A devoted educator and the founder of Sunkids, Linda Lo, eagerly seeks to make a difference in educating the young generation. She speaks to Turf, inspiring us with her motivating story on starting Sunkids and finding her new space.
“I grew up in a very musical family. Singing Christmas carols around the piano with all my cousins is one of my fondest memories from childhood.
“When I had two young kids of my own, it was very natural for me to sing and read to them. I saw how engaged they were to rhythm and music, and that led me to design a unique curriculum to develop a child’s language skills, boost self-esteem, encourage creativity and love for learning. Incorporating music into my classes, I ensured that they were enjoyable and interactive for both parents and children. At first, I tried it out with my own kids and gradually invited my friends’ children to come along. Seeing the popularity of my classes, I acquired the confidence to start my own business.
“In October 2008, Sunkids began in a humble classroom in a music studio in Happy Valley. My classes were held there for three years before we moved to a bigger place within the community in July 2011. We offer a variety of interest classes to young children in an intimate setting, from English and Mandarin playgroups, music, phonics to renowned art classes run by Creative Kids. We stayed in this premise for another three years before we were faced with the dreaded notice about the rent increase. The most practical solution was to move again.
“My son and I were walking home one afternoon and we coincidentally passed by the place where Sunkids first began. Out of curiosity, I inquired about the vacancy and got the landlord’s contact. I knew immediately that this place would make a perfect new home for Sunkids. Only this time, we would occupy the whole unit, not just one classroom.
“Back in the old neighborhood where Sunkids originated, we have settled into the new space that we were so familiar with. With a completely new look, it is very spacious with a lovely indoor playground, making it a comfortable and inviting learning environment for our kids.
“I’m usually the first one to arrive at work. I enjoy my quiet time with God and get organised for the day. Everyday, I meet with my staff to discuss operations, marketing opportunities or making changes to the curriculum. I also teach everyday. I love teaching because I can connect with my students and improve on my classes. When I’m at my desk, I reply to emails, write newsletters and work on charity events that I’m involved in. The favourite part of my day is meeting with parents and students because it gives me a sense of community and fulfills the Sunkids vision of building a supportive and caring environment.
“When it comes to juggling work with my personal life, I believe it’s almost impossible to be completely balanced. I undoubtedly invest a great amount of effort into my work because I am very passionate about what I do. Like many women, I play a number of roles – a wife, a mother, a teacher, a Managing Director, a volunteer mother at Chinese International School and a Board Member of the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation. I will always be inevitably challenged with peaks and valleys but I remind myself that I can only do the best I can possibly do on any given day.
“I have learnt to prioritise and focus on the most important relationships in my life. My husband, Paul and I, are very blessed to be celebrating our 12th anniversary this month. He has been extremely supportive in my work and with helping out with the family. As much as I adore my work, I make it a point to spend quality time with my kids. My hope for them is that they will become responsible individuals and I want to show them that they can pursue their dreams if they set their minds to it.
“It has been an incredible journey to witness Sunkids grow and I’m very proud of how far we’ve come. Raising my own children has undeniably taught me patience, accepting people for who they are and just embracing life as it comes. I am very grateful to be able to participate in work experiences that allow me to touch lives every day. To just simply put smiles on children’s faces is ultimately rewarding.”
A version of this article was originally posted by Monica Wong on Turf, Hong Kong’s new office lifestyle blog.
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