The following events are held or supported annually by the PTA:


  • First Day of School
  • Halloween
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Historical Perspectives
  • Award’s Assembly/Kindergarten Graduation
  • Other Assemblies scheduled by the PTA

Fall Festival:  A PTA-sponsored fall event for the entire Ames community to come together and raise funds for the incredible Cultural Arts program our children so enjoy…and have a lot of fun together too!  The festival includes a silent/live auction, cash raffle, dinner and dancing and takes place here in Riverside at the Riverside Golf Club.  The event is held every other year as the funds raised cover two years each of our Cultural Arts curriculum:  a week-long artist-in-residence, all-school assemblies and field trips.  The auction will consist of items and services from local businesses and families, classroom artwork and teacher/school experiences i.e. Lunch and/or a Movie with Mrs. Orlowski or Mrs. Stephens or Principal for a Day!  The success of the event depends on our tremendously committed parent volunteers.

Birthdays at School: No snacks allowed for birthdays. Bring a book from home to donate to your classroom library and receive a birthday book signed by the principal for your birthday.

Birthday Books:  Each child at Ames receives a paperback book provided by the PTA that is signed by the principal on his/her birthday.

Clap-Out: Near the last day of school, the graduating 5th graders parade around the school, inside and outside, while students, staff and parents clap and cheer them on to Hauser.

Communication Methods:

  • District and School communication via e-backpack—
  • PTA communication via Feedblitz—

Directory: Every family that joins the Ames PTA receives a School directory which includes contact information for all students.

Family Dance: An evening event for Ames families to dance the night away in the gym! This PTA sponsored event includes a DJ, Dick’s Donuts, Photo booth and water bottles. Ames staff is invited to mingle with the Ames community. Volunteers are needed to schedule the vendors, set-up, facilitate and clean-up.

Family Movie Night: A PTA sponsored evening event for Ames families to enjoy a movie in the gym. Volunteers are needed to provide the movie and operate the equipment to show the movie.

Field Trips– PTA sponsors Cultural Arts and Regular field trips for all grade levels.

Field Days– End of year event, fun day full of games, usually run by the gym teacher, staff and parents.

Fifth Grade Games Night– Event hosted at Hauser for all incoming 6th graders.

Fifth Grade Movie– a movie created by a volunteer for the graduating class. The movie will include highlights from their last year at Ames School; assemblies, field trips, classrooms, Awards, Clap-Out, etc.

Fifth Grade Picnic– picnic for all 5th graders and their families.

Fifth Grade T-Shirts-special shirts for 5th graders that they design and graduation class names.

Halloween Program:  Changes from year to year.  Usually is uniform throughout the grades each year.  The lunch hour is extended to allow children to change into costumes at lunchtime.  A Halloween parade takes place around the block of school weather permitting, or inside the gymnasium in inclement weather.  Younger siblings of school children are invited to attend.  The PTA sponsors a Halloween assembly in the afternoon.

Junior Great Books:  A grade-level book club for interested students usually held during the winter months once a week during the lunchtime.  It is taught by parent volunteers with a set curriculum designed to draw from the great works and great authors and encourages reading and discussion.  Totally volunteer both on student and teacher’s part.

Kindergarten and New Student T-Shirts– The PTA gives each incoming Kindergartner and new student a free Ames School t-shirt welcoming them into the Ames Community.

Kindergarten Dolphin Picnic:  Held before school begins in August for new, incoming parents and students to be introduced to the Principal, PTA officers and the kindergarten teachers.

Library Volunteers:  Each class visits the library for book checkout at a set time once per week from mid-Sept. through April. Volunteers help students in grades K-4 select books and re-shelve the previous week’s books.  The schedule may vary based on needs. Volunteers are needed on an on-going basis to re-shelve, repair books and shelf read.  Being a library volunteer is a great way to get to know your child’s teacher and classmates!

Little Symphony:  This program provides three opportunities each year for all district students in grades 2-8 to attend professional music performances at Hauser Jr. High during the school day.  Each of the district’s five schools selects one representative to the committee, which is headed by a district music teacher.  The representatives attend the performances, then meet afterwards to provide feedback.  They also take turns providing refreshments to the performers.  Musical groups are carefully selected for their musical polish and ability to engage young learners.   Every other year, the Hauser musical is one of the three Little Symphony performances; other performances feature a rotation of classical music (like a chamber orchestra), American music (like a jazz combo) and dance and/or ethnic performers (like a klezmer or other folk music band).

PUMPED Character Program: PUMP slips for positive behavior, announced, entered in raffle for prizes provided by the PTA during PUMPED Assemblies.

