The Not Perfect Hat Club (NPHC) books and related programs debunk the myth of perfection by harnessing the power of multimedia storytelling, creativity and project-based learning to teach the whole child. This means giving both students and teachers the opportunity to experience and apply social-emotional as well academic skills to relevant, real-world projects.

In addition, NPHC programs take down the walls of classrooms, giving children the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with their peers around the world. In this way they cultivate empathy, learn to appreciate differences, and discover that while no one is perfect, we each have a unique and important piece of our collective puzzle to share.

The Not Perfect Hat Club is based on solid neuroscientific research which has shown that children who feel safe, appreciated and encouraged to discover their individual interests and abilities learn more effectively and are better prepared to enter the 21st century job market.  Empathy, compassion and creativity are innate in our children, but like our capacity for language, which requires immersion in a community and practice to develop, must be developed through regular use and encouragement. The Not Perfect Hat Club does just that, giving children the tools and opportunities to develop a strong sense of self, purpose and belonging.

To learn more about The Not Perfect Hat Club, download this PDF

NPHC One-pager

About the Book

Meet Sir Isaac Oliver Newton, a golden retriever bred for perfection. Unfortunately for Newton, and his competition obsessed owners, he’s a disaster in the show ring. His tail is too long, his paws are too big, and he just can’t seem to get the hang of “sit, stay” and “heel.”

Newton’s adventures begin when his disappointed owners drop him off at the overcrowded, understaffed animal shelter. There, he makes a new best friend and is adopted by a child psychologist, but not before stumbling upon the question that underlies and drives the rest of the book. What does it mean to be perfect?

Whether experiencing his first snowfall or dealing with bullies at flyball competitions, Newton’s journey from show ring to therapy dog is a rollicking, fast-paced exploration of what it means to perfectly imperfect. Plagued by misunderstandings and mishaps, that will have every child groaning with sympathy, Newton gradually comes to understand that no one is perfect and mistakes are just part of life.

Throughout his odyssey, Newton is ably aided and abetted by his human and canine sidekicks. These include Jabber, a skateboarding slam poet who has a lot to learn about being hard on himself, Kylee, a talented young violinist who dreams of being the next Mozart, and Ms.Jenaia a retired teacher turned dog trainer. The canines include a self-absorbed Australian Shepherd, who spreads rumors about Newton on the canine grapevine, the five members of Newton’s flyball team, and Midge, Newton’s elderly beagle buddy. Together they forge friendships that transcend their differences and create The Not Perfect Hat Club in the process.

To learn more about The Not Perfect Hat Club (NPHC), read reviews and see work produced by students enrolled in the NPHC programs, please visit:

Speaking Topics –

1. Lessons from the Little People
Adult-proof your life and reclaim your super powers

2. Perfectionists Anonymous
A 12-step Program for Recovering Perfectionists


“Jena, you did a wonderful job and I’m hearing great things.  I am watching the papers and will send you the article when it comes out.  You were a joy to have and I’m so happy our paths have crossed… I will plan on a return visit in the not to distant future.”
– Paul Lessard, President, High Point Community Foundation, High Point, North Carolina

“Jena Ball gave us so much to work with, her heart is in this!” – Terry Stoufer, second grade teacher, Citrus County, Florida

“Amazing! I love it. Jena and her “Not Perfect” message is changing the world one perfectly not perfect kiddo at a time!” – Karly Moura, TOSA (Instructional Coach and Edtech Support Teacher) at Sun Terrace Elementary School

“Being okay with who we are, opening the door to hope and possibility. Thank you  Jena Ball. It’s such a powerful example and movement.” – Greg Curran









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