AYER — With the season of giving upon us, the elementary school in Ayer has created an opportunity for the preschool through fifth-grade stduents to learn about and participate in the spirit of giving.
While the malls became packed on Black Friday and the Internet was hopping on Cyber Monday, the kids at Page Hilltop got to browse around the Annual Holiday Shop, put together by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
For the week of Dec. 1, the cultural arts room was transformed into a winter wonderland due to the hard work of parents Paula Gravelle and Brenda Magno.
With the help of parent elves, Gravelle and Magno set up a store with a variety of gifts. “The students at Page Hilltop look forward to the yearly PTA Holiday Shop. It gives them a chance to understand that the holiday season is about giving and not all about receiving. It is empowering for them and lots of fun for us adults,” Magno said.
Every item at the shop is $1, which makes it very easy for even the very youngest children to manage their money.
“I get to buy stuff for everybody in my family,” kindergartener Ryan Stiles said.
Dylan Pueschel, 6, picked out things for his brothers, his Dad and his dog. He then kept looking for “something really special” for his mom. Although he wanted to keep the gift a secret, he did reveal that it was something he and his mom could use together.
Aside from the shopping opportunity, the over 600 students at the school had a few other ways to give to others. At the shop there was a bin for Loaves & Fishes donations, a box for letters and cards written by children to send to soldiers overseas, and a crate to put toys in to ship to children in Iraq.
“This week really allows us to give the children a way to experience and enjoy giving to others during the holiday season. The spirit of this time of year is about thinking of others and we are glad to provide that opportunity,” said PTA President Sarah Gibbons.