Project Cornerstone

Welcome back families and schools to the 2021-22 school year!

This month, we are discussing :
Simon’s Hook by Karen Gedig Burnett.

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In this book, Simon is teased because he’s having a “bad hair day.” Simon’s Hook helps children learn that there are many ways to respond to teasing, and offers several examples of ways that kids can empower themselves and avoid becoming a victim of someone else’s hurtful behavior. 

Join in the discussion with your child

To reinforce this lesson, please ask your child to explain these terms:

  • Don’t take the bait.” 
  • “Swim free!”

In the book, Simon’s neighbor, Grandma Rose, teaches him ways to avoid being a target of his friends who are exhibiting bucket dipper behaviors. She offers five strategies to help Simon avoid taking the bait

  • Do little or nothing—don’t react!
  • Pretend to agree with the bully’s hook.
  • Change the subject to distract the bully. 
  • Laugh at the hook and make a joke of it. 
  • Stay away from the hooks and swim in another part of the sea. 

Each of these strategies is a valuable skill to protect kids from being hurt and to help them swim free! When you discuss teasing and bullying at home, please use these terms and strategies to remind children about their choices and power in a teasing situation. To learn more about Simon’s Hook, you can visit Grandma Rose’s website at 

By teaching our children how to navigate friendships, peer relationships, and social cruelty, we create a stronger school community where all students feel safe and know that they belong. 

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.

If you would like more information about the ABC program, please contact Mari Ueda-Tao. The ABC program also promotes the 41 Developmental Assets. To learn more, visit the Project Cornerstone web site

Become an ABC Reader

Parent Teacher Association – Palo Alto, CA