Reflections:  A theme-based cultural arts competition for students coordinated by the PTA

Room Representative:  Each classroom has two volunteer room representatives, one of whom serves as the “lead representative.”  The primary obligation of the room representative is to help their teacher throughout the school year with various activities.  These may include the Holiday ornament project, End-of-the-Year events, and any other activities for which the individual teacher asks for help.  The amount of assistance various in each classroom — some teachers ask for minimal help, while others may ask for more help.  Some teachers will expect the room rep to line up parent chaperones for field trips, and others like to ask the parents themselves.  Room reps also coordinate any collections for teacher holiday and/or end-of-year class gifts.  Finally, in the event of an emergency school closing (i.e., a snowstorm) it is the room reps’ responsibility to notify families concerning the school closing.  In that event, the room reps will receive

School Spirit Days: Show your pride for Ames School by wearing your Spirit Wear on the 1st Friday of each month.

School Supplies:  A PTA program offered to the parents to pre-purchase supply kits their child will need for the upcoming year.  Orders are placed online and kits are sent directly to the student’s home.

Science in a Bag: This PTA sponsored program is for 3rd through 5th grade students. The program runs mid to late January through mid to late February depending on the timing of the Science Fair.  Students sign-out experiment bags (containing an instruction sheet, a worksheet and some or all of the materials needed to conduct the experiment which may not be readily available at home) before school on Thursday mornings, complete the experiment over the weekend, and return the materials and completed, signed (by parent or guardian) worksheet to a collection bin on Tuesdays.  There are four experiments for each grade and the experiments are rotated so not all participating students work on the same experiment at the same time.  This is a completely voluntary program.

Science Fair:  The science fair is open to students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. It is a PTA sponsored event and typically held in the spring.

Pizza with the Principal: Students chosen monthly from each class to have lunch with the principal provided by the PTA.

Talent Show:  Students at all grade levels can put together an act and showcase their talents.  Performances take place in mid-May and are given during the school day and at night so parents and other family members can attend.  Volunteers are needed to run the entire event; tryouts, rehearsals and performances. This is event is sponsored by the PTA.

Teacher/Parapro Appreciation Lunch:  A luncheon during Teacher Appreciation Week. Parents and teachers are invited to participate.  Volunteers are needed for set up, serve and clean up.

Teacher Appreciation Week:  A week set apart to honor our teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week which includes various activities school wide throughout the week.  Volunteers are needed to bring in goodies for the teachers’ lounge in the morning and at lunch. This committee solicits donations for a teacher gifts and raffle items.

Yearbook: The PTA creates a yearbook which includes all students and staff each year. The yearbook can be purchased toward the end of the school year. Volunteers are needed to take pictures throughout the year and create the book.



The following fundraisers are held annually by the PTA:

Book Fair: A book fair in the gym that usually takes place for two days on or around Open House.  Children are able to view and purchase a variety of books spanning a number of grade levels.  Volunteers are needed to work at the book fair during the school day and at night.

Box Tops for Education: Earn Cash for Ames!  General Mills’ Box Tops for Education program pays $.10 for each Box Tops logo label clipped from participating products such as Ziplock bags, General Mills cereal boxes, Welch’s jams & jellies, Yoplait yogurt and many others. See our website for a full list of participating vendors.  Box Tops are collected on a monthly basis and the program sends PTA a check twice a year.  Box Tops also provides PTA up to 15% back on qualifying on-line purchases made from participating vendors like Banana Republic, JC Penney, Crate & Barrel, Toys “R” Us, Kmart, Land’s End and many others, through Box Tops Marketplace. See Ames PTA website for a full list of participating vendors and how to sign up.

Brick Paver Program: A.F. Ames Reading Circle Personalized Brick Pavers are for sale at $100 each. Add a personalized brick to Ames’ outdoor classroom! Orders are taken in the Fall. Bricks are added to the reading circle in the spring.

Gift Wrap (Charleston Wrap):  A fundraiser for the school offering gift wrap and other related festive items that takes place within the first few months of school with delivery of items occurring before the holidays.  Chairperson distributes sale packets to the students at the beginning of the year.  During the sale, the committee makes announcements to the students and provides incentives to help motivate students to sell.  Also, the committee displays the items for sale.  When the sale is finished, the chair collects the forms and sends them to Innisbrook, the wrapping paper company.  When the wrapping paper is delivered before Thanksgiving, the committee distributes to students.  This is the most profitable fundraiser that the PTA does!

Election Day Bake Sale: Baked goods are donated by parents and sold at the school throughout Election Day.

Labels For Education:  The Labels for Education program offers points for clipped proof of purchase labels from participating products like Campbell’s and Swanson Soups, Goldfish, Dannon Yogurt, Post Cereals and others. Please see our website for a full list of participating vendors.  Items such as playground equipment can be ordered from the Labels for Education catalog using points earned through labels collected.

Mixed Bag: Purchase reusable bags for any occasion during this spring fundraiser.

NASCAR Car Wash: Ames PTA will receive $1 for every $5 wash purchased, $2 for every $10 wash purchased and $3 for every $15 wash purchased throughout the month of December. Use special card provided by the PTA at NASCAR Car Wash, 2315 Harlem Avenue in Berwyn.

Parents Night Out: PTA partners with a local venue for an evening drop-off event for Ames students.

School Spirit Wear:  Various items of clothing available for sale with Ames’ name that can be worn anytime, but especially on School Spirit Days (usually the 1st Friday of the month).