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Making Waves of Change: Empowering Children with Swim Safety

21 & Change, a nonprofit organization committed to aiding children and young adults with developmental disabilities through scholarships and advocacy for Individualized Education Programs (IEP), is delighted to announce a new collaboration with New Life Village and Hudson Valley Swim to establish a swimming safety program.

In a generous gesture, 21 & Change is providing a $6,000 grant to New Life Village, an innovative residential community offering a secure and supportive intergenerational environment for families striving to provide a permanent home for children who have experienced foster care or trauma.

This grant will be instrumental in introducing a swimming program designed to benefit the youngsters residing within the affordable housing community situated in Hillsborough County. Drowning poses a significant risk to children, particularly those with disabilities, and this program is dedicated to addressing this concern directly. The grant will fund swim safety and swimming lesson scholarships for 18 children at New Life Village, ranging in age from one to ten years old. While not all of them are on 504 plans or IEPs, they have all endured various forms of trauma.

The swimming lessons will be conducted in partnership with another esteemed member of the community, Hudson Valley Swim Northwest Tampa, spanning an eight-week duration. By promoting swim safety and providing crucial swimming lessons, 21 & Change and New Life Village aspire to enhance the safety and overall well-being of children living in the Village and throughout Tampa Bay.

Clayton Clemens, President of 21 & Change, expressed his excitement about the partnership, stating, "We feel privileged to collaborate with New Life Village and Hudson Valley Swim Northwest Tampa to offer these essential resources to the children in our community. Every child deserves the opportunity to acquire life-saving skills such as swimming, and we are fully committed to making this a reality."

Mariah Hayden, Executive Director of New Life Village, shared her enthusiasm, saying, "New Life Village deeply appreciates the support from 21 & Change in our mission to create a nurturing environment for children who have faced trauma. This grant will enable us to prioritize the safety and well-being of the youngest members of our Village. We are thrilled to join forces with Hudson Valley Swim Northwest Tampa to bring swim safety to our campus."

Mindi and Alan Gartner, proprietors of Hudson Valley Swim School, are excited to contribute their expertise to this significant initiative. They commented, "We are wholeheartedly devoted to making swim safety accessible to all children, and we are thrilled to partner with 21 & Change and New Life Village to achieve this noble objective."