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AYER — While many local PTA’s and PTO’s see about a dozen parents at their monthly meetings, the Ayer Page Hilltop PTO was standing room only at their opening September meeting.

PTO President Kerry Bremer said there were 79 people in attendance, which was “record-breaking.” How did this happen? Bremer answered, “we have very active parents at our school.” An additional factor that helped boost attendance was a challenge put forth by Page Hilltop Principal Fred Deppe.

Deppe appealed to the most important people in his school’s parent’s lives — their children. He let the kids know that if more than 75 parents, teachers, and guardians attended the meeting, he would let the kids pick a reward. Some of those rewards included making Deppe wear funny costumes, or cut his hair, or spend a day on the roof of the school.

Twenty-five teachers and 54 parents attended the meeting to find out how they could help support the school, and because of that, the kids got to have their say on what crazy thing they wanted their principal to do.

After a vote count, there was a tie between his dressing up as a fairy princess and spending a day on the roof. So, on a bright and sunny September morning, Mr. Deppe, dressed as a fairy princess, spent his day at a makeshift desk on the roof of the school.

Every class in the school walked past Deppe on their way to recess and lunch, and they roared with excitement as they passed him.

“Everyone got a big kick out of it,” Page Hilltop secretary Gail Januskiewicz said. “And, the school benefited as well from having such a show of support at the PTO meeting. It was a win-win.”

Bremer was thrilled with the turnout because she could let parents know what the PTO is and how it supports the school.

“PTO is an organization that hosts a variety of social outings for the Page Hilltop community. The PTO also provides funds that supplement classroom materials and activities- and during these financially difficult times that is very important,” Bremer noted. “The more people who are involved, the more we can do. It is important to remember that every child at Page Hilltop benefits from the efforts of the PTO.”

Bremer hopes that the effects of this highly-attended meeting will linger on. “It is our hope that each person told two other people about our mission. If this happened then close to one-half of the parents in the school would know a little more about the PTO and our goals.”

There are many upcoming PTO events like the Community Yard Sale on Oct. 16 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Page Hilltop Cafeteria; the Wacky Olympics on Thursday, Oct. 21, and Family Game Night is Friday, Nov. 12th.

For more information on the Page Hilltop PTO, visit www.ayer.k12.ma.us/ph/phpta_home.cfmor email pagehilltoppto@yahoo.com.

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