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Alcott Elementary PTA reimagines fundraising with October Owl Prowl

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Students at Alcott Elementary had a hoot waking up to find their front yards decorated with large, colorful owl cutouts as part of a fundraiser organized by the school’s PTA.

The October Owl Prowl fundraiser replaced the association’s fall Walk-a-Thon, which was not an option due to COVID-19 restrictions. Parents and friends reserved owls and arranged to have them placed on students’ front lawns from the PTA. Families ordered owls to celebrate student birthdays, grandparents sent owls to their grandkids, and students sent owls to their peers to help brighten their spirits. 

“This was a low-risk alternative, and it allowed us to bring some Alcott school spirit right to students’ front doors,” said Ryan Hilperts, PTA President. “The Owl Prowl was able to do a lot of things at once for us this fall. It helped us raise funds when we couldn’t have an in-person fundraising event, but more importantly it spread school spirit and helped many of our students and families feel a sense of belonging toward our community in a year when not all of our students can be together in the same place at the same time.”

In addition to raising more than $3,000, the Owl Prowl fundraiser boosted morale and cemented school spirit. Parents eagerly shared photos of their kids’ surprised reactions to the Alcott PTA Facebook group.

"I loved seeing all the photos and videos of the kids reacting to the discovery of owls in their front yards,” said Molly Elston, Owl Prowl chair. “It's truly heartwarming.”