You may think PTA is only for parents of school-age children. But the goal of PTAs is to promote the involvement of parents in the education and development of children, which also applies to the infant and pre-school years. That is the purpose of the Lake Highlands Area Early Childhood PTA.

Founded in 1956, the Early Childhood PTA is a 250-member organization affiliated with the RISD Council of PTA and the Texas and National Congress of PTA. This affiliation encourages active parent participation in education and gives our members access to school district resources. The Early Childhood PTA serves the entire Lake Highlands community, not just a particular school.

We have a wide range of activities to educate and inform parents or caregivers. Our monthly general meetings and parent education seminars are free and open to the public, and on-site nursery care is available by reservation for a nominal fee.

Each meeting or seminar features an expert speaker on a parenting or child development issue. This year’s calendar includes a forum of elementary school principals, talks about fathering in the ‘90s and building children’s self-esteem, and a discussion on the affect of television on children with Channel 5 sportscaster Scott Murray.

For members who cannot attend meetings, we publish a monthly newsletter with features on youth and environmental safety. We also keep recordings of all our speakers in our child-care and parenting library.

Since children are the focus of our organization, during general meetings we provide nursery programs, such as bicycle safety and hands-on animal exhibits for children three years or older.

We also arrange monthly outings to places such as the Dallas Children’s Theater and the McKinney Avenue Trolley. We participate in a National PTA Cultural Arts program, and we run six playgroups for kids to socialize and meet future elementary school friends.

Because the quality of the community affects our children’s well-being, we sponsor several community service projects every year. This year’s projects benefit the North Texas Food Bank, the Family Outreach Center, the Genesis Women’s Shelter and the Parkland Hospital Foundation.

Our social activities help new parents and new Lake Highlands residents meet others in the community and hopefully find friendship and support. Among these activities are holiday parties, an annual fashion show, literature clubs, Bunko groups and dinner clubs.

Also, many members rely on our baby-sitting co-op for reliable childcare while they spend some time alone.

We are excited about two new activities this year, our Dad’s Night Out group and our Working Parents group, which organizes family activities and playgroups in the evenings and on weekends.

For information about activities and membership, we invite you to attend our membership kick-off party Aug. 26 from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Lake Highlands North Recreation Center Playground. We will have refreshments and entertainment for your children, including a petting zoo sponsored by Ebby Halliday Realtors.

Please call our membership vice president at 553-9131 with any questions, and look for our flyers at area libraries, parent’s days out, and pre-schools.