New Life Village is home to approximately 60 children, ages birth – 18, many of whom are survivors of trauma and abuse. NLV is also home to 30 adults who serve as the foster and adoptive parents or supportive seniors who are surrogate grandparents, tutors, babysitters and volunteers to these children. Our program is focused on ensuring that each child has a family that is supportive and supported. The village creates constant opportunities for children and seniors, neighbors and friends to build relationships with each other. To reach these goals, the village offers the following program.
Community Wellness and Character Development Program
Onsite Family Support Services
New Life Village pairs residents in need of case work services with local partner agencies to ensure each family is receiving any available physical and mental healthcare, as well as educational and vocational supports and services. If Village parents are supported and are accomplishing family goals, Village children will benefit. These case work services will also help each family to realize any educational opportunities available to their children including scholarships, grants, Individual Education Plans, and magnet, charter or private school applications. Our goal is to ensure that each child has a family that is supportive and supported.
Village Family Building, Mentorship & Recreational Events
Every week village residents, community partners and volunteers come together to provide children opportunities to have fun and build relationships. These events include pool time, craft and creative writing workshops, potlucks, community birthday and holiday celebrations, mentoring, cook camps, sporting activities, community trash pickup and movie nights. NLV also provides programming for adult wellness including blood pressure checks, yoga, Tai-chi, CPR classes, Life Puzzle Group, financial literacy and home buying workshops, prayer groups, support groups, Bingo and more. Residents also regularly participate in trauma training and Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) workshops to assist them when interacting with village youth. Our goal is that children will build character, respect and village family values when participating in these events and that adults have access to resources and support to ensure their families are healthy.
Learning Center Tutoring
The NLV Learning Center, created and managed by our founder, Sister Claire, with the assistance of Sister Aline, serves NLV’s elementary school children who benefit from one-on-one tutoring by dedicated volunteers. Each child meets with the same volunteer twice weekly for 60-90 minutes. Our goal is to assist in improving children’s skills in reading and math and to ensure that child is on grade level.
The following community organizations are partners to New Life Village in delivering our Community Wellness and Character Development Program.
United for Change – Youth Mentor Group
Agape Outreach Inc. provides weekly United For Change Youth Groups for children ages 6 to 12 and teenagers ages 13 to 18 at New Life Village. Both groups are learning social skills based on biblical principles to help them learn how to treat each other and themselves. They have learned how to prevent bullying and how to honor their parents and other adults. They have also learned that they are a very important part of the New Life Village Community, and should take pride in their community and treat everyone as family. They have made cards for neighbors who are ill, cards for veterans in the hospital and thank you cards to donors. The group hosts motivational speakers to come speak with our youth. The objective is to teach NLV’s youth how to make better decisions for themselves and others, to be good role models, to be good citizens and to grow up to be spiritual men and women.
Grow Into You Foundation – Teen Life Coaching
Grow Into You Foundation exists to provide coaching and mentoring services to individuals experiencing a hardship, particularly youth and those within the foster care system. These services educate, empower and give perspective to those who need it most. GIYF’s core initiatives are to: Shift Perspectives, Restore Power and Plant Hope. Through the benevolence of the Lightning Community Foundation, GIYF provides New Life Village with:
- Teen Coaching: Middle, High School and College Age students can come meet with Ms. Erin one on one for mini coaching sessions to discuss goals, relationships, their purpose, confidence, self-esteem, friends and family challenges, future hopes and dreams, etc. This is a safe, objective space for them to work on becoming the best version of themselves!
G3 Life Applications – Sports & Christ Based Holistic Mentoring
G3 provides holistic mentoring, sports, and character development programming to NLV’s children. Because many of NLV’s children have experienced trauma and abuse, many also have trouble dealing with anger, frustration and physical aggression. NLV’s goal is to teach our children to love and support each other, manage frustration in a healthy ways and to instill strategies that will develop their character and resilience. G3’s aims to positively impact NLV’s youth and community holistically by transitioning their thinking to capitalize on their potential through exposure, education and inspiration during summer and spring breaks.
Community Stepping Stones & Village Arts Program – Art Workshops
NLV children enjoy weekly visual arts classes in a creative and fun environment for all to experience a diverse range of visual arts expressions ranging from drawing and painting to hands on arts and crafts projects. Children utilize some reclaimed materials to create projects as well as decorating the offices and clubhouse of New Life Village. The goal is for children to enjoy creative expression while building relationships with each other and village seniors. Villagers are also creating a “It takes a Village to Play” mural on the wall next to our playground and building Big Beautiful metal butterflies on our sunshade pillars in Brice’s Place in partnership with Community Stepping Stones, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to using an arts-infused curriculum to inspire, educate, mentor and prepare at-risk youth to become successful adults.
