Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year

We are excited to begin our third year of Project Cornerstone at Fairmeadow. This year’s theme is inclusion, with a focus on respect, acceptance, celebrating differences, and using positive self-talk. Read on for more information on the program and how to get involved.

What is Project Cornerstone?

Project Cornerstone is a community initiative of the YMCA of Silicon Valley that works with more than 400 schools and community partners to change the personal behavior of adults, strengthen programs that serve youth, and impact public policy.

Asset Building Champions (ABC) is Project Cornerstone’s literature-based program addressing important issues like respect, tolerance, honesty, peaceful conflict resolution, taking a stand against bullying behaviors, and refusing to participate in gossip. Volunteers are trained in the developmental assets model for positive youth development, and prepared to read a specially selected children’s book and lead related activities and discussions that help teach valuable lessons related to these issues each month.

Project Cornerstone ABC Goals:

  • Create a common language and vocabulary to use when discussing student respect and behavior expectations.
  • Help students develop the social-emotional skills needed to build strong friendships, deal with bullying, solve problems, be UPstanders, work through their emotions, include others, show empathy, have a growth mindset, develop a sense of self-efficacy and believe in themselves.
  • Increase the number of caring adults on campus so that all students feel that there is at least one adult they can turn to if they have a problem.
  • Contribute to a positive school climate where every student feels valued and supported in order to achieve and thrive.

The Project Cornerstone ABC program reaches over 58,000 students, including several schools in our own district.

Project Cornerstone ABC Program at Fairmeadow

We became a “Cornerstone” school in 2017. Thanks to all of our parent volunteers, our students have learned valuable life-skills that they can use in the classroom, on the playground, and at home. Creating a common language and a “tool belt” of strategies for identifying, naming and resolving issues has empowered students to resolve more of their own issues and has made it easier for teachers to address issues when they do come up.

The feedback from parents, staff and teachers at Fairmeadow has been very positive and we continue to improve the program based on suggestions from parents and staff. Here are some of the comments from staff, students, and volunteer readers:

“We all are using a common language and can work on dealing with teasing and problems in the same way.”

“The books were fun and the activities really helped hammer the lesson home.”

“It is nice to have parents involved and reading in the classroom. The kids love that.”

Learn The Project Cornerstone Lingo

Have you been stumped when your kids say, “he dipped into my bucket”? Or, “don’t take the hook”? These expressions are straight from the ABC stories.

We encourage all of our Fairmeadow parents to learn more about the program, the lessons, and the lingo by:

  • Reading the monthly book summaries in the bulletin.
  • Reviewing the Project Cornerstone letter/email that is sent home after each lesson.
  • Asking your kids!!
  • Reading our FAQ.

These lessons are packed full of tools that parents can use at home too.

Three Years of Books

The Project Cornerstone ABC program is a cumulative curriculum spanning 3 years, with 8 books per year. Multiple copies of all the books are now available in the MP room thanks to funding from the PTA. For a list of this year’s books, please see our Cornerstone Books page.

Get Involved – Become a Volunteer Reader!

Spending an hour in your child’s class can make a world of difference! It’s a great opportunity for moms, dads, grandparents, nannies and family friends to support children in a meaningful way. Training, books, discussion topics, and classroom activities are provided. Volunteer commitment is approximately 3 hours/month for the eight months.

One Time:

NEW volunteers must:

  • Attend Assets 101 training session, in person or online
  • Complete a Project Cornerstone/YMCA volunteer application (online)  

Every Month:

ONE volunteer from each Room must:

  • One volunteer from each room must attend book training at Fairmeadow (25 minutes, 8:35-9am). Schedule for 2019-2020 below

ALL volunteers must:

  • Prepare for their lessons in their private time (45 – 60 minutes)
  • Read book, discuss topic, and lead activity in classroom (45 – 60 minutes)
BookFairmeadow Training DateTraining Time
Stand TallAugust 30th8:35-9:00am
My Secret BullySeptember 27th8:35-9:00am
The Day You BeginNovember 1st8:35-9:00am
Today I Feel SillyDecember 4th8:35-9:00am
Long ShotJanuary 31st8:35-9:00am
Enemy PieFebruary 28th8:35-9:00am
Rene Has Two Last NamesMarch 27th8:35-9:00am
The OK BookMay 1st8:35-9:00am

To become a volunteer or for more information, please contact Fairmeadow’s Project Cornerstone leads: Mari Ueda-Tao ( or Parvathi Belur ( 

Reader’s Corner (for 2019-20 Fairmeadow Project Cornerstone Readers)

Parent Teacher Association – Palo Alto, CA