Project Cornerstone

Welcome back families and schools to the 2020-21 school year!
Our theme this year is EMPATHY.

In December and January we are discussing :
When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang.

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In the book, Sophie becomes very angry one day and releases her angry energy by removing herself from the situation. This story helps children understand that anger is one of many emotions that everyone experiences.

In the lesson, the class learned ways to control their response to intense emotions like anger. As directors of their emotions, students practiced how to Take 5 andto stop and think about how to react to intense emotions in a way that will keep themselves and others safe.  Identifying, acknowledging and choosing how to react to intense emotions helps youth switch directions and take control of their behavior

Join in the discussion with your child

When you notice signs of escalating feelings, remind your child and others in a calm, neutral voice that they have the power. Help them notice and acknowledge their feelings. Empower youth by allowing them to choose a safe and calm response to intense emotions. Some suggestions are:

  • 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.”
  • Help your child chose safe ways to calm themselves:
    • Do physical activity. Put on music and dance away the anger.
    • 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 art materials such as markers, paint, or other art materials to express feelings.
    • Use toys, stuffed animals or action figures to role play feelings.
    • Put out play dough, pillows or punching bags to pound and twist intense feelings away.
  • 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 youth use I messages to state how they feel. “I feel ______ when you ______.”
  • In a calm emotional state, discuss past experiences with out of control feelings.
    • Ask about emotional triggers and what we notice as our emotions start feeling out of control?  What actions and activities help us feel better?  Share ideas for identifying and acknowledging intense emotions before they spin out of control. Celebrate successes.
    • Remind youth of the temporary nature of setbacks and frustration.

Finding safe and constructive ways to deal with powerful emotions is an essential life skill. Thank you for taking the time to help your child practice these skills at home.

Read more about Project Cornerstone

For over 20 years, Project Cornerstone has partnered with Silicon Valley schools, parents, and community organizations to deliver programs, trainings, and services that support youth to develop the social and emotional skills to grow into responsible, caring, and healthy adults who feel valued, respected, and known.Our children, families, and adults in our communities need support in social and emotional well-being, now more than ever.

As we pivot to new distance learning models this year, Fairmeadow’s Project Cornerstone team has adjusted the way our programs, trainings, and workshops are offered, including:

– Offering online monthly trainings to prepare classroom/grade readers the tools to connect virtually with their students.

– The YMCA is offering pre-recorded lessons and activities that are still based on our impactful, and research-proven Developmental Assets model. Teachers, school staff and/or parents can easily deliver these lessons to their students/ own children as virtual lessons in the classroom or at home

We look forward to continuing the very important Project Cornerstone at Fairmeadow Elementary.

If you have any questions, please contact your Fairmeadow Project Cornerstone Leads: Parvathi Belur or Mari Ueda-Tao.

See also our goals for the program


Discover our program book list for 2020-2021

Parent Teacher Association – Palo Alto, CA

2020-21 ABC Book List Champion Year Final