Kiwanis Club of Newburgh

Kiwanis of Newburgh has teamed up with the Newburgh Armory Unity Center (NAUC) to build a much-needed playground for their more than 500+ children they service.
Playgrounds provide a myriad of developmental benefits for children. Although a playground may seem like just fun, an array of benefits come from children spending time with other kids using playground equipment. In addition to physical well-being, playgrounds can provide essential experiences and development for children in several areas. The implementation of this playground project will significantly enhance NAUC programming by providing the children another option to develop their social skills, creativity, problem-solving and reasoning skills.

Additional Information

Newburgh Armory Unity Center (NAUC), Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, Knights of Columbus Council 444, Newburgh Elks Club, We Are Newburgh, Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh
The Newburgh community has always been very supportive of all the Kiwanis and NAUC projects and we are confident that this support will continue with this project. With the support from the above-mentioned partners, the support of the NAUC parents, and the Kiwanis of Newburgh Fundraising campaign, this Playground Project is guaranteed to be ready to be installed by the Spring of 2021.
The NAUC has developed into a vibrant community center that is an anchor for thousands of Newburgh area residents, and a nationally recognized model for those looking for urban revitalization solutions. The NAUC has numerous programs for children that are currently underway and address the specific risk factors for poor school performance and delinquency, which negatively impact the likelihood of their future financial success. NAUC provides several educational and skill-building program offerings for youth at high risk of poor academic performance, low aspirations and involvement in the judicial system, as well as for those negatively impacted by their low economic status and also prone to become involved with gangs. The Saturday Morning Enrichment Program (SMEP) is the cornerstone of the NAUC’s mission to provide high-quality academic enrichment and early childhood literacy programs to the children and families of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. SMEP, which is now in its eighth year of operation, began with ten classes, which focused on supporting early childhood literacy with the incentive of athletic opportunities. In 2019-2020, the NAUC will offer more than 41 classes, which combine to provide over 90 hours of professional instruction each Saturday. SMEP programming provides opportunities for students to develop skills in a range of disciplines that may directly lead to careers in computer science, medical science, engineering, literacy, and leadership, all of which are expected to be in high demand in the 21st-century job market. The SMEP provides a safe, accessible location for Newburgh youth, of which 75 percent identify as Latino or Black, to encounter disciplines and career paths such as business, computer science, engineering, nursing, and graphic design where historically they have been underrepresented. Within each hour-long class, at least five minutes is dedicated to facilitating discussions related to health, wellness or leadership. Class curriculums incorporate group projects that highlight themes of unity and encourage the development of positive communication skills among peers. Poverty levels continue to be much higher in Newburgh, NY than the rest of the Mid-Hudson region. The 2016 Census reports that approximately 10% of individuals in our region are living below the poverty level and are struggling to survive each day. In Newburgh, this number nearly triples and leads in the region. The poverty rate is highest for Blacks and African American city residents at more than 43%, and nearly 30% of all Spanish speaking residents have been identified as living in poverty.