(Funded by PTA)

First Book of the Year

(1st-6th grade):

René Has Two Last Names

By: Rene Colato Lainez

Cornerstone Corner

This month’s ABC book, René Has Two Last Names by René Colato Laínez,

is a story based on the author’s own personal immigrant experience. This story provides discussion on the significance of our names and identities, the process of adapting to a new culture and language, and the challenges of making friends.

Goals of lesson:

  • Understand and learn about different cultures and how diversity makes us stronger.

  • Be inclusive and accepting of differences.

  • Use friendship boosters to build and strengthen relationships.

  • Identify and celebrate individual’s personal identities.

  • Learn and pronounce names correctly.

Questions to ask and discuss to reinforce this lesson at home:

  • Has anyone made fun of you because you were different? How did that make you feel?

  • Would you ever want to change your name? What name would you choose?

  • Have you ever helped a new student or neighbor feel more comfortable?

  • What is the story of how you got your name?

  • What foods are from your culture? Do eat foods from other cultures?

When you “catch” kids modeling positive behaviors... Notice, Name it, and Celebrate it!


Transitional Kindergarten Book List 2022-2023


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or Chica chica bum bum by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and Lois Ehlert


Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems or El conejito Knuffle by Mo Willems January

How to Hide a Lion or Cómo esconder un león by Helen Stephens February

Giraffes Can’t Dance or Las jirafas no pueden bailar by Giles Andreae March

Hair Love or Amor de pelo by Matthew A. Cherry


If You Give a Moose a Muffin or Si le das un panecillo a un alce by Laura Numeroff


Sunflowers/Girasoles by Gwendolyn Zepeda

A YMCA Initiative

Project Cornerstone is committed to helping every young person in Silicon Valley feel valued, respected, and known. We are building a community where adults support children and youth so they find their spark and thrive.

How does the program work?

Project Cornerstone's ABC Reading brings books (based on the theme of the year) that are relevant to a child's development and help them deal with peer pressure, bullying etc. YMCA provides all the necessary training and here are a few steps in the process.

  • A project cornerstone lead is assigned in each school and gets training from YMCA

  • The lead recruits and trains the volunteer readers in school

  • A volunteer is assigned to each classroom

  • The volunteer schedules time with the teacher and goes to the classroom, reads the book and engages students with relevant activity

Click here for more details on the program.

Interested in learning more? Please email