YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Yongsan's Army Community Services Family Advocacy Program offered playgroups for interactive play for parents and children ages three and under at the School Age Services building Feb. 17.

Parents met other parents with children in the same age group while children played with new toys and participated in a variety of activities. The event helped children learn to play with other kids through sharing toys and participating in group activities together with their parents.

"Playgroups offer an informal forum to discuss parenting questions and concerns, as well as mini-seminars by community agencies such as Pediatric Dental, Women Infants and Children, and the Red Cross," said U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan Family Advocacy Specialist Shana Lewis.

"Educational and Developmental Intervention Services also offers child developmental screenings at the ACS Playgroups twice a year," Lewis added. "The next EDIS screenings will be offered at the end of March. The Military and Family Life Consultant usually attends all ACS Playgroups in order to support Garrison families."

The ACS Family Advocacy Program welcomes parent involvement in playgroups, and mothers Leza Kotich and Iris Beca volunteer their time to assist in planning and facilitating the Yongsan Playgroup activities, said USAG-Y Family Advocacy Program Manager Luticia Trimble-Smith.

Their recent playgroup themes included Martin Luther King Jr. and Valentine's Day, and upcoming themes will recognize Dr. Seuss' Birthday and St. Patrick's Day. The latest theme was a celebration of Mardi Gras.

"Playgroups are extremely helpful," said Megumi Olson, mother of three year old Kailey. "It enhances my child's daily behavior in terms of interacting with others and sharing, participating in a group activity. Also, it is such a valuable time for me to be able to meet with other parents and share some knowledge and information today."

ACS Playgroups are free of charge, and are held the first, third and fifth weeks of every month at three different locations, including K-16, Hannam Village and Yongsan. For more information, contact the ACS Family Advocacy Program.