John and Ona Zukas emigrated from Lithuania to the United States after World War II. After settling in Cleveland, Ohio they moved west to Los Angeles in 1963 to avoid the harsh winters. Having a background in construction, John built several homes in the Los Feliz/Silverlake area during the late 1960s.
In 1966 they purchased Prairie Playland, a preschool in Hawthorne, CA. Ona served as cook while John took over remodeling. At this time, both John and Ona took the necessary college coursework in Child Development. Four years later, John built Zukas Preschool in El Monte, CA.
The couple decided they wanted to expand their business by building a facility specially designed for a preschool. They chose a location in Glendale, CA that was home to an A&W Rootbeer Stand for its prime location with easy freeway access. Construction was soon underway and in August 1972 Glendale Preschool & Kindergarten opened its doors to serve the community.
Sadly, only a year later John passed away leaving Ona with the task of running the school on her own. In 1982 Ona retired and her daughter Irene took over as Director of Glendale Preschool & Kindergarten.