Cornerstone Events

2019-20 Project Cornerstone Book & Event Summaries

Project Cornerstone at Home, April 2020

Watch our video lesson for René Has Two Last Names, the autobiographical story of René, who moves from El Salvador to the United States. René has two last names which represent his mother and father's families. His classmates make fun of him for having such a long name. René is proud of his names and intentionally uses his family tree homework assignment to stand up to the bucket dipping from his classmates and explain the significance of his family names.

Activities you can do at home:

Be a Name Detective

Students can interview family members, by approved social distancing methods, to see if there is a story to how they got their name or why it was chosen for them. This promotes the child reaching out to others and being "an investigator". They can then share or present the facts on what they discovered with everyone they interview using a virtual platform, phone calls, emails, or letters.

Acrostic Poem

Have the student write their name vertically on a sheet of paper. For each letter of their name, write a word that they think describes a personal characteristic. Parents can do this for themselves as well for a family activity.

Cook it Up!

Help your student research and cook a dish from his/her culture or a food from another culture. Share what you learn with your family while eating a delicious new food.

Family Tree

Make a family tree like René does in the story or make a non-traditional family tree, that includes not only family but people who are important to you. Use photos, draw pictures, or cut outs from magazines.

Complementary Books include:

Accept and Value Each Person by Cheri J. Meiners

The Butterfly/La Mariposa by Francisco Jimenez

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf

My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

My Name is Sangoel by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed

Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen

One Green Apple by Eve Bunting

Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Yoko Writes Her Name by Rosemary Wells

Radio Man by Arthur Dorros

Chapter Book: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Chapter Book: My Name is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada

Chapter Book: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Chapter Book: Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks


Project Cornerstone at Home, March 2020

Watch our special video lesson featuring Principal Cyndee: The OK Book .

Project Cornerstone at Bubb, March 2020

This month’s book, Enemy Pie by Derek Munson-May, shows the difficulties and rewards of making a new friend. The summer had seemed perfect until Jeremy Ross moved into the neighborhood, quickly becoming the narrator’s “enemy number one”. The narrator’s father, a caring adult in his life, offered to help with a recipe for enemy pie. The chief ingredient in enemy pie was time spent in the company of “the enemy”. Thanks to Dad’s special recipe, Jeremy and the narrator discover they have a lot in common and become friends.

Goals of lesson:

  • Understand that prejudice may cause one to have a perceived enemy.
  • Learn not to judge others.
  • Expand friendship making skills to include overcoming self-imposed obstacles, like prejudice and stereotyping.

To reinforce this lesson at home:

  • Don't jump to conclusions based on first impressions, but if you do, make it a teachable moment.
  • When your child is involved in a conflict with a friend, listen to find out what is happening, and help your child consider both sides.
  • Role-play how to start a conversation with someone new.

Below are a few qualities of a good friend. Discuss with your child what each word means: • Loyal • Trustworthy • Open-minded • Encouraging • Caring

A video reading of Enemy Pie can be found here.

Complementary Books include:

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Dear Ichiro by Jean Davies Okimoto

The English Roses by Madonna

Something Else by Kathryn Cave

The Strange Egg by Mary Newell DePalma

Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann

Chapter Book: Double Dog Dare by Lisa Graf

Chapter Book: Restart by Gordon Korman

Chapter Book: Utterly Me, Clarice Bean by Lauren Child


Project Cornerstone at Bubb, February 2020

This month’s book, Long Shot--Never Too Small to Dream by Chris Paul, is an autobiography of an NBA All-Star. As a child, he is one of the shortest players on his basketball team, but with hard work, determination, and the support of his family he is able to realize his dreams.

Goals of lesson:

  • Help students explore and discover their sparks (interests, dreams, passions, etc.)
  • Identify their spark and goal champions. (People who will help.)
  • Reflect upon and identify the support students receive from their peers, family, and community.
  • Empower students to provide support to their peers, family, and community.

Ask your child to tell you more about:

  • What matters to you? What sparks your interest?
  • What is your biggest dream?
  • What is your favorite thing to do, and how can I help you do it?
  • What help do you need to reach your goals?
  • Who will be your spark or goal champion (helps with taking steps to achieve a dream)?

A video reading of Long Shot--Never Too Small to Dream by Chris Paul can be found here.

The video Sparks Matter—Listening for Sparks reminds us to listen, watch and pay attention to the sparks that interest our youth.

Complementary Books include:

Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter

Dream, A Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes by Susan V. Bosak

Dream Big, Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi

Firebird by Misty Copeland

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos by Monica Brown

Grace, Gold and Glory: My Leap of Faith by Gabby Douglas and Michelle Burford

Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success by Coach John Wooden

My Name is Celia by Monica Brown

My Name is Gabriela by Monica Brown

The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud

Pele King of Soccer by Monica Brown

Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan with Roslyn M. Jordan

The Three Questions based on a story by Leo Tolstoy by Jon J Muth

The Tower: A Story of Humility by Richard Paul Evans

Chapter Book: Ghost (Track) by Jason Reynolds

Chapter Book: The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

Chapter Book: A Whole New Ballgame: Rip and Red, Book 1 by Phil Bildner


Project Cornerstone at Bubb, December/January 2019/2020

This month’s book, Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis, shows students the range of emotions a person can feel and how to identify them.

