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 available to them. 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 and community partners and volunteers come together to provide children opportunities to have fun and build relationships. These events include pool time, craft workshops, potlucks, community birthday and holiday celebrations, mentoring and cook camps,  sporting activities and movie nights. NLV also provides programming for adult wellness including CPR and mental health CPR classes, financial literacy and home buying workshops, kinship, fostering and adoption support groups, bingo and more. Residents also regularly participate in trauma training and Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) workshops to assist them when working with village youth. Our goal is that children will build character, respect and village family values when participating in these events.

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.

Programming Partners

The following community organizations are partners to New Life Village in delivering a Character Development Program to Village Children.

Agape Outreach Inc. – 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

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:

  • Kids Coaching: A fun, upbeat, hands on coaching hour twice a month where elementary age children can work with Ms. Erin to learn how to make healthy, safe choices at school and with friends, how to use tools and skills that improve their confidence and pride in who they are as well as reduce stress, worry and anxiety.
  • Teen Coaching Hour: 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

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 goal is 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.

Arts Program

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.

Stageworks 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.

Community Stepping Stones – Pending Funding

Community Stepping Stones will partner with Village children and seniors to create a sustainable village garden where they will grow produce that they will later be taught to cook with. Children will also be taught about the value of the 12 acre village and how to sustain it. This educational journey will incorporate creating an art work series that represents the themes of peace, village tribes and sustainable living. This art work will be displayed in the main offices of New Life Village. Additionally, public art pieces will be installed throughout the community. This partnership will make the residential community feel like a creative arts village! We are hopeful to one day have murals on some of our building walls too.

Royal Family Kids 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.

Gracie BullyProof Program – Pending Funding

Participating NLV children will be taught the Gracie BullyProof curriculum to empower them in dealing with their anger, frustration and physical aggression in healthy non-violent methods. Studies suggest that bullying may be the leading cause of low self-esteem in children, and according to some surveys, less than 15% of kids actually report acts of bullying.  As NLV children have experienced trauma and abuse, many have been and continue to be bullied or, are themselves, exhibiting bullying behavior. Gracie Bullyproof program is one of the few effective countermeasures to bullying for children between the ages of 5 and 13. The goal is that children will foster confidence and learn to love and support each other while developing character and resilience and to instill children with unshakable confidence so they can overcome bullies without violence