Harvey, 2nd grade student at Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia.
HundrED has selected this innovation to
Mail Art + Pen Friend = Dear You
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. While the primary beneficiaries of the program are the students, we believe that Dear You will also impact and benefit educators, artists, schoolmates, families and others connected to the program through viewing the art and engaging in the experience.
What we do?
Dear You creates opportunities for students, teachers, professional artists all around the world to get to know oneself and each other through making and sharing art. 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, which are then mailed to their Dear You friends abroad. Every month a Dear You workshop leader goes to the school to make a monthly art project. 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.
The range of projects include environmental art, book-making, installations, collective drawings and scientific experiments. These projects allow for experiential learning and encourage the children to explore and be inquisitive. Through making art, collectively discussing their artworks in the class, carefully packaging them to share with their friends abroad, the young artists proudly present their heritage. At the end of the exchange the works are collected to create an exhibition in the school and online. The whole school benefits from the artistic exchange as the artworks received from other countries are displayed in the school for everybody to enjoy.
Why we do it?
Dialogue, exchange, and having skills to honestly express oneself will create more understanding and peace within ourselves and each other. Research has shown the positive effects of Social Emotional Learning on educational, interpersonal, among other lifetime outcomes. Dear You’s art-based curriculum provides tools and practices to support positive identity development, creative self-expression, and empathic communication. This project is inclusive to all teachers, students and artists. Ultimately, this project reaches creatives of all ages all over the world. Dear You provides creative tools for promoting understanding and multicultural exchange, that can be then used by educators and applied in their classrooms. It provides an opportunity for artists and educators to create international connections. The main benefactors of Dear You project are, of course, the children. Through engaging with their peers across the globe, young people learn about other cultures, not only in another country but within their own group, too!
Every voice should be heard and Dear You creates a safer space for listening and sharing.
"Thank you for letting us be a part of your great project! So many new emotions, incredible feelings and experiences! So many simple, but extremely important things we’ve done and thought with our students, finding own path through different kinds of art.
Each Pathfinder has deeply touched our hearts and made its ripples!”
— ИРИНА МЫКАЛ, TEACHER AT GRANT EXPO ONLINE SCHOOL
HundrED Academy Review