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See more images of our Not Perfect Hat Club adventures here:

Panthers are not the kind of animal you usually associate with kindness. They’re big, powerful  cats (weighing in at 130 to 160 lbs.) with a reputation for being stealthy and  efficient hunters. Happily, the panthers CritterKin has been working with for the past two years at  Nate Perry Elementary School in Liverpool, New York are a different breed of cat all together.  Open-minded, curious and eager to collaborate, the only things the educators at Nate Perry are interested in hunting are ways to expand and enhance their students’ worlds.

Nate Perry was one of the first to reach out to us about incorporating the CritterKin Kindness programs into their school, and have become beloved members of CritterKin’s growing global family.  The latest collaboration between CritterKin and Nate Perry is The Not Perfect Hat Club. The school helped us raise funds for the completion of the new “Not Perfect Hat Club” book and will be hosting a Not Perfect Hat Club Day at their school on May 26th.

In preparation for the big day, Ms. Jenaia stopped by Nate Perry via Google Hangouts to read the first chapter of the book and discuss what it means to be “Not Perfect.”  As always, the students’ responses were eye-opening and revealing. Some of the adjectives used to describe “Not Perfect” included “ugly, stupid, not happy, mad at myself,” and “not natural.”  Clearly students have internalized the belief that they are expected to be perfect, and judge themselves harshly when they can’t be.  In response, we share the “Famous Failures” video below with them, and had a good discussion afterwards about the importance of accepting that no one is perfect and that people learn by making mistakes.


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Click here or on the image above to see the video

Our time together ended with each student drawing and sharing a Not Perfect Hat that reflected what makes him or her perfectly Not Perfect. The students’ drawings were creative, playful and full of self-awareness. As one 5th grader put it, “I’m pretty outgoing and creative. I’m just me!”  We thought that was a perfect response!

If you would like to know more about CritterKin and the Not Perfect Hat Club, please visit: and

Better yet, bring the Not Perfect Hat Club to your school! To find out how, please give us a call or send us an email.  We’d love to have you and your school become members of the CritterKin family.


Jena Ball: (919) 454-9917




Copyright 2015 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.