Project Cornerstone - September
Wed, Sep 30 10:21am
Dear Addison Families,
We are Roberta and Patty, the Project Cornerstone leads at Addison. Project Cornerstone is a community initiative led by the YMCA of Silicon Valley, and their ABC Program (Asset Building Champions) is one part of our school’s Social and Emotional Learning curriculum. During a regular school year parent volunteers visit the classrooms each month to read a specially selected book and lead the students in related discussions and activities. Because this year is so special we had to modify the program in order to continue to provide students with the lessons. This year Ms Ohanian, our teacher-librarian, will record a reading of the monthly book and include some Thinking Questions and a related activity for families to engage in. We encourage you to read the book or watch the recording with your children, and engage in discussions to help them process the messages.
September Book: The Invisible Boy, by Trudy Ludwig
Life Skills: Inclusion and Empathy
Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party... until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.
This story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. It helps students develop the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with people different from themselves. Here is the link to Ms Ohanian’s recording:
At home, you can continue to help your child build empathy skills by doing the following:
• Empathize with your child by asking questions.
-What did you learn today that was interesting?
-What was the hardest part of your day?
-How would you like to spend a day if you could do anything?
-Do you have a friend that you especially respect?
-Why do you respect that person?
• Make caring for others a priority and lead by example.
-Engage in community service with your child.
-Express interest in those from various backgrounds or those facing different types of challenges.
-Encourage your child to write messages of kindness in sidewalk chalk.
-Offer to pick up store items for an elder neighbor.
-Together with your child, make “thank you” posters or cards to put in the window or on the front door for the mail carrier.
1. Take the Five Finger Friendship Challenge.
Have your child draw an outline of their hand and write on the fingers what they think makes someone a good friend.
  • Try to get to know someone before making a judgment
  • Spend time talking and doing things with them
  • Look for common interests
  • Listen to them
  • What expressions can you use to show empathy?


2. Write an invisible message of inclusion and watch it appear on the paper. 

  • 1/4 cup baking soda mixed with 1/4 cup water
  • Small amount of grape juice
  • Cotton swabs
  • Paper
  • Dip the cotton swab in the baking soda mixture and write a message. When it’s dry dip the other end of the swab in grape juice and paint over the message.
Be a role model for empathy. It is at the heart of what it means to be human. We all want to raise children who are happy and KIND! If you would like more information about Project Cornerstone, please contact Patty or Roberta.
Patty Dhillon
Roberta Pinheiro