Stageworks Theatres – Hip Hop Bucket Drumming Classes
Stageworks Theatre provides drumming classes to NLV’s youth. Children learn a variety of skills that lead to improved focus and concentration, as well as improved social skills and confidence—all factors that support learning. Stageworks Theatre’s master drumming instructor Alvon Griffin uses his “Math Music” method which children of all ages find easy to learn rhythms as well as create their own with this fun, high energy creative outlet. His techniques challenge youth to create their own compositions in a format flexible enough to take advantage of each individual’s talents, which may include improvisational rap, spoken word, step and dance. The method includes “Percussion by Numbers” or “Math Music” technique which conveys concepts of rhythm through mathematics. Progress varies depending on the age and abilities of the participating youth, however, most groups will learn a minimum of 3 cadences with variations. The program ultimately creates a drum corps capable of performing before peers, teachers, family and friends. Recent NEA longitudinal study shows a correlation between at-risk youth exposed to arts programming and improved academic achievement. Evaluations show that drumming can lead to improved focus and concentration, as well as improved social skills and confidence—all factors that support learning.
Finally Home – Family Coaching & Trust Based Relational Intervention Trauma Training
Finally Home is a full-service adoption agency with multiple programs. The Family Coaching Program is one of New Life Village’s most utilized programs. Finally Home recognizes that the family unit is where relationships are built and the foundation for life is established. Rather than working with children to change their behaviors, the Family Coaching Program focuses on family dynamics and strengthening relationships. Drawing on current brain research, family connection models, and experience working with impacted children, this program supports families in being the healers for their trauma-impacted children. The models that are used are TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) and The Family Alliance Model.
Feeding Tampa Bay – My Mobile Market
Feeding Tampa Bay’s My Mobile Market comes to New Life Village monthly. My Mobile Market is a “pop-up style market/mobile grocery store” that brings nutritious foods (both fresh and shelf stable) to areas that are underserved. Residents receive free produce with a small purchase in addition to door step groceries. My Mobile Market is a collaboration between Feeding Tampa Bay and Goodwill-Suncoast.
Royal Family Kids – Summer Camp
Royal Family Kids Camp Tampa Bay provides a life-changing week of camp for children of abuse, neglect and abandonment. Kids ages 6 to 12 experience a safe and loving environment with a ratio of one adult to one child. The campers are treated like royalty throughout the week starting with a luxury coach bus ride to camp. Each night there is a special event like a Carnival, Glow Party, Talent Show and Birthday Bash. Campers enjoy daily activities such as fishing, craft center, swimming and outdoor games.
Pathfinder Outdoor Education – Leadership & Team Building Retreats
Pathfinder Outdoor Education‘s unique, hands-on, experiential youth programs help build community by getting kids outside in nature. Our annual team building retreat provides New Life Village children and families with valuable life skills that help them socially and emotionally to find their inner leader, problem solve as a community and discover talents and strengths.
Life Puzzle – Life Skills & Wellness Workshops
Good 4U Inc.’s, Life Puzzle program provides group meetings with New Life Village adults around learning what it means to become a whole human being that honors one’s physical, emotional, thinking and spiritual self. Wholeness is the foundation for the Life Puzzle program is a life-long learning model that offers practical, tangible information for daily living. It is a proactive, positive way to live one’s life and a way for parents to see their children ‘adding pieces to their puzzle’ and how to help them grow their most whole SELF too. As a result, it becomes a ‘living language’ focused on wholeness as the best possible outcome for one’s life!
Senior & Community Yoga
Pose By Pose Yoga has an ongoing partnership with the University Of South Florida OLLI program, teaching seniors the practice of yoga. Through intentional breath and gentle movement, these students are guided through a safe and relaxing yoga practice that stretches the muscles and relaxes the mind. Pose By Pose Yoga also created its Outreach Program in 2015 with the idea of bringing yoga to children in the foster care system. Through mindful movement and meditation, children learn to explore their thoughts and emotions in a safe space that helps them cultivate peace. We are excited to combine these two areas of expertise at New Life Village to bring yoga to the entire community- children, families, and seniors with a practice tailored for every body. Together we will work to build one another up as a community day by day and pose by pose.
Senior Wellness Workshops
Senior Connection Center (SCC) teaches weekly onsite wellness workshops for NLV’s seniors. Classes include Tai Chi, Healthy Eating, Balance, Diabetes and Chronic Disease Management. SCC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help older adults and persons with disabilities live with independence and dignity. SCC’s Health & Wellness program offers an array of classes to help seniors get healthy and stay healthy, including evidence-based classes to help them manage their chronic illnesses, live a healthy lifestyle and prevent falls.