BRISTOL - The â€śChoose Love Movementâ€ť is teaching local kids to control their thoughts through an education program created by the mother of a Sandy Hook tragedy victim, and adopted by the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol Family Center.
â€śFor our club, in order to have the impact we want on our children, we need to be relevant to the world we live in,â€ť said club President and CEO Michael Suchopar. â€śIn the world we live in now, there is bullying and cyber bullying at an all time statistical high.â€ť
â€śOur challenge is how to teach kids to be kind and how to cope in this type of world, because sometimes people stay away from kindness, love and caring,â€ť Suchopar continued. â€śThis program is another ongoing way the club is doing its part to create loving, kind and caring children.â€ť
Suchopar said he was â€śthrilledâ€ť when the clubâ€™s education director, Meredith Rogers, proposed adopting the program because it â€śreflects the ideals of the organization.â€ť
â€śI was very proud of her for seeing how it can apply here at the club, and then for stepping forward and implementing it,â€ť he said.
The national â€śChoose Love Movementâ€ť was created by Scarlett Lewis, the mother of Jessie Lewis who lost his life in the Sandy Hook tragedy, Rogers explained.
Scarlett Lewis had previously visited the club to provide an overview of the education program that aims to make kids aware that they have the power to control their thoughts and all the benefits of turning their angry thoughts into loving ones, Rogers said.
â€śIt focuses on how kids can channel their emotions,â€ť Rogers said. â€śKids like it so far. Itâ€™s really going to benefit them.â€ť
The program offers curriculums for different kid age levels from kindergarten to 12th grade, teaching that courage, plus gratitude, forgiveness and compassion equals choosing love, Rogers explained.
Each of the four pieces to that equation represents the focus of a program unit that changes weekly, Rogers explained. The club began the program in January, it will run until June, and currently about 80 to 90 kids participate in the program each day, she said.
Kids first learn how to breathe deeply and calm themselves down, Rogers explained. Kids then learn to take â€śgrateful breathes,â€ť meaning they take a breath and remind themselves of something in their life that they are grateful for, she added.
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at 860-801-5088 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org