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It’s been almost a year since I first met the third graders  you see pictured above, and if there’s one thing they’ve taught me it’s that each and every kid is special. Each and every kid brings a unique set of experiences, memories, abilities and dreams to a class, which in turn becomes its own laboratory of learning. In the hands of a teacher like Tammy Massman, it’s a chance for each child to evolve, explore, practice real-world skills and learn the all important lesson that no one is perfect. Or, as my friend Rylee likes to say, “You can only be perfect at being yourself.”

Yesterday, something extraordinary happened as a result of our work together on the Not Perfect Hat Club in Tammy’s class. You can read all about it in the terrific article written by  Teresa Wood at The Daily Freeman Journal entitled, ” NEH third-grader’s project, blog capture national attention.”

It goes without saying that we are proud as punch of Rylee, but it wouldn’t be fair not to acknowledge and celebrate the teacher and classmates whose laughter, tears, and unflagging joie de vivre made it possible for Rylee to shine. Each and every one of  Rylee’s classmates is extraordinary in his or her own way. Each and every one has touched my heart and challenged me to keep working on my own dreams. By way of illustration, I like to tell the story of  logging onto Twitter to find a Tweet from the class. “Is your new book done? Can you send it to us? We want to read it!”

Unfortunately I am still in the process of writing and raising money to complete the book and make the related teaching materials available, so I had to tell the kids there was no book to send yet. Undeterred they immediately offered to help, typing all in caps, “YOU CAN DO IT!”

If you’d like to know more about the Not Perfect Hat Club, and the remarkable projects the kids have be been working on, just follow the links below. Better yet, please consider supporting our crowdfunding campaign by hosting a Not Perfect Hat Club Day of your own.  – Jena Ball

The Not Perfect Hat Club:

NEH Pinterest Board

The NEH Kindness Quilt

Schedule a Not Perfect Hat Club Visit

Jena Ball
Phone: (919) 454-9917

Copyright 2015 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.