Our History

Happyland was started by the Romans…that is Margot and Paul Roman…in 1943, as a family day care center known as Happyland Play Group. The Romans moved their Play Group to 4045 Lafayette Place in 1959 and the school has been here in Culver City since then.

Over the years we have become an integral part of the Culver City community and receive tremendous support from the City and various city institutions such as City Hall, the police and fire departments and surrounding schools.

Happy Juma then took the reigns from Margot and Paul, and for over thirty years had continued to embody and imbue of one of Happyland’s core philosophies, “To Instill in the children the love for learning”. Here is some Happyland trivia. Happyland was not named after Happy: Some call it fate, destiny, or karma. When Happy’s family moved to Los Angeles from Nairobi, Kenya, she began teaching at Wildwood in Santa Monica. The Director of Wildwood mentioned that Margo & Paul were ready to retire and that she should consider becoming the director of Happyland. It must have been a match which was part of a “master plan” that the two were to unite – Happy & Happyland! Incidently, Happy received her nickname from her grandfather who would look at her as a baby and exclaim, “You’re so Happy!”. Over time, that is what her name became, Happy. (Her real name is Gulzar, which means flower in Gujarati). So, after her dedicated tenure at Happyland, Happy had decided to retire in 2006. Happy will always be a major part of Happyland, consulting with the two Directors, which just happen to be her son and daughter in-law.

When Margot and Paulo moved to the United States from Germany in the 1930’s they, like many others in the history of the world, recognized the importance of World Peace as a possible dream. This core philosophy evolved over time and crystalized in the formation of Happyland foundation. When Margot and Paul were ready to retire, and pass on the torch of Happyland to Happy and Sadru (Aly’s mom and dad) in the late 70’s, they celebrated the opportunity to harness the second core foundation of Happyland, Multi-Culturalism, or what is now, more appropriately referred to as Inter-Culturalism. In the middle of 2005, when happy and Sadru were ready to retire and continue the tradition of passing on the torch of happyland to Aly and Yasmyn, we embraced and welcomed the third core foundation of Happyland, Democracy Education.