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Project Cornerstone

Project Cornerstone is building a community where all adults support children and teenagers so that they thrive. Project Cornerstone works within the YMCA of Silicon Valley and more than 200 schools and community partners to influence the personal behavior of adults toward children and teens, strengthen youth-serving programs and impact public policy.

Don Callejon is part of Project Cornerstone's School Partnerships program, which empowers all members of the school community—students, parents and caregivers, teachers and staff—to reduce bullying, promote achievement and help all students feel valued and respected.

The programs are based on the research-proven developmental assets model and meet California Department of Education criteria for research-based youth development for the Safe and Drug Free Schools program. In addition, Project Cornerstone programs complement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and align schoolwide efforts to improve climate by changing student behavior.

Don Callejon currently participates in the following two Project Cornerstone Programs:

  • Asset Building Champions (ABC) Program: Don Callejon has participated in the ABC program since 2007. ABC volunteers read specially selected books and lead discussions in the school classroom that are designed to create a common language and vocabulary about student respect for the entire school. The stories and activities focus on issues like building friendship skills, increasing student-to-student respect, how to avoid bullies, and what to do if a bully is targeting others. Students also learn about values such as honesty, caring, responsibility, and friendship. Each month, ABC volunteers meet as a group to review the book and lesson plan for the upcoming month. Then, the volunteers read the book and lead the planned activity and discussions in their assigned classroom. Each month, readers share the monthly lesson with parents in a parent letter distributed electronically, or in the Wednesday packets.
  • Middle School Book Club: Middle School book club facilitators hold monthly lunchtime or after-school meetings where they engage with students and hold thought-provoking discussions about books. (Suggested book lists are provided by Project Cornerstone.) The program helps young people develop a love of reading and form bonds with their peers as well as caring adults.