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Posted on: February 4, 2021

Orange County recognizes February as Choose Love Month

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Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and the County’s ThinkDIFFERENTLY Committee are proud to recognize February as Choose Love Month.

 Scarlett Lewis founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, a non-profit organization after her six-year-old son was killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012. 

 County Executive Neuhaus was inspired to celebrate Choose Love Month after participating with Lewis in the Making Healthful Decisions Conference (MHDC) in December of last year. The virtual event was hosted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

 “I was moved by Scarlett’s inspirational story about her beloved son and how she has kept his memory alive through the Choose Love Movement,” Neuhaus said. “Her empowering message inspires students and adults alike to make a difference and to take positive action for change in their communities.”

 The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement celebrates and promotes all the benefits of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) with a call to action for educators, students, families and communities across the country. SEL is a proactive and preventative mental health initiative that has been proven to reduce anxiety, addiction and behavioral issues while increasing student performance as well as physical and emotional well-being.

 The Choose Love Awareness Month brings attention to the importance of teaching children core competencies and skills, beyond academics, that can help them thrive physically, mentally and emotionally. More than 400 schools in New York State and 26 in Orange County have embraced the Jesse Lewis Choose Love educational programs.

 “Teaching students the skills that will allow them to thrive physically, mentally and emotionally and that will enable them to effectively navigate both academically and in their own lives is invaluable, and will serve the students and their communities well,” Neuhaus said. “Addressing mental health disorders is critically important to the health and quality of life of our residents, focusing on Social and Emotional Learning is an effective approach that shows the power of positivity for oneself and for one’s peers.”

 For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations, at 845.291.3255 or jrodriguez@orangecountygov.com.

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