A Second Chance
At our residential campus in Dobbs Ferry, boys (6 to 20 years old) who have emotional and behavioral challenges have a chance to grow in an enriched and structured program aimed at preparing them to be successful members of their families and communities. Our program focuses on encouraging a love of learning, the acquisition of career-oriented job skills, and the development of leisure interests and skills that foster life-long emotional and physical health and well-being.
The campus is staffed 24/7 with professionals experienced in helping children and teens deal with anger, feelings of loss, and educational failure. Located on a 180-acre site just 35 minutes from New York City, the campus provides extensive recreational, vocational, and educational facilities in a quiet, natural setting.
The children live in beautiful two-story Tudor-style cottages, all of which have been renovated in the past five years. Each cottage is home to approximately 10 residents, mostly in two or three-person rooms. Cottages provide a comfortable and communal environment.
Each cottage has its own character, reflecting the interests of staff and residents: some have vegetable or flower gardens; some have pet fish or gerbils; others are filled with photographs, artwork, or indoor plants.
An important part of life at CV is a structure that helps residents feel safe. Rules are clear, so residents know what is expected of them and understand consequences. All residents do chores before school and participate in community meetings to talk about house rules and resolve differences among the boys.
Many students who come to Children’s Village have failed repeatedly in school. They may have learning difficulties their community school is not equipped to deal with, severe behavioral problems that frustrate and overwhelm the student, or problems in their family or living situations that caused them to miss a great deal of school.
“My favorite subjects are math, home and career, and industrial arts. In my other school, I failed my tests. But here, the teachers help me to do well and I have passed my tests.” — C.J., high school student
Our K-12 school, Greenburgh Eleven, is a fully accredited New York State public school district. No classroom has more than 12 students, and some have as few as 6. Students learn from highly qualified teachers, most with master’s degrees in special education and experience with learning difficulties and behavioral and emotional problems. All students are grounded in basic skills and are taught the New York State curriculum in mathematics, English, and science. Graduation rates are high and scholarships for college or technical schools are available.
“All I have ever heard were the problems that [my son] had, but never any solutions. Greenburgh Eleven has literally transformed him to a place where he feels good about himself and his accomplishments.” — A Parent
Volunteers support learning through Open Door, a literacy program designed to nurture students’ love of reading. Volunteers run a reading program in the school and help in our beautiful Open Door Library after school. Learn more about Open Door and how you can get involved.
Psychological and Medical
The Children’s Village has one of the largest and most highly trained team of professionals of any residential campus in the nation. Our goal is to help children develop coping skills, and to help them put behind them problems and issues that have become barriers to their happiness and success.
Our certified Animal Assistance Therapy program is popular among the children. Clinicians use highly trained therapy dogs as part of individual and group meetings to help shy children open up, help troubled children relate, and in general help the children benefit from therapy.
All staff are trained in and practice Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS), a model used across the country that has proven to help kids build self-esteem, develop positive relationships, and improve social and academic confidence and skills. As part of PBIS, students earn Hawk Bills for positive behavior and can use the bills to “buy” games, hats, gift cards, and coveted experiences such as dinner with CV’s president, Jeremy Kohomban.
Medical care is provided in our state-of-the-art Keith Haring Medical Clinic, which is a multi-discipline center where medical and psychological professionals work together. The clinic is open 24/7 for routine care as well as referrals to specialists. The clinic was recognized by the National Center for Medical Home Implementation for its innovative practices in June 2017.
Our athletics program teaches lifelong lessons in teamwork, sportsmanship, and the importance of physical fitness. CV competes in the New York State Public High School Basketball League as well as in leagues in Bowling, and Track and Field. On campus, youth compete in soccer, softball, and flag football.
But competition is not the primary focus of our program. The goal is for children to try activities that may be unfamiliar to them and to develop a lifelong interest, even passion, for healthy fitness activities. With an emphasis on safety, skill development, and self-esteem, CV residents are involved in:
- Camping in the nearby Catskill mountains
- Kayaking on the Hudson River
- Snowboarding at ski hills nearby
- Roller blading throughout our 180-acre campus
- Mountain biking, hiking, and cross country skiing
Our state-of-the-art Lanza Activities Center features an indoor pool, modern weight training room, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, and recreation rooms for chess clubs, art, music, and much more. Students create and record music in our professional recording studio donated by the Garden of Dreams Foundation.
WAY is a unique program designed to turn teens into workers with real career skills and aspirations. The program’s main focus is on work ethics and attitude, helping youth to think of themselves as a person who works–and what that means.
On our campus, the program offers workshops and paid work experiences such as:
The Hawk’s Nest Cafe
The Cafe is staffed by short-order cooks, who learn to cook healthy snacks as well as complete meals for sale to students, parents, and staff. Students study for their Serve Safe certificate, which is required for jobs in restaurants and fast food establishments.
The Village Greenhouse
WAY’s greenhouse grows vegetables and flowers year round for sale to staff and outside groups. Youth employees learn how to grow and take care of plants, rudimentary landscaping skills, and marketing under the direction of a master gardener.
The Barber Shop
The Barber Shop is often a hub for teens and youth barbers on weekday afternoons. Youth cut hair under the direction of a master barber and earn credits toward a barber certificate.
Dog Training Program
Canine Rescue & Rehabilitation (K9 R&R) gives teens the opportunity to train rescue dogs. The teens gain real-life work experience, develop patience, and experience the unconditional love of a dog. The dogs become better socialized and learn basic obedience, making them more attractive to potential adoptive families.
Watch our video for a real-life example of how our teens work with dogs.
The Chapel of All Faiths serves as the hub of a multi-denominational spiritual life program that respects and serves the culture and spiritual needs of all residents. Its purpose is to help each child find spiritual guidance in his own way, on his own terms.
The program includes:
- Weekly religious services for Catholics and Protestants
- Wednesday morning Bible Study
- Activities and speakers throughout the year
- Week and weekend trips to Young Life Camp in the mountains
- One-to-one spiritual counseling
- Catholic instruction, sacramental program, and youth retreats