Since 2005, New Earth has been teaching F.L.O.W. (Fluent Love of Words) throughout youth detention facilities, LAUSD schools, group homes, and at our Arts & Leadership Center to youth ages 13-25. Our flagship poetry and music program focuses on inspiring young people to discover and craft their inner voice, share their experiences, and express themselves through art. F.L.O.W. uses a project-based learning curriculum that teaches students about the structure of poetry and then guides them to tell their own stories through poetry pieces. They then create musical beats and record their poetry to the beats. Once the music is recorded, students learn how to edit and engineer their own songs. Each module concludes with a showcase where students share their work in a public group of peers and facility staff. The class promotes literacy and enhances writing skills through English writing, reading comprehension, and critical thinking instruction based on the California Language Arts Standards of education.
of F.L.O.W. participants increased their GPA
of F.L.O.W. participants increased their capacity for leadership
of F.L.O.W. participants increased their ability to manage emotions
Beyond Boundaries wilderness expeditions take outstanding alumni on day trips and weeklong camping trips, allowing them time for reflection and restoration before they return to their home environment. The program offers system-impacted young people an opportunity to leave the confines of the neighborhood and communities in which they live and gain a different perspective about the world around them. The stillness of nature and the quiet of retreat allows them the space to consider their future lifestyle choices while facilitating their ability to tap into their true identity through rooting themselves in nature.
“In my neighborhood, I worry about bullets, but out here, the only bullets I worry about are mosquito bites.” Raul, Beyond Boundaries participant
Some of our past expeditions include a four-day hiking, rock-climbing, and camping journey in Joshua Tree National Park; a four-day rafting trip on the Sacramento River; a four-day hiking trip to Alta Peak in the Sequoia National Park; day hikes to the Santa Monica Mountains; and LA Waterkeeper boat trips.
Down to Earth
Gardening is proven to be an effective therapeutic tool that is known to decrease stress levels and anxiety. This sense of peace helps our students face their frustrations and challenges while giving them a positive outlet for their expression. In a therapeutic sense, if students enjoy the fruits of their labor, they are more inclined to complete and enjoy their personal goals.
Down to Earth teaches students that growing a garden is like growing into a man or a woman. This powerful analogy gives students a sense of purpose by working with the earth and planting seeds that result in an abundance that is tangible in their own lives. Down to Earth is taught at Probation Camp schools throughout Los Angeles County and at New Earth’s Arts & Leadership Center.
“I love this class because I’m learning that I can make healthy choices in what I eat. Now I’m starting to understand that I have choices in how I act and react in situations, too. This class has been a great experience.”
“I’m learning how to plant vegetables and survival skills. I’m learning new things about plants that I never knew before and it’s given me a new respect for nature.”
“This class gives me training on how to become a gardener or landscaper. I learn techniques on how to plant and treat plants properly. After experiencing this class, I want to start my own gardening business.”
Down to Earth is based on the California Biology Standards and also provides job training skills in horticulture and landscaping by teaching about tools, equipment, and techniques. Throughout the course, our young people gain understanding about sustainability, basic plant care, soil composition, composting, assembling window boxes and container gardens, vegetable and herb gardening, garden design, and garden installation.
In collaboration with Los Angeles County’s Youth Diversion & Development Department, the City of Culver City, the Culver City Police Department, and the Culver City School District, New Earth’s Youth Diversion program serves young people who would otherwise be arrested and or/expelled from school within city limits. A unique solution to early interaction with law enforcement and the justice system, our program receives referrals from the police department of youth under the age of 18 who are picked up for minor offenses and non-violent felonies. Their successful completion of the New Earth Diversion Program prevents them from ever being booked in the criminal database. This proven intervention prevents justice system involvement and ultimately plugs the school to prison pipeline.
This revolutionary program provides young people with leadership training in lieu of arrest, suspension, or expulsion – ultimately diverting them away from entering the justice system. This program empowers our young people to make healthier choices by exploring identity, purpose, and a prosperous future through arts and career training.
Each member of the diversion program is required to complete a 12-week class that focuses on holistic interventions, identifying coping skills, life skills, arts, leadership, restorative justice, community, and social/cultural issues. In addition to the class, members individually make a plan with their case manager to address specific goals and needs. When the case plan and the classes are completed, a member will graduate from the diversion program. After care is provided with continued case management, referrals, and enrichment programs.
How We’re Doing in Youth Diversion:
Average age of participant = 15 years old
Alleged offenses include driving without a license, breaking curfew, drinking an alcoholic beverage in public, robbery with a dangerous weapon, petty theft, burglary, vandalism, domestic battery, bringing marijuana to school, tampering with a vehicle, battery occurring at school, battery, taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, possession of marijuana, hit and run, minor in possession of an alcoholic beverage, and testing positive for a controlled substance.
have No Further Involvement with Police
have Positive Youth Development Outcomes
have Positive Restorative Justice Outcomes
have Improved Vocational Outcomes
have Improved Housing Status
have No Contact with the Criminal Justice System