2017-18 Project Cornerstone Book & Event Summaries

Project Cornerstone at Bubb, May 2018

This month’s Project Cornerstone book: “Thank You, Mr. Falker” by Patricia Polacco is an autobiographical book about a struggling student. At age 5 she goes to school to learn to read. By fifth grade, she still can’t read and continues to be bullied by other students. She is a wonderful artist and is encouraged and supported by her family. Finally, when she gets to fifth grade her teacher, Mr. Falker, works with her to discover her unique keys to learning. This is a story about a family’s love, a girl’s pain and what happens when an adult believes in a child’s potential to learn.

Goals of lesson:  

  • Recognize teachers as UPstanders and their efforts to create a caring school climate.  
  • Identify various personal strengths and abilities (“smarts”) and realize that we all have different ways in which we learn.
  • Build empathy for students with learning differences.  

Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they perceive that adults in the community value them. Here are some ways to build this asset:  

  • Spend time with young people. (Not just your own child, but all young people.)  
  • Listen and take seriously what they have to say.  
  • Seek out young people and solicit their feedback.  
  • Let them know their presence and participation are appreciated.

Questions to ask your child:  

  • Overall, do you feel our community values children and young people? Why or why not?  
  • How do people in the community show they love and appreciate you?  
  • Which adults help you feel empowered and valuable? Why?

Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco is available from Mountain View Public Library. Complementary books include:

  • Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco
  • Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak Ph.D
  • You’re Smarter Than You Think - A Kid’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences by Thomas Armstrong 


Project Cornerstone at Bubb, April 2018

In this month’s Project Cornerstone book, Sebastian’s Roller Skates, by Joan de Déu Prats, Sebastian gains confidence while practicing a new physical activity - roller-skating! His newly developed confidence empowers him to speak up and participate more fully in other areas of his life as well. This book shows how physical activity, perseverance, and hard work can bring about great leaps of confidence and skill. Goals of lesson:

  • Help students explore and discover their sparks (interests, dreams, passions, etc.)  
  • Reflect upon and identify the support students receive from their peers, family, and community.  
  • Learn to change mud thoughts into clear thoughts by reframing negativity into a growth mindset.  
  • Empower students to provide support to their peers, family, and community.<

To reinforce this lesson at home, ask your child:  

  • What dreams do you have for your future?  
  • Which mentors or role models who have a strong purpose in life do you admire? Why?  
  • If you could do one thing with your life, what would it be? Why?

Here are some tips that might help your child find a sense of purpose:  

  • Limit television, computer, and phone time to give your child time to develop her or his interests.  
  • Model having a sense of purpose. Do the things that matter to you.  
  • Compare passion lists. Have family members each write down five things they're passionate about and then talk about them.  
  • Model using positive self-talk and turn mud thoughts into clear thoughts.  
    • “I hate spelling. I never will be able to spell.”-mud thought  
    • “Spelling is hard for me, but I can practice and work hard to do better.”- clear thought

Sebastian’s Roller Skates is out of print, but you can watch a reading of the book at  http://www.storylineonline.net/books/sebastians-roller-skates/

Complementary books include:

  • The Exclamation Point by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • Only One You by Linda Krantz
  • Howard B. Wigglebottom Listens to His Heart by Howard Binkow
  • The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
  • A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
  • Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox


Project Cornerstone at Bubb, March 2017

This month’s book, How Do I Stand In Your Shoes? by Susan DeBell, is a story about a girl named Miranda who has no patience for the other students in her class. She just doesn’t understand why they can’t be as smart and talented as she is, until she learns to have empathy and walk in their shoes.

Goals of lesson:  

  • Empower students to notice, name, and understand feelings or difficulties of others.  
  • Express and receive empathy from each other.
  • Use the tools of bucket filling and the law of the lid to understand and care about others.
  • Make students aware of “roadblocks” (such as getting distracted or wanting to give advice) that might stop them from showing empathy.

