Project Cornerstone

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

In November we are discussing :
BIG by Coleen Paratore.

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The focus of this book is to learn about becoming a BIG person. Big is not defined as large or tall, but a person who thinks BIG about the world and their place in it. The author defines BIG as being bright and imaginative, healthy, kind and helpful, friendly and valuable members of society.

During our discussion we talk about being BIG as a journey made up of small things we say and do every day. The reward for being BIG is not tangible, but something felt inside of each of us. It is a feeling of goodness that comes from thinking and acting generously.  We discuss looking within ourselves to see how we can tap into personal power to become a valuable member for family, school, neighborhood, community, country and world.

Join in the discussion with your child

We focus on ways to be active citizens to improve the world by committing to daily acts of caring and outreach in our community with acts of service. Volunteering and service are powerful ways to build assets.  Asset #9-Service to Others is all about giving back and helping out. Search Institute research shows that Asset #9 builds 21 of the 40 assets. The research shows that service is powerful in helping kids succeed in all areas of life — health, friendships, school and self-esteem.

We hope you will have a family discussion about ways to be the biggest you that you can be. During your BIG talk, discuss ways your family contributes individually and together to making a difference in the world. Ask questions like:

  • How can I be healthy BIG?
  • 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.

After your discussion, your family may wish to volunteer, do community outreach, or a service-learning project.  On our website is a list of ways to volunteer.  Go to and click on the resource tab to find the list of Service Opportunities.

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