Project Cornerstone Update
Thu, Apr 30 9:54am
Dear Parents,
As many of you know, Project Cornerstone is a parent engagement program which is part of the social-emotional learning at Addison. Once a month parent volunteers read a specially selected book and lead related discussions and activities in classrooms. Among the program’s goals are to create a positive school climate and help students become UPstanders to promote respect and reduce bullying behaviors. As we’ve all moved to distance learning the volunteers will no longer be able to provide this content. Instead, Ms Ohanian and Claudia Quiroga have recorded readings of the April book in English and Spanish (links below). We’ve included a summary of the book and the corresponding life skills, as well as discussion topics and activities for families to engage in at home. We hope you will continue to discuss these topics of INCLUSION with your children. An inclusive school promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its students.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments.
Patty Dhillon and Roberta Pinheiro (Project Cornerstone Co-Leads)
Project Cornerstone - April Book and Lesson
René Has Two Last Names, by René Colato Lainez
Developmental Assets: Cultural Competence, Positive Cultural Identity, Self Esteem, Integrity
Addison Life Skills:
Acceptance: To appreciate differences in others, to respect oneself, as well as to be flexible in circumstances that cannot be changed.
Friendship: To make and keep a friend through mutual care and effort.
Summary: The author tells the story of René  who moves from El Salvador to the United States. René has two last names which represents his mother’s and father’s families. His classmates make fun of him for having such a long name. René is proud of his names and intentionally uses his family tree homework assignment to stand up to the bucket dipping and explain the significance of his family names.
This book focuses on how each of us has a personal identity filled with feelings, beliefs, and cultural traditions and customs. There are many cultures represented in our community. When we learn about other cultures, it promotes understanding of others. When we explain our culture to others, it also promotes understanding of differences. Like René, we need to learn about others, as a way to build empathy and tolerance.


  • Discuss with your child where his/her name originated from. Does it have a meaning? Does your child have a second last name?
  • Share or explore the origin of your family’s last names with your child.
  • Ask your child if someone has made fun of his/her name or cultural traditions? If so, explore ways to handle such situations.
  • Look at family pictures with your child while discussing your family’s heritage or cultural background.
  • Help your child make a family tree.
  • Enjoy eating foods from other countries. Learn about the country- its location, traditions, and customs (Pupusas and horchata were mentioned in the book).

el libro de este mes:

René Has Two Last Names/René tiene dos apellidos 
de René Colato Laínez

fomenta los elementos fundamentales del desarrollo Concientización cultural y Identidad cultural positiva.

El autor cuenta la historia de René, quien se muda de El Salvador a Estados
Unidos. René tiene dos apellidos que representan la familia de su padre y la familia de su madre. Sus compañeros se burlan de él por tener un nombre tan largo. René se siente orgulloso de sus apellidos e intencionalmente aprovecha la tarea sobre su árbol genealógico para defenderse de las burlas (bucket dipping) y explicar el significado de sus apellidos.

Espero que esta noche platique con su hija(o) acerca de su herencia cultural:

  • Platiqueconsuhija(o)dedondeprovienesunombre. ¿Tiene algun significado? ¿Su hija(o) tiene un segundo apellido?

  • Compartaoinvestiguejuntoconsuhija(o)elorigen de los apellidos de su familia.

  • Pregunteleasuhija(o)sialguiensehaburladodesu nombre o de sus tradiciones culturales. Si es asi, investigue las formas de manejar dichas situaciones.

  • Mirenjuntosfotografiasfamiliaresmientrasplatican acerca de su herencia cultural.

  • Ayudeasuhija(o)ahacerunarbolgenealogico.

  • Disfrutendeplatillosdeotrospaises.Aprendanacerca de ese pais: en donde se localiza, sus tradiciones y costumbres. (En el libro se mencionan las pupusas y el agua de horchata).