Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project


Oh my! Our first package has arrived!

2018, Finland, USA, 1st GradeArlene TuckerComment

1B class in Helsinki, Finland were soooo excited to have received such a big package full of fantastic greetings and pictures from their new friends! Most of the children in the class have not visited NYC yet so their friends’ description of what Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens are like gave more juice for the imagination than you can begin to imagine!

Everybody first had a go at reading their friend’s letter by themselves. I think that the kids were too excited to focus on the words! After everybody had read their letter they started their response. Some wanted to start by drawing a picture and others immediately wanted to answer their friend’s questions.

This was wonderful as we got to practice how to be conversational on paper. The questions the New Yorkers asked were just lovely! How many people live in Finland? What is the weather like? Do you have any pets? There was a range of questions, but what was also lovely was how open and sharing everybody was. What a welcoming start to a long distance friendship!

We read and responded to the letters at school and soon realized that this was also a great opportunity to involve the parents. The parents helped the kids write their responses and find out facts for the curious New Yorkers. For example, we learnt that there are more people living in NYC than all of Finland! I think the parents had fun finding all of this information with their child : ).

The package will be sent to USA first thing tomorrow morning. Keep your eyes peeled!

With love,
Arlene & 1B

The students in Grade 2 (7-8 years old) at NEST+m in NYC are making and sharing art with the Grade 1 students at Ressun peruskoulu (7-8 years old) in Helsinki, Finland.

VK 4A Lights, Camera, Action!

2016, 4th Grade, Dear You Art Workshops, Dear You Workshop Leader, Finland, CanadaArlene TuckerComment

Characters and superheroes from young artists in 4A class in Viertolan Koulu in Vantaa, Finland are on their way to Ryerson Public School in Cambridge, Canada! 

We used oil pastels and overhead projector sheets to create the stain glass effect. At the end of the workshop the kids handed me a bunch of letters that they had written to their new friends personally. It was wonderful to see that Dear You project continues outside of our 90 minutes sessions. Together we wrote the names of the young artists and names of their characters next to each other, so it will easier to match artworks from this and following projects as the Autumn session continues.

The pace and the structure of our meetings are always important to me. As we use English as the main language of communication, with the help of the class teacher translating to Finnish and other languages, the initial discussion and the explanation of the project at the beginning always takes some time. This is enjoyable time for everyone, to think and imagine together. 

Then I make sure everyone has their materials ready, and for the second half of the session, the young artists just work independently, at their own pace, asking question if needed. My favourite part is when we have 5 minutes left, and everyone brings their works to the table at the front of the class, to admire each others' creations before placing them in one big envelope. 

Looking forward to our next meeting!

Anastasia Artemeva

The 4th graders from Viertolan Koulu in Vantaa, Finland are making and sharing art with the 4th graders from Ryerson Public School in Cambridge, Canada.

Wondering about wonders

2015, 6th Grade, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

Dear Arlene,

Thank you for the collaboration this autumn!

The images below are taken last Wed when the group opened their last letter from Canada.

Our group has enjoyed all letters they have received. They wondered how the others write mistakes and only simple sentences :). They have been acting as teachers. it seems that we demand a lot of learning results from our pupil. 

I wish you all the best for the holiday season!

Päivi Huhtinen

Päivi Huhtinen and her group of 5th graders from The English School in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with Kaarina Losey and her 6th graders at Pioneer Park P.S. in Ontario, Canada.