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Project Cornerstone


YMCA’s Project Cornerstone is committed to helping all children and teens in Silicon Valley feel valued, respected and known. Their programs and services help individuals and communities build a web of support around young people so that they grow into healthy, caring and responsible adults.

Studies reveal strong and consistent relationships between the number of developmental assets present in young people’s lives and the degree to which they develop in positive and healthful ways. Project Cornerstone uses this research as a guiding framework to build a web of support around every young person in our community.  

The Asset Building Champions (ABC) is a YMCA Project Cornerstone program in which adults learn to create positive connection with their own children and youth in the community. Volunteers in each classroom read specially selected books and lead activities that help teach students valuable lessons.   The program’s goal is to help school communities achieve the following:

  • Create a common language and vocabulary about student respect and behavior expectations among all members of the school community — students, parents and caregivers, teachers and staff.
  • Help students develop skills to handle physical, verbal, relational and digital bullying and to STAND UP if they see someone else being bullied.
  • 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 to achieve and thrive. 

Each year there are different books for the Project Cornerstone program - it rotates through three years before the books start to repeat. For the 2019-2020 year, we will be in Year Two - Building Year. The following are the books our volunteers will be sharing with your children this year:

Book 1: Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell  

Book 2: My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig  

Book 3: The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woods  

Book 4: Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis  

Book 5: Long Shot - Never Too Small to Dream by Chris Paul

Book 6: Enemy Pie by Derek Munson  

Book 7: Rene Has Two Last Names by Rene Colato Lainez  

Book 8: The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal  

Sound like a program you’d like to be a part of? Here are a couple more reasons to get involved.

  • Spending about an hour in your child's classroom each month can make a world of difference.
  • It's a great opportunity for Moms, Dads, Grandparents and Family Friends to support children in a meaningful way.
  • Training, books, discussion topics and classroom activities are provided for you.

Volunteer requirements:

  • Complete a Project Cornerstone/YMCA volunteer application
  • Attend Assets 101 Training if this is your first time with Project Cornerstone
  • Approximately 2 hours of time per month (depending on how many classrooms you read in)
  • Attend monthly book training at Bagby - 30 min to 1 hour
  • Prepare lesson at home (or with a co-presenter) - 30 min to 1 hour
  • Read to the class, discuss and do activity - 1 hour (depending on grade level)

To become a volunteer or for more information, please contact Kim Giorgetti or Nikki Lesser   Be a part of our team!