Profile 3

 Click to hear an interview with CritterKin author Jena Ball about the project

Every year from the middle of November to the end of December we’re bombarded with the images and sounds of the holidays. It’s enough to give even the jolliest among us an “Ebenezer-Moment.”

This is not to say that the sentiment behind our holiday traditions is not a good one. After all, CritterKin is all about helping kids experience and practice kindness, compassion and empathy. So it is with great pride and a sincere “Ho, Ho, Ho” that I introduce you to Tammy Massman and her 17 third graders at Northeast Hamilton School in Blairsburg, Iowa.

Tammy’s class has been reading, discussing and creating a “Kindness Quilt” based on CritterKin’s third book Lead With Your Heart. The story of a misunderstood, pit bull named Lance, whose breed and color are alarming to some folks in town, Lead With Your Heart is a lesson kindness and self-empowerment. Through a combination of empathy, respect and determined community outreach, the kids in the story teach the town that pit bulls are good dogs and help a fearful city councilwoman overcome her emotional flu.

Quilting for Kindness Invitation - Tammy

You’re Cordially Invited!

The pièce de résistance of the project will be a one-act play based on the final chapter of the book, and you’re invited! The kids have been hard at work practicing their lines with the help of Jonathan Keltz, an accomplished actor best known for his work on Entourage and Reign.

The play will be performed live on Wednesday, December 17 at 2:00 pm CST (3:00 EST) in the school’s gym.  The Kindness Quilt, which features the collaborative artwork, poetry and individual stories of each of the students will also be on display.  For those who cannot attend in-person, the program will be broadcast via a Google Hangout On Air:

 Meet the Cast!

Our young actors and actresses are pictured below.  Their first names (on the left) are followed by the name of the character they portray  (on the right).


Questions? Contact Jena Ball
Phone: (919) 454-9917