Doesn't sound like AJAX to me. I think he just needs to "hide" some parts of the page (DOM Manipulation or just plain CSS). jQuery is definitely a good suggestion for js framework, but stay away from the AJAX stuff as it will just confuse what you are trying to do.
If your markup is as follows, obviously greatly simplified:
<div id='page'> <a href="" id='event-button'>Click Me</a></div>
For a click event you would just have a short snippet of jQuery code. This should hide the header and footer.
return false; // If you don't want it to do default click action.
Didn't test this code, and you will probably have to modify it some to get where you want, but should be a good start point. If you give us some better description of what you are doing, may be able to help more.
BTW, don't forget to include the jQuery library before using any of the js code here.