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In April Cornerstone readers will visit classrooms for the final Cornerstone lessons of the school year. The book “Thank You, Mr. Falker” by Patricia Polacco is an autobiographical book about a struggling student. At age 5 she goes to school to learn to read. By fifth grade, she still can’t read and continues to be bullied by other students. She is a wonderful artist and is encouraged and supported by her family. Finally, when she gets to fifth grade her teacher, Mr. Falker, works with her to discover her unique keys to learning. This is a story about a family’s love, a girl’s pain and what happens when an adult believes in a child’s potential to learn.
Many thanks to this year's Cornerstone readers and to the teachers for taking time out of their busy days for these important lessons.
In the Cornerstone book “Sebastian’s Roller Skates” by Joan de Déu Prats, Sebastian gains confidence while practicing a new physical activity: roller-skating! His newly developed confidence empowers him to speak up and participate more fully in other areas of his life as well. This book shows how physical activity, perseverance, and hard work can bring about great leaps of confidence and skill.
In February we will continue to focus on empathy with the book “How Do I Stand In Your Shoes?” by Susan DeBell, Ph.D This is a story about a girl named Miranda who has no patience for the other students in her class. She just doesn’t understand why they can’t be as smart and talented as she is, until she learns to start walking in their shoes. With this lesson we hope to empower students to notice, name, and understand feelings or difficulties of others.
“Through My Eyes” by Ruby Bridges is the true story of a six-year-old black girl who on November 14, 1960 walked through a mob of screaming segregationists escorted by Federal Marshals into her new school in New Orleans, Louisiana. Surrounded by racial turmoil, Ruby spent first grade learning to read with the help of one supportive teacher. The goal of this lesson is to promote discussion about the importance of tolerance and acceptance of differences.
In December our Cornerstone volunteers will read When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry... by Molly Bang. Students will talk about how each of us experience a wide variety of emotions and the Cornerstone readers will share different ways that we can choose to behave when we encounter complicated feelings
November’s Cornerstone book Big by Coleen Paratore encourages students to become BIG people. The discussion encourages students to understand intrinsic rewards, rather than extrinsic. Students will look within themselves to see how they can tap into their personal power to become a valuable member of their family, school, neighborhood, community, country and world.
This past month our Cornerstone volunteers visited their classrooms to introduce students to the book Friends to the End-For Kids by Bradley Trevor Grieve. The kids loved the adorable photographs of animal friends and learned “Ten Ways to Build Relationships”. This month our ABC Parents will be reading the book Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae. This is the darling story of Gerald the giraffe who is able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend. In this lesson students will learn about personal power and practice using their positive personal power to benefit both themselves and others. Students will be reminded that making other people feel good is a great way to fill their own buckets, too! To reinforce this lesson at home you can encourage your child to try new things and offer praise for their willingness to try and practice. You can also encourage your child to “switch the channel” to re-frame their inner dialogue to create an “I can do it!” attitude when faced with negative situations.