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Lumina News – Article About Beverly Ladd and Her Students Going Global

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Children’s Book Tackles the Perils of Perfection on a Global Scale
The Not Perfect Hat Club book will bring students from around the world to read,
discuss and collaborate on multimedia stories about what it means to be not perfect


Wilmington, North Carolina, September 15, 2015 – On September 23, 2015, recovering perfectionist and children’s book author, Jena Ball, will launch a new book celebrating what makes each of us perfectly not perfect.

Entitled The Not Perfect Hat Club, the book revolves around the story of a purebred show dog, a skateboarding slam poet,  and a Mozart obsessed violinist who are befriended by a retired teacher turned dog trainer named Ms. Jenaia. Loosely based on the author, who dresses as the character when she visits classrooms, Ms. Jenaia sees the world through the eyes of both humans and dogs,  acting as a bridge between the two worlds. “I love putting on Ms. Jenaia’s overalls, stuffing my pockets with poop bags and dogs treats, and jumping feet first into the story with the kids,” says Ball. “We read, do all the sound effects and take turns playing the different characters. It’s a great way for the kids to experience empathy and learn to appreciate differences.”

The Not Perfect Hat Club will make its official debut at Pine Valley Elementary School in Wilmington, North Carolina on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm. Ball will not only read to the school’s 500+ students, but welcome students and teachers from classrooms around the world via Skype as well. “The message Jena has to share is universal,” says Beverly Ladd, the teacher who connected with and brought Ball to the school. “We wanted students everywhere to understand that perfect is not an option, and learn to love what makes them special.”

The international theme of the September 23rd event is just the start of a global campaign (NPHCBlogI) to bring The Not Perfect Hat Club story and related multimedia programs to classrooms around the world.  “When Beverly Ladd came to us with the idea of using The Not Perfect Hat Club book as the basis for a worldwide blogging challenge, we thought it was a terrific idea,” says Marty Keltz, the Emmy award winning producer of The Magic School Bus. “The pressure many students feel to be perfect has been in the news a lot recently, and  The Not Perfect Hat Club is an ideal way to address the issue for elementary school children.”

To date, NPHCBlogIt has more than 80 classes from 11 countries signed up to participate, with more expected to register as the start date gets closer. “Using technology to take down the walls of classrooms so that kids can learn from and share their stories with one another has been a long-term dream for me,” says Ball.  “I can hardly wait to see what the kids come up with.”

To learn more about NPHCBlogIt, the events planned for the launch, or to schedule an interview with Jena Ball, Beverly Ladd or Marty Keltz please contact
Jena Ball: JenaBall@CritterKin.com, Phone: 919-615-0666
BeverlyLad: beverly.ladd@nhcs.net, Phone: Phone: 919-233-0170
Marty Keltz: MartyKeltz@CritterKin.com, Phone: 416-587-3381

About the Author
Jena Ball has  been writing and illustrating stories since she was a horse obsessed eight year old begging her parents for a pony. When they flat out refused to even consider the idea, she drafted the family’s beagle-spaniel mix named Ginger as a stand in. “I could always count on Ginger’s sweet furry self to be there are the end of my bed each morning,” says Ball. “She was always happy to see me no matter what. That is the gift of animals – unconditional love.”

The CritterKin series of books is about a goofy pack of 8 mixed breed dogs and their leader Ms. Jenaia, and is loosely based on real dogs Ball has known.  Her goal is to use stories to entertain and engage kids while evoking their natural empathy, compassion and kindness. Each book is told through the eyes of one of the dogs and is focused around a  particular topic or theme.

 About Beverly Ladd

Beverly Ladd teaches second grade for the New Hanover County Schools district in North Carolina. An experienced global educator, Beverly’s firsthand experience as a Skype Master teacher has shown her how global connections allow students to become more aware of their world and appreciate one another’s differences. Beverly completed a 24-hour Skype-a-thon this past March, the second of its kind in the world, and first of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere. Beverly is passionate about sharing and collaborating with teachers globally as well as integrating technology to extend learning and build relationships. blog: beverlyladd.wordpress.com Twitter: @bevladd

About Marty Keltz
Marty Keltz is the co-founder of the children’s media property, CritteKin. The foundation of the property is a series of books by Jena Ball designed to teach children kindness, empathy and compassion.  An Emmy award-winning producer, Keltz co-founded and was President of Scholastic Productions, Inc. (1978-1995) and the Senior Vice-President of New Media at Scholastic Inc. He led the teams that created over 300 hours of television programming, including The Magic School Bus and Goosebumps, and was an executive producer for The Indian in the Cupboard and The Baby-sitters Club feature films.

A teacher at heart, Keltz visits classrooms with CritterKin co-founder Jena Ball via Skype and Google Hangouts, is a frequent co-moderator of Twitter EdChats and attends both live and virtual EdCamps and conferences. He lives in Toronto.

Author Jena Ball and Book

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Blog With Us with Globe

 

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WECT News: The Not Perfect Hat Club’ takes Pine Valley Elementary School and international students by storm

 Global Launch of Not Perfect Hat Club

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MEDIA ALERT

Celebrated Children’s Book Scheduled for Groundbreaking Global Debut
North Carolina author gaining worldwide attention with new book tackling the perils of perfection!

(Wilmington, NC, September 21, 2015)– On Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at 1:30 pm local author and illustrator, Jena Ball, will launch her latest book, The Not Perfect Hat Club, with the help of 600 students atPine Valley Elementary School and 12 international classes representing 5 countries from around the world.  The international classes will attend the launch via Skype.