Consider using the following empathy building tools to reinforce this lesson at home:  

  • Listen without interrupting. Say, “Hmmm. What happened next?”  
  • Listen to the tone of the words.  
  • Look and watch people’s body language.  
  • Notice, name, and confirm the feelings.

How do I Stand in your Shoes? by Susan DeBell, Ph.D. is available from Mountain View Public Library.

Complementary books include:

  • The Sandal Artist by Kathleen T. Pelley
  • Understand and Care by Cheri Meiners (K-2)
  • Stand in my Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy by Bob Soreson

Project Cornerstone at Bubb, February 2017

This month’s Project Cornerstone books, Through My Eyes and Ruby Bridges Goes to School, are autobiographical books about Ruby’s experience as the first African-American student to attend her neighborhood school in 1960. Surrounded by racial turmoil, Ruby spent first grade learning to read with the help of one supportive teacher.

Goals of lesson:  

  • Promote empathy and acceptance of differences so that we can create a school community that is more inclusive, welcoming, safe, just and caring for all kids.
  • Practice techniques to promote a sense of belonging in our school community by relying on personal power as UPstanders to include all students.

Questions to ask your child to reinforce this lesson at home:

  • How do you feel when you are treated unfairly by others? Why?
  • Which injustices in the world bother you most?  What can our family do about them?
  • What can you do at school to include others?

Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges and Ruby Bridges Goes to School by Ruby Bridges are available from Mountain View Public Library.

Complementary books include:

  • Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tommie dePaola
  • White Socks by Evelyn Coleman
  • The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

Project Cornerstone at Bubb, December 2017 & January 2018

This month’s Project Cornerstone book, When Sophie Gets Angry: Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang tells the story of a young girl who is searching for ways to cope with "big feelings" like anger. Goals of lesson:  

  • To identify, acknowledge and express feelings in safe, positive, healthy ways.  
  • Stop and think and choose how to react when our emotions feel out of control. 
  • Be able to switch directions and make positive choices.  
  • Use peaceful conflict resolution to resolve conflict and the steps to a genuine apology.

To reinforce this lesson at home:  

  • Help your child identify and acknowledge how they are feeling with words. “You are frowning, is that puzzle frustrating? Can I help?” “You are using a loud, angry voice. Are you mad? Tell me about it.”  
  • As a caring adult, notice and acknowledge your own feelings. Role model the techniques you use to stay calm and in control. Share your successful strategies with youth.  
  • Help your child chose safe ways to calm themselves:
    • Do physical activity. Put on music and dance away the anger. Go on a walk or bike ride.
    • Take deep breaths.  
    • Count to 10. If still angry, count to 10 again and add deep breaths.  
    • Remove yourself from the situation. Take a break in a safe, quiet place.  
    • Use markers, paint, or other art materials to express feelings.

When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang is available from Mountain View Public Library. Complementary books include:

  • Sometimes I’m Bambaloo by Rachel Vail
  • What is a Thought? (A Thought is a Lot) by Jack Pransky and Amy Kahofer

Project Cornerstone at Bubb, November 2017

This month’s ABC book: Big by Coleen Paratore encourages students to become BIG people. The author defines BIG as being bright, imaginative, healthy, helpful, and valuable members of society.

Goals of lesson:  

  • Encourage students to take small steps to achieve BIG outcomes at home, school and community.  
  • Internalize intrinsic rewards of doing things for the right reasons-Being an UPstander.  
  • Perform intentional acts of caring for others.  

To reinforce this lesson at home:  

  • Discuss ways your family contributes individually and together to making a difference in the world.  
  • Ask your child o How can I be BIG in my family?
  • What do we do to be BIG toward our planet?
  • How can we be kind to each other in a BIG way?
  • How can we be BIG in our community?
  • Name people who are BIG (famous, friends, family, in the news) and explain why.

