programs have been adopted by schools, businesses and individuals in all 50 states and in 111 countries. New Hampshire was the first state to make the adoption of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love curriculum a statewide initiative to promote Character Social Emotional Development.

“We are honored to be an affiliate of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, and we are thrilled to welcome Scarlett to Plymouth and to offer our community an opportunity to come together to have fun and relax – especially after the strain of the past 17 months,” said Jessica Dutille, Plymouth State University Director of Community Impact. “What I know for sure is that love heals, love is what binds us and love is exactly what we need. We have to embody it and reach out to one another and embrace our connections as a community.”

The tour comes in response to the rise in stress, anxiety, isolation and fatigue in children and adults due to COVID-19. It aims to support the mental health needs of educators, students, families and the community-at-large through the principles of the Choose Love Formula™ and Post-Traumatic Growth strategies that promote healing and growth during difficult times.

Lewis’ research resulted in the following formula, which serves as the foundation of the Choose Love movement: Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion (in action) = Choosing Love.

“Action is the opposite of anxiety. We want to help bring hope by giving each person something they can do to make themselves feel better. We want to help everyone in the community recover, rejuvenate their spirits, reconnect with one another and most importantly, realize that we all have the choice to thoughtfully respond to things beyond our control,” said Lewis.

PSU is one of several Choose Love stops in New Hampshire throughout October and November. The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit www.chooseloveonthemove.org, email psu-communityimpact@plymouth.edu or visit the PSU Office of Community Impact Facebook page.


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