Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project

My group liked this task a lot. I asked them to think about their favourite place, where they feel relaxed and happy. Your instructions were really good. I think that one of the important aspects of this project is the material you provide. Many of the classroom teachers have problems in inventing new art tasks. They need detailed advice and ideas, examples of different medium to use.
— Päivi Huhtinen, art teacher at The English School in Helsinki, Finland

There is always space for YOU!

The overarching goal of Dear You is to promote cultural and artistic exchanges with Finland and other parts of the world while providing jobs and work experience for artists and teachers. Collaboration among artists and educational institutions will enhance communication and creativity in all areas involved in education, the arts, and children’s growth and development.

Adori from Oulunkylän Englanninkielinen Päiväkoti in Helsinki, Finland is putting the final touches on her Leaf Friend Card to her Dear You friend at Moonstone Preschool in Philadelphia, USA.  For this project both schools took a nature walk to pick up fallen leaves and then press them for our collage.  Some questions raised were, "Are the seasons changing?" and "What trees do you have near your school?".  We realized that Oak Trees exist in both Philly and in Helsinki!  September 2013.

Dear You art projects are age appropriate and are designed to not only introduce new art techniques, but also encourage dialogue about the children’s home, heritage, culture, and to help get a child excited about learning another language.  School teachers can use the topics presented in the Dear You art projects as a way to support current topics at school.  Dear You takes a progressive approach to learning which incorporates language, science, math and social sciences alongside of learning art. In addition, the multicultural focus of Dear You art projects allows the students to have a better understanding of the world, other cultures, and create new friendships in the Nordic countries.  These thoughtful exchanges encourages everyone involved to open their minds and hearts to others living elsewhere.

Native languages are celebrated in Dear You and learning of other languages is encouraged.  Dear You workshop leaders will conduct these workshops in their own native language relevant to the country and school.  In Finland, for example, there is a designated Dear You workshop leader; Sari Toivola who will teach at the Finnish schools.  Language allows one to embrace their identity and learn about others.

Dear You Schools:
Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia
Evangelischen Volksschule am Karlsplatz in Vienna, Austria
Antwerp International School in Antwerp, Belgium
Da Vinci International School in Antwerp, Belgium
Ryerson Public School in Cambridge, ON Canada
Pioneer Park Public School in Ontario, Canada
Taizhou Phoenix Primary School in Taizhou, China
Shenzhen Primary School in Shenzhen, China
Panda Learning Center in Prague, Czech Republic
Central Point International Elementary School in Prague, Czech Republic
ZUŠ in Prague, Czech Republic
Korsholm Skole in Hinnerup, Denmark
Randlevskolen in Odder, Denmark
Mooste Põhikool in Mooste, Estonia
Lasteaed Illikuku in Põlvamaa, Estonia
Your School in Espoo, Finland
Annantalo in Helsinki, Finland
Helsingin Yhteislyseo in Helsinki, Finland
International School of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland
Meilahden Yläaste in Helsinki, Finland
The English School in Helsinki, Finland
Oulunkylän Englanninkielinen Päiväkoti in Helsinki, Finland
Päiväkoti Pihapirtti in Helsinki, Finland
Vesalan Peruskoulu in Helsinki, Finland
Viertolan Koulu in Vantaa, Finland
Päiväkoti Lystilä in Vantaa, Finland
International School of Vantaa in Vantaa, Finland
Kita Felix and Friends in Berlin, Germany
Elly und Stoffl Kindergarten in Munich, Germany
Atuarfik Otto Frederiksen in Qassiarsuk, Greenland
Nuuk Internationale Friskole in Nuuk, Greenland
Grunnskóli Fjallabyggðar in Siglufjörður, Iceland
Arivu School in Mysore, India
Praxis Foundation in Mysore, India
Кепская школа им. Ортье Степанова (Kepa School) in Karelia, Russia
EtonHouse International Education Group in Singapore
Oakdale Montessori Pre-School in Western Cape, South Africa
Escola Solc in Barcelona, Spain
U.S.KIDS Language School in Taipei, Taiwan
Açı Preschool in Istanbul, Turkey
Colegio San Patricio in Monterrey, Mexico
Sneinton C of E Primary School in Nottingham, UK
Collegiate American School in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Moonstone Preschool in Philadelphia, PA, USA
Amy Parks Heath Elementary School in Heath, TX, USA
Just Kids in Hanoi, Vietnam

I love your projects and ideas. They are stimulating and I am learning new insights to making ‘Art’ more than what I have learnt during my courses. Thank You. You are doing an amazing work in the lives of children.
— Ms Senthamarai (Rachel), Nursery 2A Core-Teacher, EtonHouse Bilingual Pre-school, Singapore