The Song Flight Story
Founder and Creative Director
My name is Jena Ball. I am a multi-media storyteller, eLearning developer, and passionate advocate for kids. My interest in and commitment to helping children develop the emotional intelligence (EQ) they’ll need to become kind, creative, and competent adults began in 2008 with a third-grade class in Iowa. There, the students told me that imperfect people were bad, ugly, dirty, stupid, disgusting, and lazy losers. At the time I was stunned and confused. How was it possible for third graders to believe that making mistakes made them losers? “Surely this isn’t normal?” I thought.
Subsequent visits with dozens of classrooms across the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia taught me that this belief was the norm, not the exception. A child's belief that they have to be perfect stems from what and how we teach them. In most industrialized nations, all children are expected to learn the same thing, the same way, on the same schedule. At the end of the process - much like cars on an assembly line - standardized tests are administered. These tests, combined with the very clear message that grades determine their worth, lead to competition, comparison, judgment, and the belief that some are better or more deserving than others. Is it any wonder that our children believe that being imperfect means they are losers? Is it any wonder that most children lack the emotional intelligence they need to become kind, empathic, and competent adults?
Once I understood what was happening, I decided to do something about it.
For the past 14 years, I’ve been researching perfectionism, talking to neuroscientists about emotions and the brain, and to psychologists about the importance of social-emotional skills in a child’s development. I’ve also written five books that tackle emotionally sensitive topics, developed project-based learning programs to go with them, and visited classrooms around the world.
All this work has made me keenly aware of the impact negative experiences can have on a child’s well-being. So, when the invasion of Ukraine began I knew had to find a way to help. Song Flight is the result. Thank you in advance for helping make it a reality.
To learn about my books and programs, visit: https://www.braidedlives.com/critterkin