We caught up with Desiree Lapin, founder of the Parents Education League of LA, a non-profit organization that serves as a valuable resource for parents on all things having to do with their child’s education. If you have young kids, you’re either already up-to-date with the PEL, or kicking yourself for not knowing that it existed. Don’t feel out of the loop – the organization was only begun a few years ago.
How did the PEL get off the ground? “When I lived in NY, I was a devotee of the Parents League of New York, because it was the go-to authority for new parents, my source for advice on schools and parenting. In fact, you wouldn’t not be a member if you had a child! The NY Parent’s Leage has over 5000 members and has been around for decades. I moved to LA when my boys were 3 and 5 — right at the age when I needed help navigating the pre-school waters and expected to find a corresponding entity. But none existed.”
So what’s a mother to do? Desiree dug into the research – talking with parents, reading books and visiting schools. Most parents spend years navigating the tricky waters of educating their child. We’ve all had to do some version of this chore, but Desiree gathered contacts and cataloged her research, so that other parents could learn from her experience.
How did you go about creating PEL? “Step one in creating the PEL was getting permission from the NY organization to create a similar, non-affiliated LA operation. Next, I corralled friends who were educators and business people to set up a Board and established PEL’s non-profit status. And, then I just started doing my homework!”
Membership in PEL is $95 annually, and allows parents full access to the database of resources – from school information, to tutoring and educational therapy recommendations to testing companies and special needs forums. Members also receive invitations to school and camp fairs, documentary film screenings, author book clubs and monthly adult education workshops in the West LA offices of the organization.
September’s topic was Separation Anxiety.
Events this fall include the Valley Preschool Fair (October 28) and a lecture called “No Trespassing – This is MY Body” by author Pattie Fitzgerald.
Probably the most valuable thing about being a member of PEL is that you’ll stay in-the-loop about education issues as they’re happening. PEL does not see itself as political – instead it aims to be a partner to parents by providing curated education news, a calendar of parenting events and ongoing adult classes.
Join them today and stay informed — The Parents Education League of LA ~ because your child’s education deserves more than a Google search!