AMENIA, N.Y. -- Webutuck students have a new English language arts program, thanks to the efforts of their teachers.
The Webutuck Teachers' Association helped raise more than $35,000 for the Journeys literacy program, which will be for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
Rebecca Garrard, president of the teachers' association, said they wanted a program that could be engaging to students, particularly to those that come from an economically disadvantaged background.
"We wanted teachers to have access to the most up to date resources," Garrard said.
Garrard began reaching out to companies and donors hoping to find someone to foot the bill. She was able to get a verbal commitment from two donors- Stoneleaf Partners, developers of the Silo Ridge golf course in Amenia, which donated $15,000 and an anonymous donor from another state who donated $20,000.
"These people were completely new to me," Garrard said. "We are so grateful to them."
After getting the donation, Garrard then went to work negotiating with Houghton Mifflin, the publishing company, to obtain the program.
"We got $90,000 worth of material for $35,000," Garrard said.
Garrard said she believes the district could not justify this type of expenditure to taxpayers.
"We really wanted to step in and make it happen," Garrard said. "We are thrilled we will be able to. Webutuck is in a good phase, it's turning a corner. The team in place is going to make great things happen."
The program will be implemented for the 2017-2018 school year, which started on Tuesday.
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