By James McVey
You can still find magic at work if you know where to look, and the place to look on Saturday mornings is 321 S William St, Newburgh, N.Y.
The Newburgh Armory Unity Center hosts an enrichment program every Saturday for over 500 children, who range in age from Pre-K up to 6th grade. The recently received a grant from Charter of about $26,000 to fund this and other programs.
Their website explains the program to be “a number of programs are open to the children in which they range in art, chemistry, engineering, computer programming, music, literature, sports, and many more.”
The Saturday morning enrichment program is primarily powered by volunteers, which is where the knights of MSMC come into play.
The Mount’s Education Department leads two hour-long sessions of Around the World in Stories, with students who are pursuing a childhood education certification volunteering several times during each semester.
The Mount’s nursing program and athletic clubs as well as individual students and faculty also lend a hand.
A throng of Newburgh residents were waiting patiently Senator Bill Larkin take the stage to speak about the grant. Other notable Newburgh residents present include Bill Kaplan and Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey.
Senator Larkin addressed the crowd and said “It wasn’t easy, and we never could have done it without Mr. Kaplan.” He reminded everyone that “This is your event,” and that none of it would be possible without the “wonderful hardworking people at Charter and Spectrum.”
Kristie Cox, Mount senior and president of Kappa Delta Pi said, “The work we do at the armory is enjoyable and heartwarming. It allows me a chance to employ what I am learning in my education classes and see the progress made by all the individuals. Volunteering at the armory confirmed for me that I am doing what I love and that we can all be a positive change in our community.”
Erika Papagianopoulos, Mount junior, said “Volunteering at the armory is a lot of fun! I really enjoy being able to work with the students learn to identify as: readers, writers, and illustrators. I am often blown away at the poems they put together.”
With each passing day the armory serves as a beacon of hope to many residents of Newburgh. The armory aims to serve as a reminder that community cannot exist without unity.