Cooper’s Troopers Day of Service
How it Began
Calhoun Lower School students and faculty observe a day each year called Cooper’s Troopers Day of Service, to honor the memory of a beloved classmate, Cooper Stock, who died on January 10, 2014 in a tragic car accident at 97th Street.
In its inaugural year, Cooper’s Troopers helped build a children’s library for West End Residences, a nearby homeless shelter where our older students have had a long-standing relationship as volunteers, working with the young children in the daycare center. The library serves children from infancy through fourth grade.
Alison Rothschild, LS Director, says that students and faculty felt compelled to do something to honor the spirit of the classmate they loved. After months of conversation, it was actually the early words of Cooper's mom, Dana Lerner, that inspired the idea for some kind of community service project. “Dana expressed the hope that Cooper's legacy would be associated with helping others,” recalls Alison. “We decided the best, most appropriate way for Cooper's spirit to stay alive at Calhoun was by creating an annual Day of Service in his honor.”
“The Cooper’s Troopers project is the perfect way to remember our son,” says Dana. “Cooper had a deep love of Calhoun and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. As he grew up, we made a point of helping him to understand how fortunate we are as a family, but that many were not. He loved the idea of helping those in need. That his classmates will dedicate a day in his memory to create a library where others can learn and grow is the very embodiment of Cooper and provides a great deal of comfort.”
2016: Students Rally for Traffic Safety
Calhoun's fifth graders rallied on the steps of City Hall on June 9, 2016, joining scores of legislators, activists and students from across the city to push for passage of the Every School Speed Safety Camera Bill.
Calhoun students were front and center, stepping up and demanding the floor to speak their piece. "We need more enforcements for speed violators from the government side, not just the law enforcers," said 11-year-old Paul Weber. Classmates Nathalie Christman and Julian DeLazio also spoke up about their hopes for speed safety cameras to protect New York's children. Traffic safety is a particularly poignant issue for Calhoun students, who honor their classmate Cooper Stock each year.