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What is Project Cornerstone?
Project Cornerstone is a community initiative of the Silicon Valley YMCA committed to helping all children and teens in Silicon Valley feel valued, respected, and known. They have partnered with over 400 schools and community groups since it was launched in 1999.
YMCA of Silicon Valley's Mission and Impact

For over 20 years, Project Cornerstone has understood that the growth and development of children is largely influenced by their families and communities. We believe that in order to fulfill their mission of ensuring all youth in Silicon Valley feel valued, respected, and known they must engage the caring adults in their lives, foster the development of social and emotional competency in youth, and support the establishment of healthy relationships between adults and children.


To read more, visit YMCA of Silicon Valley's Project Cornerstone website.

Our Goals

  • Volunteers come into the classroom once a month to read a book and teach a lesson that promotes kindness, empathy, and celebrates diversity in our community.

  • Volunteers also become trusted caring adults for the students and help create an inclusive environment for all.

  • Project Cornerstone supports teachers and yard duty staff to develop a common language around resolving conflicts and encourage UpStander behavior.

*2024-2025 Books List will be updated in August*
List of Books for School Year 2023-2024
ABC Program (K-5)
  1. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

  2. I Wish You Knew by Jackie Azúa Kramer

  3. Ruby Bridges Goes To School by Ruby Bridges 

  4. Clovis Keeps His Cool by Katelyn Aronson

  5. Eyes That Kiss In The Corners by Joanna Ho

  6. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

  7. Big by Coleen Paratore

TK Program

  1. Gustavo The Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago

  2. When Sophie Gets Angry by Molly Bang

  3. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by Jane Yolen

  4. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

  5. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

  6. Book Fiesta by Pat Mora

  7. The Party For Papa Luis by Diane Gonzales Bertrand

Project Cornerstone at Imai
Volunteer Involvement

We typically begin our reader recruitment process in August. If you are interested to become a reader, email as soon as you find out your child's classroom assignment to be placed in their classroom. (Note: you DO NOT have to be assigned to your own child's classroom and can volunteer wherever there's an opening!) Read on for more volunteering details.


NEW volunteers must:

ALL volunteers must:


  • Readers attend a virtual training where lesson plans and supplemental documents are provided. 

  • Readers visit the classrooms to read the book of the month and teach a lesson.

  • All lessons are provided for readers, and total monthly time commitment (after onboarding) per month is 2.5 – 3 hours.

How Can Families Engage At Home?

At the end of each lesson, the readers send an email to the parents (via Konstella), describing the book and the lesson and how these lessons can be extended and built upon at home.

Supplemental Materials & Activities
A summary of each lesson and extension activities will be shared monthly by readers in each classroom. Please check Konstella or refer to the Resources page.

Readers can access their resources on the Readers' Resources page.

For teachers' and yard duty/staff materials, please go to our Staff Resources page.
The entire program at Imai is possible only through our volunteers, including our leads. Please consider joining the Project Cornerstone Team as a reader.

Contact Project Cornerstone:

2024-2025 Co-Leads: Kanaka Pattabiraman, Kuntal Loya, and Ling Wang

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