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Retired U.S. Army General and former C.I.A. Director David Petraeus visited the Newburgh Armory on Thursday. Meredith Zaritheny has more.
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- General Petraeus was at the at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center Thursday to help kick off a new literacy program. The Cornwall native and West Point grad met with local leaders and students about the importance of education.
"What this center does is of enormous significance in the Newburgh community," said Petraeus.
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, General David Petraeus got a firsthand look at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center and the programs it provides.
"It covers a very, very broad spectrum of everything from athletics to English as a second language to various academic programs, lending library," Petraeus said.
A vision that has been years in the making for the City of Newburgh.
"It's a place where people have created a lot of hope," said City of Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy.
Touring the facility, Petraeus spoke with community leaders and students about the importance of education and working hard in school.
Petraeus said, "It's about what a community can do when it all pulls together. Most of this is all run by volunteers."
As part of the literacy center, a number of classrooms are being remodeled and outfitted with computers and other state of the art technology.
"We have a failure rate in the City of Newburgh and there's no reason for that. So to give children the opportunity and the tools they need to progress," said Deirdre Glenn, Newburgh Armory Unity Center Executive Director.
"Really an extraordinary vision that has turned into a wonderful reality," Petraeus said.
Petraeus says his visit here was inspiring and memorable. It's been three years since his last visit to the Hudson Valley. He says he's happy to be back in the area.