Goals of lesson:

  • Empower students to practice specific skills they can use to influence things that happen to them.
  • View disappointment and sadness as temporary and fixable states.
  • Act and switch directions so that the outcome of their day is changed.
  • Name feelings and notice the feelings of others.
  • Learn ways to accept and deal with feelings.

To reinforce this lesson at home:

  • Model positive self-talk and switching directions when you are in a bad mood
  • Follow the steps to help your child change how they feel when they want to improve their mood:
    • Accept and name your feelings. For example, say to yourself, "I am sad." "I am scared."
    • Remind yourself that this feeling is temporary. You will feel happy again. Look to caring adults for support.
    • Relax and take a time out before you act. Take slow deep breaths and count to ten, relaxing all the muscles in your body. Get ready to choose the way you respond.
    • Think about ways to help move out of your mood. Use positive self-talk to make a plan. Ideas include exercise, something creative, a hobby, reading, nature, and acts of kindness.

See Dr. Dan Siegel's Hand Model of the Brain for information on how the brain processes emotions.

A video reading of the book can be found here.

Complementary Books include:

Grandpa Bear’s Fantastic Scarf by Gillian Heal

Grumpy by Suzanne Lang

Happy, Sad, & Everything in Between: All About My Feelings by Sunny Im-Wang Psy.D, S.S.P.

In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book by Michael Rosen

See How I Feel by Julie Aigner-Clark

Silly Billy by Anthony Browne 3

What is a Thought? (A Thought is a Lot) by Jack Pransky and Amy Kahofer

Chapter Book: Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

Chapter Book: Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

Chapter Book: See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Chapter Book: Speed of Life by Carol Weston

Chapter Book: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley


Project Cornerstone at Bubb, November 2019

This month’s book, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, is about three children who feel different from their classmates. They realize that by being comfortable with themselves, they just might find common ground with others and feel more like they belong.

Goals of lesson:

  • Recognize and value all dimensions of diversity.
  • Embrace and nurture each individual for who they are.
  • Practice inclusive behaviors to create a caring school where every voice is heard.

Ask your child:

  • What are some inclusive behaviors they can practice at school? Some ideas: greet each other authentically, listen, agree to disagree, be honest, resolve misunderstandings immediately, ask others to share their ideas, thoughts and experiences.

To reinforce this lesson at home:

  • Brainstorm ways that you could do intentional acts of caring for your family, friends, and community. Pick one or two to do as a family.
  • Talk about how other families are the same or different from yours and how we can make others feel respected and valued in the community.
  • Discuss your views on equality and social justice. Consider choosing a cause to follow and help. Research shows that children benefit from a sense of empowerment when they successfully address societal issues that might otherwise seem overwhelming.

A video reading of the story can be found here.

Complementary Books include:

Bein’ with You This Way by W. Nikola-Lisa

Birds of a Different Feather by Matthew Beasley

The Boy with Long Hair by Pushpinder Singh

A Different Pond by Bao Phi

Don’t Laugh at Me by Steve Seskin

Eleanor, the Extraordinary Chicken by Helen Dowty

La Mariposa by Francisco Jiménez

Mixed by Arree Chung

Odd Boy Out Young Albert Einstein by Don Brown

Odd Velvet by Mary Whitcomb

One Green Apple by Eve Bunting

The Only One Club by Jane Naliboff

Our Friend Mikayla by Mikayla’s Third-Grade Classmates

Red by Michael Hall

The Skin You Live In by Michael J. Tyler

The Sandwich Swap by Queen Raina of Jordan

Terrance the Trapezoid by Drew McSherry and Hilary McSherry

Chapter Book: Braced by Alyson Gerber

Chapter Book: Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry

Chapter Book: Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Chapter Book: New Kid by Jerry Craft (graphic novel)

Chapter Book: The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones by Wendelin Van Draanen


Project Cornerstone at Bubb, October 2019

This month’s book, My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig, is the story of Monica and Katie, close friends since kindergarten. Monica loves being around Katie when she's nice, but there are times when Katie can be just plain mean. In the story, positive family relationships help Monica reclaim her power and positive sense of self.

The author describes Katie as a “secret bully”. She targets Monica with relational and social aggression. This form of peer abuse can be hard for adults to spot. It occurs among friends (both boys and girls) who use their social power to manipulate, humiliate and exclude.

Goals of lesson:

  • Empower students to discuss problems with caring adults.
  • Use positive self-talk to boost personal power in interpersonal relationships.
  • Understand and identify behaviors and qualities that help or harm friendships.

Ask your child to tell you more about:

  • What is a “frenemy”? (A friend who is acting like an enemy.)
  • Who are caring adults in your world?
  • What is positive self-talk? (Help your child identify their strengths!)

