Parents and their children swarmed about the Halloween costumes at Wal-Mart on Thursday.
But in addition to picking out trick-or-treat attire, some parents were picking up tips on helping their children in school.
Wal-Mart's Parent Information Center held its grand opening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Kathy Jones, 1908 E. 19th, was one of about 50 parents who stopped by the center, located near the entrance of the store, 3300 Iowa.
Jones said she didn't have to make a special trip to the center: She was going to do some shopping at Wal-Mart anyway.
"I've got my daughter in school for the first time. She's in kindergarten. So I'm trying to learn more about the school district," Jones said.
She said she picked up some information on how to turn children on to math, how to get the most out of parent-teacher conferences and helping children develop a healthy attitude toward school.
Counselors and teachers from the Lawrence school district were on hand Thursday to answer parents' questions.
The theme for the opening event was "Parent-Teacher Conferences: A Positive Experience." The center will have a special theme day two or three times a month.
Several groups in the Lawrence school district also will make use of the center.
Parents as Teachers, which works with parents of children up to 36 months old, will hold its "play groups" at the center. In play groups, parents of young children have a chance to meet each other and learn about new activities for their children.
Parent Express, another district program, will use the center to distribute videos and games that help children with math and reading.