Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's official (by Craig)

Norwegian International School  (our kids' school) and Small World Christian Kindergarten (my school) have merged. 

This statement was released last week.

The Board governing Small World Christian Kindergarten (Small World or SWCK), together with Norwegian Lutheran Mission (NLM), the owners of Norwegian International School (NIS), are delighted to announce the transfer of NIS to Small World which became effective on April 1, 2010.

Gail Maidment, Principal of Small World said “The shared common goals of providing a caring quality Christian education built on a foundation of God’s love and Biblical values make Small World the ideal new Sponsoring body for NIS”. 

“I’m very excited as we’ll see the strengths of Small World’s highly respected Christian educational programs align with NIS’s quickly expanding Kindergarten and Primary campuses” said John Lok, Principal of NIS. 

Magnar Olsen, Superintendent of NLM says “It is with great happiness and peace that NLM transfers the ownership of NIS to Small World”. 

Small World Board Chair Sonia Lee said “We are excited to be given the opportunity to help NIS continue to develop its unique character in accordance with its vision, mission and values which mirror Small World’s values”.

NIS was started in 1981 by Norwegian Lutheran Mission and the Norwegian Missionary Society.  Originally named The Norwegian School,  its purpose was primarily to provide education for the children of Norwegian missionaries.  During this period of the school’s history, Norwegian was the medium of instruction, with English lessons conducted by subject teachers. In the early years the school was located in a building on Cox Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. In 1994, NIS moved to its two current locations (Kindergarten and Primary) in Tai Po and became "international". In 2004, NLM discussed the future of NIS as the numbers of NLM missionaries in Hong Kong were rapidly declining. NLM decided to look for new owners who would be willing to take over NIS and run the school with the same visions and goals as the founders. In the autumn of 2008 NLM approached Small World Christian Kindergarten (SWCK) and discovered that their vision for running their school was similar in many areas. This has now resulted in the transfer of NIS to Small World.

SWCK commenced in January 1986 with eight students and now operates nine classes each day including programs for children with special needs and a unique LEAP based class. SWCK has implemented curriculum and educational consulting for a number of schools both in Hong Kong and overseas. SWCK has also successfully provided excellent education across cultures, churches, and economic strata.

My role was created among other things to help bring all this into reality, and I'm very excited to see many good things happening already. This is the main reason why we came to Hong Kong.

Over the last 8 months I've been really blessed to work closely with the servant-hearted Principals of these two schools who do so much for Christian education in HK and also have big dreams. There’s more to come later on that....

Just one of many stories I can share. Earlier this year, a 24 year old woman from Japan contacted the Kindergarten just before a short visit to HK with her mother. It turns out that when she was just four, she attended Small World for twelve months. She still remembers her Principal (who’s still here today), the classroom she was in, the small playground area that she played in, the class photos and more than anything, the love and value that she felt as a student at Small World. It was amazing to hear how this twelve months in her life at such a young age has shaped her career desires and remained engrained in her childhood memories. After a tertiary education in the USA she now works in Japan for an International Finance NGO who provide support to children in need. She shared how she took this career path as she wants to make a difference in the lives of children who have so little; wanting to provide them with hope in the way that her life received it when she was a young student at Small World.

Many people have asked me to tell you more about what I've been doing at work. I promise you an update is coming soon....

1 comment:

  1. Terrific to hear about your exciting news, Craig. What a great opportunity for you to be in Hong Kong at this time!