The classes attending virtually are all members of a global community taking part in a six-week, worldwide blogging challenge this fall. Entitled NPHCBlogIt, the challenge will be based on The Not Perfect Hat Club book, using readings, questions, and creative activities to encourage student to explore what is means to be not perfect. “The belief that we have to be perfect is unrealistic and unhealthy,” says NPHCBlogIt co-creator,Beverly Ladd. “The book does a fabulous job of debunking that myth and helping kids appreciate all the wonderful ways people are different.”

The September 23rd event will be emceed by Ladd’s second grade class, which will introduce Ball, welcome the international visitors and oversee the raffle of signed copies of the book. “Getting to spend time with the kids will be the best part of the whole event,” says Ball, who dresses up as a character from her book known as Ms. Jenaia. “When I put on Ms. Jenaia’s overalls and floppy hat suddenly I’m not an adult anymore, but a character walking out of the story. I love the look in the kids’ eyes when that happens. They really believe I am Ms. Jenaia, and that opens the door for real learning.”

The Not Perfect Hat Club has been receiving glowing reviews from readers who have fallen in love with the story and characters:

“Every child and adult will come away feeling better about themselves for having read The Not Perfect Hat Club. And really, what more could we ever ask of a book?”
Jon Harper, Vice Principal at Sandy Hill Elementary School, MD

“I loved the book and see so many ways to use it with students: The power of love, respect and understanding overcoming bullying is a wonderful through line in this book.”
– Faige Meller, educator

“My children are not wanting to put it down because it speaks to them and to the things that they are dealing with. It says to them that it is okay to be yourself and to be unique. It’s okay not to always get things right because you are perfectly imperfect.”
Brian Host, Australian educator

 “I have not seen such an overwhelming response to a book since The Magic School Bus, “says Marty Keltz,CritterKin co-founder and former President of Scholastic Productions. “The reviews are not only positive, but make the connection between story and children’s willingness to learn very clear. Like The Magic School Bus, which had a huge impact on science education, The Not Perfect Hat Club has a timely and vital message. Just imagine what would happen if every student understood and believed that perfect is not an option and the key to success is finding and celebrating what makes you perfectly imperfect.”

 

Bev Ladd adn Students Prepare

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About the Author
Jena Ball has been writing and illustrating stories since she was a horse obsessed eight year old begging her parents for a pony. When they flat out refused to even consider the idea, she drafted the family’s beagle-spaniel mix named Ginger as a stand in. “I could always count on Ginger’s sweet furry self to be there at the end of my bed each morning,” says Ball. “She was always happy to see me no matter what. That is the gift of animals – unconditional love.”

The CritterKin series of books is about a goofy pack of 8 mixed breed dogs and their leader Ms. Jenaia, and is loosely based on real dogs Ball has known.  Her goal is to use stories to entertain and engage kids while evoking their natural empathy, compassion and kindness. Each book is told through the eyes of one of the dogs and is focused around a particular topic or theme. Twitter: @JenaiaMorane

About Beverly Ladd

Beverly Ladd teaches second grade at Pine Valley Elementary School (New Hanover County Schools District) in Wilmington, North Carolina. An experienced global educator, Beverly’s firsthand experience as a Skype Master Teacher has shown her how global connections allow students to become more aware of their world and appreciate one another’s differences. Beverly completed a 24-hour Skype-a-thon this past March, the second of its kind in the world, and first of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere. Beverly is passionate about sharing and collaborating with teachers globally as well as integrating technology to extend learning and build relationships. Blog: beverlyladd.wordpress.com. Twitter: @bevladd

About Marty Keltz
Marty Keltz is the co-founder of the children’s media property, CritteKin. The foundation of the property is a series of books by Jena Ball designed to teach children kindness, empathy and compassion.  An Emmy award-winning producer, Keltz co-founded and was President of Scholastic Productions, Inc. (1978-1995) and the Senior Vice-President of New Media at Scholastic Inc. He led the teams that created over 300 hours of television programming, including The Magic School Bus and Goosebumps, and was an executive producer for The Indian in the Cupboard and The Baby-sitters Club feature films.

A teacher at heart, Keltz visits classrooms with CritterKin co-founder Jena Ball via Skype and Google Hangouts, is a frequent co-moderator of Twitter EdChats and attends both live and virtual EdCamps and conferences. He lives in Toronto. Twitter: @martysnowpaw

The Latest and Greatest About Our Little Blogging Challenge!

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Take the Challenge!

Read this wonderful challenge by Christina Luce, global teacher exctraordinaire in New York as she talks about three ways to take down walls and give students a chance to collaborate with their peers around the world: http://ccsdslc.weebly.com/challenge-pages

#NPHCBlogIt Twitter Chat for EdCampGlobal!

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Questions for the Chat are Below

Welcome! Today we’ll be discussing the power of global blogging to help teachers & Ss tackle perfectionism while learning 21st century skills.

Today’s moderators are @jenaiamorane and @BevLadd. If you have any issues just tweet one of us.

Introductions: Please share your name, location & one thing that is PERFECTLY not perfect about you.

Q1: What are some of your favorite reasons to have your students blog? #NPHCBlogIt

Q2: What are some ways to enhance or expand the blogging experience for your students? #NPHCBlogIt

Q3: #NPHCBlogIt is a global blogging event. What value can you see in connecting your Ss with others around the world?

Q4: NPHC uses stories 2 help Ss understand no one is perfect. How can we reinforce that in our classes? #NPHCBlogIt

Q5: What role might Vlogging (video), photos, slideshows & other digital media play in #NPHCBlogIt? What are some favorite tools?

Q6: What are some additional activities,events & opportunities you’d like to see included in #NPHCBlogIt?

Challenge: Sign your class up for #NPHCBlogIt and send us a blog post so we can celebrate you and your kids: www.nphcblogit.com

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