It begins as a dream, filled with children,
Their laughter, eagerness
The sparkle you cannot mistake.
It persists as a conviction that this is where it all starts,
That this is where miracles do happen,
With each child, with each heart that comes into its own.
We give not to the child; the child gives to us,
The renewed hope that all is already here in the seed
That wants only water, love, and belief.

Growing up in a large family in Hong Kong, which at the time was a British colony, exposed me early on to two cultures and languages that have completely different linguistic structures. I was then unaware of the profound effect this had on me and how it would lead to an amazingly fulfilling lifelong journey alongside children. The richness of this formative experience cultivated my deep appreciation for each culture with its unique features, as well as the benefits of bilingualism.

Being part of a large family and of a dual culture gave me many opportunities to observe a variety of practices. I have enjoyed watching the close collaboration between family members, as well as people within a community preparing for celebrations, observing and performing rituals. At the same time, given the proximity to Japan, I was also enthralled by the beauty of its culture, the simplicity and order in its design, as well as in its cuisine.

My first experience studying abroad as an adolescent took me to Canada. There, I obtained a Bachelor's degree in Child Development, which marked my immediate fascination with Montessori philosophy. I was inspired by its comprehensiveness and inclusion of the whole person, as well as by its universal application. My time in the West allowed me to observe how much freedom and fun children can have in exploring and creating. I marveled at the spontaneity they showed in expressing themselves, and wondered how best to guide them in cultivating that gift.

My subsequent Master's in Education at Boston University, with specialization in Early Childhood Education, led me to determine that Montessori pedagogy holds many of the answers for preparing children for life. That experience stirred in me the desire to create a school that would honor the best of the East and of the West, by cultivating the language and culture of each. Through further studies at Stanford University and seven years of field studies in bilingual education and socialization practices across cultures, I gained tremendous theoretical and practical knowledge to form the basis for the model created for PRINTS: a dual language immersion program within a Montessori framework. The PRINTS environment endeavors to provide the most natural integration of bilingualism and globalism; it also recognizes and honors differences in the children's personality, learning preferences and cultural background.

Through collaboration and working closely with parents for over two decades, my dedicated team and I continue to put forth our best effort to provide the optimal environment for enabling children to develop to their fullest potential through purposeful and joyful experiences. It is my goal to keep learning and improving our practices so that all the adults in the lives of the children, parents and guides, are able to truly support and enjoy observing each child's process of self-discovery and self-empowerment.

I look forward to your visiting our wonderful school soon!

Christinia Cheung