Skip To Main Content

Project Cornerstone

In 2004, Felecia Mulvany, a Cornerstone parent who wanted to help create a safe, caring climate at her son’s elementary school had an idea to use children’s literature to teach students the skill needed to deal with bully behavior, while learning positive interpersonal skills. An educational consultant, Jerri Kazmierczak, was hired to develop the first set of lesson plans.

Cornerstone Corner

Welcome to the Cornerstone Corner! When a classroom is signed up for Project Cornerstone, approximately once a month, a parent volunteer will come into your child’s classroom to read stories, lead discussions, and share activities to help all kids feel valued, respected, and known at school. They will be teaching interpersonal skills to your student via a children’s picture book. Our goal is to create a Respectful, Organized, Caring, Kind, and Safe community at home and school.

Today, rumors and gossip are often spread beyond the bathroom walls and into the digital world, which makes it possible for rumors to spread even further and even more quickly. To learn how to help your kids navigate this online world, visit the website of Common Sense Media at

Most importantly, we ask parents/guardians to initiate conversations with their child about the books and lessons.

Example Lesson:

The book Friends to the End for Kids: The True Value of Friendship by Bradley Trevor Greive uses engaging photos of animals to illustrate how to make friends, keep friends, and the importance of friends.

Goals of lesson:

• To help all students learn how to respect each other and to develop stronger interpersonal skills.
• To have students explore ways to be UPstanders both online and in our face-to-face world.

To reinforce this lesson at home, share some stories about your own friendships.

Here are some questions you can discuss with your child:

• What do you like most about your friends?
• Do they bring out the best in you?
• Do you bring out the best in them?
• How do you show your friends that you care about them?
• How do your friends handle conflict when it arises?

When you “catch” kids modeling positive behaviors… notice, name it, and celebrate it!

We hope you will talk with your child about being and UPstander.

Here are some ways to be an UPstander:

• Refuse to join in with bullying behaviors.
• Say or do something when someone needs help. (Just standing next to someone will make him/her feel better).
• Help kids “save face” when they are in a tough spot. Help them get away and be safe.
• Use positive peer influence to help friends “do the right thing”.

To reinforce the message at home:

• Role-play different scenarios to practice UPstander behaviors, words you can say, and actions take if someone needs your help.
• Review ways to be a bucket filler and swim free of bully behaviors.

As caring adults in the lives of youth, we can help develop and nurture skills to navigate the rough patches in life. Our ultimate goal is for youth to be able to handle these bumps and ruts on their own!

Monthly Lessons

Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
This book uses a bucket to symbolize our need to “be filled every day” with positive experiences.

Simon’s Hook by Karen Burnett
This book empowers kids to deal with children who tease them. When Simon is teased by his friends, Grandma Rose compares teases to fishing hooks and shows Simon how he doesn’t have to get caught by teases.

Say Something by Peggy Moss
In this book, we learn about how one person can make a difference just by reaching out to someone who feels alone or is the target of bucket dipping behaviors.

Mr. Peabody’s Apples by Madonna
In this book, students will learn about the damage that can be done by rumor and gossip. They will understand the power of positive words.

Nobody Knew What to Do by Becky Ray McCain
Students will learn about how to tell and make a report about bullying. They will learn that UPstanders take action to keep school safe by saying and doing something.

The Empty Pot by Demi
In this book, we learn about the importance of courage, honesty, responsibility, integrity, and perseverance when a young boy stands up for his beliefs with courage and determination.

One by Kathryn Otoshi
Students will learn that it just takes one to make a difference. They will also discuss how to be a forgiving person and how to offer opportunities to belong and be included.


Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
Students will read about how the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.