To reinforce this lesson at home:

  • Have a family discussion about friendships. Share the qualities you look for in a friend.

A video reading of My Secret Bully can be found here. Curious about what happens next for Katie? Read Confessions of a Former Bully, by Trudy Ludwig

Complementary Books include:

Bully B.E.A.N.S. by Julia Cook

Cliques, Phonies, & Other Baloney by Trevor Romain

Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig

Our Friendship Rules by Peggy Moss and Dee Dee Tardif

Two by Kathryn Otoshi

Weird! by Erin Frankel

Chapter Book: All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Chapter Book: Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington

Chapter Book: The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss

Chapter Book: Let’s Pretend We Never Met by Melissa Walker

Chapter Book: The Secret Language of Girls by Frances O’Roark Dowell

Chapter Book: Unfriended by Rachel Vail


Project Cornerstone at Bubb, September 2019

This month’s book, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, is about a girl who uses the power of positive self-talk to choose how she reacts to bucket dipping. She is encouraged by her grandmother to be confident and to stand tall, smile big, sing loud and walk proud.

Goals of lesson:

  • Use body language to stand tall, smile big and walk proud.
  • Use personal power to choose how to react to negative situations.
  • Practice using positive self-talk.
  • Identify caring adults.

Here are some activities that you can do at home:

  • Boost Each Other Up: Celebrate each family member's special talents and abilities. Go around the dinner table and have each family member say one thing they like about each of the other members.
  • Wall of Fame: Create a special place in your house to display items that family members are proud of. Assign a space for each family member and post items that they are proud of (special drawings, an assignment they worked hard on, photos, etc.). Make sure there is a space for mom and dad, too!
  • Have your student "expert" explain how they can “shield” themselves from negative words or thoughts.
  • Have a conversation about the caring adults in the lives of youth. Identify who they are at school, in the neighborhood, and in the family.

When you “catch” kids modeling positive behaviors...Notice, Name it, and Celebrate it!

You can watch a video reading of Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon here.

Complementary books include:

Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen

Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

I’m Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown

My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits

The New Girl …and Me by Jacqui Robbins

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are by Maria Dismondy

Chapter Book: Out of my Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Chapter Book: Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins

Chapter Book: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Chapter Book: Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres


Grandma Rose Visits Bubb

On September 5th, Karen Gedig Burnett, author of Simon's Hook, visited Bubb . Also known as Grandma Rose, Ms Burnett was a school counselor for many years. When kids came to her with their problems, she told them stories showing "how not to bite the hook," and that’s how Simon’s Hook came to be. During her visit, she reenacted the story from her book with the help of 23 Bubb Cubs, and interactively showed her 5 "swim free" strategies to deal with teases:

  1. Do little. Answer the tease with comments like: "So? Cool. And your point is? Whatever. Thanks for telling me. Really?" Do not engage in arguments and let it go.
  2. Agree (or partially agree, or pretend to.) Answer teases with: "Yep. I sure do. You are probably right. Maybe it is. It could be. Sometimes I am." Don’t let anyone get a rise out of you.
  3. Distract and/or change the subject. Pretend you didn’t hear and change the subject by pointing somewhere else and making a random comment, asking them a question to divert them, chattering on a random subject, or even complimenting them to distract them from you.
  4. Make a joke. Respond to their bucket dipping behavior or comment by acting silly or turning their words into a joke to diffuse the situation.
  5. Smile and walk away. When someone treats you in a non-friendly way, you can just walk away and refuse to play with them unless they act like a good friend. If a friend is having a bad day we can be forgiving, but if they are a yo-yo friend (continually pulls you in when they feel like it and then rejects you when they get tired of you), you have the obligation to walk away from the relationship and move on to healthier friendships with people who appreciate you. Teach your friends that we all have to be respectful of each other’s feelings. We learn how to be good friends together.

Grandma Rose reinforced that we only have the power to control ourselves and our reaction to situations; we can’t change how others behave. We have the power to deny negative people a space in our thoughts and feelings. She also gave an example of having a growth mindset and left us with these thoughts:

  • I can protect myself.
  • I am in charge of myself.
  • What others do are just a reflection of who they are, I have to work with who and what I want to be.
  • I can practice my “swim free” strategies.
  • I have a “keep trying” attitude and I will ask for help and keep practicing to get better at anything I wish to do.
  • I am a “keep trying” kid.

Project Cornerstone at Bubb August 2019

The Bubb community is gearing up for another fabulous year with Project Cornerstone! This year's theme is inclusion and we will share books that build on the fundamental lessons we learned last year about being UPstanders. Your child will learn the importance of getting to know others before judging them (Enemy Pie), celebrate friends from different cultures (Rene Has Two Last Names), develop strategies for boosting self-acceptance and self-efficacy (Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, Long Shot, and The OK Kid), and learn that true friends treat each other with respect and kindness all the time (My Secret Bully).

We hope you have a fantastic year!

Monica Teicher, Carol Huang, Shawn Shahin & Jessica Lemieux (pcbubb@gmail.com)