Project Cornerstone

Positive Poster and Video Showcase

Deadline: Monday, Dec. 3, 2018

Project Cornerstone

Graham's Project Cornerstone team is offering a Positive Poster and Video Showcase giving Graham students a chance to create something positive (a poster, artwork or a 1 minute video) that we can share on campus and with the community. See the flyer (in Español) for details.

We're hoping to give gift cards to many of our participants. Thanks for supporting Project Cornerstone, Graham's Essential Elements and students to help them feel valued, respected and known!

What is Project Cornerstone?

Project Cornerstone, an initiative of the Silicon Valley YMCA, offers elementary school programs such as ABC (Asset Building Champions) and Los Dichos (where caring adults read stories about kindness and respect in the classrooms, engage students in discussions and teach empowerment skills and anti-bullying techniques). In addition, Project Cornerstone offers Expect Respect Workshops (for students) and Take it Personally Workshops (for adults). The 41 Developmental Assets (character traits) are listed here. Studies show that the more assets students have, the more successful they will be in life and will be less likely to take part in negative or at-risk behavior. Kids with 30 to 41 assets will thrive; while, kids with 1 to 10 assets will struggle.

Currently, many of our district's elementary schools have Project Cornerstone. What's exciting is that students from these feeder schools can incorporate many of the concepts and skills they've learned in elementary school into middle school. By having everyone understand Project Cornerstone's common language, students can advocate for themselves when struggling and learn to communicate more effectively with their peers.

What Does Project Cornerstone Look Like at Graham?

Project Cornerstone looks different in middle school than in elementary school and varies at each middle school - depending mainly on the school's size and climate on campus. The main goal (and Project Cornerstone's mission) is to help kids feel valued, respected and known. Graham offers a variety of ways for students to feel important and included. Below is a list of some of the opportunities, programs and activities that have been offered on campus:

  • At-Risk Support Team (includes intervention specialists and community liaisons)
  • Clubs (after school) - bridge, chess, etc
  • Donut Day in the Fall (Bags are decorated with "Have a sweet day" messages by the JBN club, filled with donut holes and delivered to each 1st period class, everyone's included, sponsored by the PTA and Project Cornerstone parents)
  • GMSTV (empowers youth by creating projects and broadcasting at school)
  • PE Dept Dance Party and Dinner (food and dancing for the Graham community)
  • Rallies (DJ, games, competitions between students and teachers - throughout year)
  • *School-wide Service Projects (fall, winter, spring) - All students support local and global organizations (Graham has supported Books and Bears - focusing on children's literacy, Hope's Corner - collecting new socks and decorating lunch bags for the homeless and Achungo Children's Center - a school for orphans in Africa)
  • Tamale-making Night (PTA and ELAC cooking together for staff appreciation lunch)
  • Teachers opening up their classrooms at lunch (e.g. showing Disney movies, etc)
  • The Lounge at Graham (open once a week at lunch & hosted by Project Cornerstone parents/caring adults) - provides a calm place for students to relax and connect
  • JBN (Just Be Nice) Club (inspired by Project Cornerstone, students brainstorm ideas on ways to create a caring school climate)
  • Tutoring (caring adults on campus)

* Service projects can build as many as 21 assets!

2018 Asset Champions Awards Breakfast

The 2018 Project Cornerstone's Asset Champions Awards Breakfast celebrating "The Power of Moments" was held on Thursday, March 29. Congratulations to Graham for being a 2018 Award Nominee and to Kim Thompson for receiving a 2018 UPstander dedication.

It was wonderful to see so many from our Mountain View and Los Altos elementary and middle schools coming together to honor volunteers and organizations that help our youth thrive.

Project Cornerstone reminds us that building assets is "the accumulation of thousands of moments in life in which a young person is valued, respected and known." Let's continue to take the time to create moments where students are seen and appreciated in our schools and community.

2018 Asset Champions Awards Breakfast 2018 Asset Champions Awards Breakfast
2018 Asset Champions Awards Breakfast

The Lounge at Graham

On Oct. 24, 2016, we opened "the Lounge" at Graham, converting Room 40 into a calm place for students to stop by, relax and connect with a few caring adults (typically open Mondays at lunch). The Lounge is sponsored by Project Cornerstone parent volunteers and the Graham PTA.

Read more about the lounge. You can check out a video about the Lounge at Graham.

Graham Lounge

Please click here to see more photos of the lounge. See photos of some of our Lounge volunteers.

2017 Asset Champions Breakfast

On Friday, March 24, a group from Graham joined over 1200 attendees at Project Cornerstone's Annual Asset Champions Awards Breakfast at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Our group consisted of administrators, students from Graham's JBN (Just Be Nice) Club, their advisor, Heidi Galassi and Project Cornerstone parent supporters. Ruby Bridges (the first African-American child to attend an all-white public elementary school) was the keynote speaker and shared her powerful story. Jan Austin, Graham's office clerk who passed away on Dec. 30, 2016 received an UPstander dedication and was honored with a moment of silence.

2017 Asset Champions Breakfast 2017 Asset Champions Breakfast
2017 Asset Champions Breakfast 2017 Asset Champions Breakfast

Here is the Upstander Pledge.

Project Cornerstone's Middle School Summit

Mrs. Thompson and 6th grade math teacher, Ms. Galassi spoke at Project Cornerstone's Middle School Summit on Jan. 11 at the Santa Clara County of Education (attended by 65 adults and youth who shared tips and strategies for creating safer and more caring schools). Mrs. Thompsonspoke about strengthening the home and school relationship and Ms. Galassi talked about relationship building in the classroom.

The annual middle school summit is designed to learn what other middle schools are doing to intentionally build assets! Our theme this year was - RELATIONSHIP building! A great team from Graham attended that night including Joey, Adriana, Maribel, Lisset, Laura, Annett, Allison, Kim and Heidi.

Please also check out the JBN (Just Be Nice) Club/Project Cornerstone video created by Laura.

Graham Receives Project Cornerstone's

Caring School Climate Award 2015

Congratulations to Graham for receiving Project Cornerstone's Caring School Climate Award for 2015.

Mrs. Thompson and Mr. Chesley celebrated with about 900 other Project Cornerstone supporters at the Annual Champions breakfast, held in 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Graham Receives Project Cornerstone's

Project Cornerstone


5 Ways YOU

Can Build Assets

  1. Smile at middle schoolers. Say hello. Notice them.
  2. Be a positive role model by obeying traffic laws.
  3. Include your child in decisions at home.
  4. Know your child's friends.
  5. Learn the names of students on campus.


Ages 8-12, English
Ages 8-12, Español
Ages 12-18, English
Ages 12-18, Español

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