NPHC Collaboration-IAtoNY2A

I invite you to take a close look at the images above. Notice that some remarkable, almost unheard of things are happening in these classrooms where the Not Perfect Hat Club has been enthusiastically embraced.

The classroom on the left is a group of thirteen 7th and 8th grade “Special Ed” students in Whitehall, New York. The class on the right is a group of eighteen 3rd graders in the rural town of Webster, Iowa.

The Not Perfect Hat Cub concept and its goals – to celebrate differences and give every kid a place to hang a hat – was introduced to the students in Whitehall at the start of the school year. The students, and their enterprising teacher Deb Aubin, made the Not Perfect Hat Club their own, raising more than $600 by designing, sewing, marketing and selling Not Perfect Hats not only to other students, teachers and families, but to local businesses and even some overseas customers as well. You can read about their extraordinary journey and the resulting news coverage here:

Not Perfect Hat Club on CBS6:

Special Education Students Soar to New Heights:

It should come as no surprise then that when Tammy Massman’s third grade class in Iowa began its own Not Perfect Hat Club project, the students in Whitehall were eager to help. Using Skype, the two teachers brought the students together for a crash course in Not Perfect Hat Club manufacturing and selling.

The Whitehall students did a fantastic job of describing the process of deciding how much and what kind of fabric to buy, itemizing the costs for supplies (fabric, thread, pins, packaging and mailing), and detailing their new found marketing and promotion skills, which included creating a bulletin board and flyers, writing letters to local businesses to ask for sponsorship, setting up and manning a sales table, building a “hat tree” to display their hats, and hosting a Not Perfect Hat Club contest.

Over night, the kids no one noticed or made fun of for being different, became the talk of the school and town.  Now they were being celebrated for their entrepreneurial spirit and given the opportunity to learn another important skill – how to pass their knowledge and wisdom on to others. We call this the Not Perfect Hat Club “Butterfly Effect.”


There are many versions of the Not Perfect Hat Club for schools to choose from, and we will work with you to find the best fit and the best way to bring the concept to your school.  Take a look at the list of positive learning outcomes shared with us by students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members who have participated in Not Perfect Hat Club events. Then follow the links below to see what other schools are doing.


  • Perfect is not an option
  • Learning is a process not a destination
  • Each person is unique and has something important to contribute
  • You, your voice and your special abilities matter
  • It is possible to make a difference in the world
  • Skills learned in school can be used to do positive things in the real-world
  • Everyone has a vested interest in what and how we teach our children
  • Differences are a good thing
  • Believe in yourself
  • Never give up


  • The ability to empathize with and appreciate others
  • Multi-generational collaboration
  • Mentorship
  • Math and financial planning, including determining how much to charge to make a profit
  • Reading, writing and vocabulary
  • Design and execution of a product
  • Creative collaboration and teamwork
  • Logical thinking and planning
  • Teaching and demonstration
  • Sewing
  • Woodworking
  • Designing and creating presentations
  • Public speaking
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Sales
  • Business communication
  • Self-empowerment
  • Multi-media, multi-modal skills such as drawing, photography, blogging, video making, digital storytelling


The Not Perfect Hat Club in Whitehall, New York:

The Not Perfect Hat Club in Warren, Texas:

The Not Perfect Hat Club in Cooperstown, North Dakota:

The Not Perfect Hat Club in Sydney, Australia:

The Not Perfect Hat Club in Bolingbrook, Illinois:

The Not Perfect Hat Club in Manila, Philippines:

The Not Perfect Hat Club in Syracuse, New York:


 To Schedule Your Own Not Perfect Hat Club Reading and Event Contact:

Jena Ball
Phone: (919) 454-9917

Copyright 2015 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.