The History of Serra Preschool

Serra Parent Participation Preschool was founded by Lee Steelman and Dean Lyons — two women whose children, Kory and Gus, constantly wanted to play together. The mothers were spending much of their time getting together so their children could play that they decided to let others join in on all the fun. Over a period of months, the mothers discussed the possibility of starting a co-operative nursery school. By November of 1965, they were deeply involved in organizing one. When they learned from the Social Welfare Department that they must have a sponsor, they approached the Serra PTA (now Palisades PTA), which was part of the Costa Del Sur Council (now the Capistrano Unified Council of PTSAs). A committee was formed and the PTA did sponsor the preschool. In June of 1966, the first sessions were held. Serra Preschool has been held in vacant rooms, in various elementary schools, a church, and at present we are fortunate to have use of the YAA facility. Serra Preschool moved to the YAA facility to become neighbors with San Clemente Grammar School (now Las Palmas Elementary School), which was built as a combination theater, community center, and school in 1927.