Parents can consider reading the book: The World Needs Your Kid: Raising Children Who Care and Contribute by Craig & Marc Kielburger. This book focuses on simple everyday actions that can have a lasting influence on your child's life and the lives of those around us.

Big by Coleen Paratore is available from Mountain View Public Library.

Complementary books include:

  • Each Kindness by Jacquelin Woodson
  • A Little Peace by Barbara Kerley
  • One Smile by Cindy McKinley
  • Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson
  • Lessons From A Street Kid by Craig Kielburger
  • One Hen, How one small loan can make a big difference by Katie Smith Milway

Project Cornerstone at Bubb, October 2017

This month’s ABC book: Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae tells the story of Gerald the giraffe who is able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend.

Goals of lesson:  

  • Students learn about personal power and practice using their positive personal power to benefit both themselves and others.  
  • Students learn that making other people feel good is a great way to fill their own buckets, too!

To reinforce this lesson at home:  

  • Create opportunities to encourage your child to try new things.  
  • Offer praise for their willingness to try and practice.  
  • Whenever they’re in a negative situation, help your child reframe their inner dialogue to create an “I can do it!” attitude.  
  • Involve children of all ages in family decision making.
  • Teach your child practical skills such as how to change a tire, cook a couple of meals, or sew on a button. Well-prepared young people are more likely to feel a sense of personal power.

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae is available from Mountain View Public Library.

Complementary books include:

  • Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli
  • Snail and the Whale by Julia Cook
  • The Brand New Kid by Katie Couric
  • Blue Ribbon Day by Katie Couric 

Project Cornerstone at Bubb, September 2017

This month’s book, Friends to the End for Kids by Bradley Trevor Greive, uses engaging photos of animals to illustrate  the importance of friends and how to make and keep them.

Goals of lesson:

  • To help all students learn how to respect each other and to develop stronger interpersonal skills.
  • To have students explore ways to be UPstanders both online and in our face-to-face world.

To reinforce this lesson at home:

  • Share some stories about your own friendships.
  • Here are some questions you can discuss with your child:
  • What do you like most about your friends?
  • Do they bring out the best in you?
  • Do you bring out the best in them?
  • How do you show your friends that you care about them?
  • How do your friends handle conflict when it arises?

Friends to the End for Kids by Bradley Trevor Greive is available from Mountain View Public Library. Complementary books include:

  • The Blue Ribbon Day by Katie Couric
  • Making Friends is an Art by Julia Cook
  • How to Lose All Your Friends by Nancy Carlson
  • Being Friends by Karen Beaumont
  • Best Friends for Francis by Russell Hoban
  • Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book by Celeste Shally and David Harrington

Project Cornerstone Invites Steve Seskin to Bubb

On Friday, August 25th, author and songwriter Steve Seskin visited Bubb and gave two fabulous assemblies. He is best known for Don't Laugh At Me, the Project Cornerstone book and song about the importance of not making fun of others and respecting everyone.  He shared other songs he has written with students, such as "Everyday", "Heart, Head, Hands" and “Together, Together, Everyone". His songs are full of uplifting messages about respect, making good choices, being kind to each other, persevering and serving our community. Please ask your child about the songs they heard and listen to more on his website, kidswritesongs.org.

Project Cornerstone at Bubb August 2017

The Bubb community is gearing up for another fabulous year with Project Cornerstone! This year we will revisit the books in Year C. These are very important books which build on the fundamental lessons we shared the past two years. Your child will learn how to be a good friend (Friends to the End for Kids), how to be Big by making good, responsible choices, and how to deal with their emotions (When Sophie gets Angry - Really, Really Angry.) We will review the importance of following your own inner voice and being yourself (Giraffes can’t Dance), viewing others without bias (Through my Eyes) and feeling empathy (How Do I Stand in your Shoes).  We will also build growth mindsets by focusing on perseverance and self confidence in Sebastian’s Roller Skates

Monica Teicher, Carol Huang and Shawn Shahin (pcbubb@gmail.com)