NPHC Goes to Argentina

Today we welcome fifth graders at Colegio Newlands in Buenos Aires, Argentina to the Not Perfect Hat Club. Jena had a great time visiting with the students, and their teachers, Viviana Lopez and Malena Accomazzo Scotti agreed to share their blog about the day with NPHC readers. Enjoy!     NPHC: Jena & Newton’s visit After much anticipation, we finally met Jena Ball, author of The Not Perfect Hat Club! It was a wonderful event, in which we laughed A LOT, we asked and answered questions, and we even learnt how to draw Newton! Also, some students showed their Not Perfect Hats and explained how they represented them. Finally, everybody took the pledge and so, we became official members of the international Not Perfect Hat Club! Special thanks to Miss Vivi, Miss Moni and Miss Flavia, who helped us prepare everything to make a successful connection! Miss Vivi and Miss Moni stayed with us in the whole event, taking photos and enjoying the special visit, too. Want to learn more about Viviana, Malena and their fabulous students? Follow them on Twitter: Viviana Lopez: @vivilopez2 Malena Accomazzo Scotti: @Malena_Acco You can also learn more about how the students at Colegio Newlands are learning with other students around the world by checking their Google+ community, “Bringing the World Into the Classroom.”  https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112156213745836058444 This slideshow requires...

The Mirror Turns…

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” — W. Dyer This quote by Wayne Dyer haunts me. It first appeared in my social media feed several years ago after a friend became homeless. Rather than search frantically for another minimum wage job, she chose to move into and start selling jewelry from her van. I was horrified. She, on the other hand, was strangely content. Rather than bemoan her situation, she kept her focus on three goals: make and sell jewelry, meet and help good people, and find ways to overcome her health challenges. Over the years, my friend’s adventures have taught me many things. I learned to look past outer appearances; to see homelessness as a symptom of how we are failing one another rather than an indication of how an individual has failed at life. I discovered that often it is those with the least who give the most — who refuse to look away, who show up and share their last cup of rice, who move heaven and earth to find a temporary home for a dog while his person is in the hospital…the list goes on and on. Then eight months ago, the mirror of judgment turned on me. Suddenly I was the one without a penny to my name; the one who couldn’t find a job; the one who was eating nothing but oatmeal and facing eviction from my home. Everywhere I turned, people I thought were friends judged me harshly. They were annoyed that I wanted to talk about my predicament, and either offered unhelpful advice or disappeared all together. At first,...

Books are the Stuff of Dreams

We all know that books and reading are vital to a child’s intellectual and emotional development. And by books, I mean any form that stories take, any way that we can immerse ourselves in the lives of others, learn empathy and compassion and ignite the power of the imagination. This is how human beings learn best – how we make sense of our worlds and take down the walls of fear and prejudice to discover we’re better together. That said, there is something to be said for a compelling photo that reaches out and grabs your heart. In this case it was a photo sent by the grandmother of a second grader whose class I’d spent time with. The little boy’s name is Mason, and he was one of 600 students in first through fifth grades that I talked to that day. I remember him because he came up while I was talking to his teacher, quietly took my hand and squeezed. No words, just the gentle touch that let me know he was there. When I looked down and said hi, he asked, “Can you sign my book?” So when the photo arrived later that night I remembered Mason, but was unprepared for how it touched me. The sight of him fast asleep with The Not Perfect Hat Club tucked in the crook of his arm brought tears to my eyes. His grandmother’s email read, “Thought you might like to know Mason fell asleep with his beloved book in his arms. Thank you for making his day.” I guess I don’t have to tell you he made my day...

Whisker Wisdom #3

Oscar’s Whisker Wisdom for Wednesday, August 31, 2016 Bathe daily to keep your body, heart and mind clean and clear....

Whisker Wisdom #1

Oscar’s Whisker Wisdom for Saturday, August 27, 2016. “Sometimes you need to look at the world from a different perspective.”   Lie on the floor and look at the ceiling. Jump in a swimming pool, sink to the bottom, and look up at the sky. Climb a tree and imagine you are a bird shopping for potential nest sites. Borrow someone’s eyeglasses and see how your view of the world changes. Compliment a stranger on what he/she is wearing and see what happens. Toss a blanket over a card table and crawl underneath. Turn off all the lights in your room and light a candle. However you do it, shift your focus so that the world and your life are a little bit different. What did you discover? Share because we’re all in this together and can learn from one another. You may also want to subscribe to The Not Perfect Hat Club mailing list, so that we may stay in touch (no spam, we promise) Copyright 2016 by Jena Ball. All Rights...