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Dear You

Dear You builds bridges and nurtures creativity through international artistic exchange and dialogue

Dear You creates meaningful experiences and friendships among school children, educators, and artists by making and sharing art. Through this process of exchange, a child’s worldview is widened and their skills for self expression and compassion are honed. The exchange of process-based art projects with our new friends living all around the world opens up dialogue, perspectives, and understanding.

Visual Arts in Education


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Visual Arts in Education

Web presence






Target group
May 2020
I’ve realized that even though we’re different people that we’re also the same in a different way.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

I started Dear You in 2013 so that children, artists, and teachers from all over the world could connect with each other and make new friends. Dear You was a way to bring people together to share perspectives, learn from one another, and open dialogue through art practice. Every voice should be heard and Dear You creates a safer space for listening and sharing.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Dear You’s goals and objectives are to integrate Social Emotional Learning (SEL) development by 1) strengthening cross-cultural awareness and understanding by learning about, making, and sharing art and identities, 2) deepening empathy and acceptance of different perspectives and diverse ways of experiencing the world through fostering new friendships, and 3) enhancing compassionate communication through promoting authentic self-expression and active listening.

The idea of Dear You is to create process-based art and make new friends living in all corners of the world. All Dear You participating schools are organized to have a Dear You friend in another country. During these workshops the children create their monthly art projects aka Pathfinders with their teacher or a Dear You workshop leader, which are then mailed to their Dear You friends abroad. Dear You works with the classroom teacher so that the methods are shared and that the school can also be implemented virtually.

How has it been spreading?

Dear You is open to schools all around the world. Through word of mouth, outreach efforts, publications, and our growing network we have been able to connect schools in nearly every continent. Additionally, Dear You workshop leaders work with the classroom teacher so that the methods are shared and that the school can continue Dear You independently the following year.

Dialogue, exchange, and having skills to authentically express oneself can lead to more understanding and peace within ourselves and in relation to each other. Research has shown the positive effects of Social Emotional Learning on educational, interpersonal, among other lifetime outcomes. As our community creates together, our community grows. We welcome you with open arms and open minds!

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Please contact me, Arlene Tucker at to learn more about how to begin your creative exchange with new friends abroad. The more I know about your intentions and your community, the better I can create the monthly Pathfinders and match friends who will support your needs and wishes. Dear You welcomes schools, homeschoolers, and individuals to share, listen and make art.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

Dear You brings art and communication back by reintegrating the power of mail. By connecting schools around the world with each other, Dear You is creating a community of students, teachers and leaders who are passionate about intercultural communication and bringing authenticity into the classroom. Students are excited about connecting using art as their universal language.

HundrED Academy Reviews

Exciting experience for students to use knowledge in different disciplines, express themselves, and share aspects of their lives (language, culture..)

Mail art promises safe space that could enhance social emotional wellbeing of children in the targeted age group.
Cross cultural learning is an additional aspect that adds value to the academic curriculum. Overall, a promising way to deliver value education coupled with art and 21st century skills

- Academy member
Academy review results
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

Dear You welcomes You

If you are a teacher, let Arlene know the age group of your students and how many you have. Specify your school's intention for exchange, if you have one. If you are an artist, let Arlene know what kind of art practise you do and how you would like to collaborate. There is a place for everybody!

Spread of the innovation

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