Our Mission

Our mission is to both entertain young children and help them gain emotional resilience as they navigate the challenges of everyday living. 
 
Kids will love exploring life together with a friendly, adventurous Labrador Retriever named Cooper who is the heart and soul of our engaging books, music and interactive website. Our products also provide parents and educators with an array of resources that encourage meaningful dialogue and constructive problem-solving – what we believe are essential tools for building emotionally healthy children!

Our Vision

Our dedication to offering quality entertainment that makes a difference in children’s lives is the foundation of our vision for the future. As we progress, Cooper and Me, Inc. has plans to continually expand our existing lines with stories and resources that address the multiplicity of issues young children face. We also look to grow our franchise into other technology and entertainment platforms embraced by families today.

Our Journey

 

In 2010, 11-year-old Alexa Peters, along with her mother Monique Peters, found a meaningful way to turn her passion and love for writing and drawing into an opportunity to “give back” to other kids. Starting at a very young age, Alexa created illustrated stories about her daily experiences, and from the pages of her sketchbooks came the idea for her first book, Cooper and Me. The story of a little girl’s fears about starting school evolved into a timeless tale about overcoming separation anxiety and trying new things – basic emotions all people experience throughout their lives – but this time, written by a child, for children. As retold in Cooper and Me, Alexa’s own story had a “happy ending” – a clever, compassionate solution that involved taking a small replica of her beloved pet to school with her. The first book introduced the family’s real-life dog, Cooper the Labrador Retriever, and the mother-daughter team began imagining a series of stories featuring Cooper that would engage little kids while guiding them through the ups and downs of daily life. In addition to the original Cooper and Me, four more story books are set to publish throughout the next twelve months, all containing relatable life lessons inspired by Alexa’s experiences, with illustrations based on her drawings of Cooper.

To enhance the fun and learning potential of the series, each Cooper and Me story is accompanied by three original, infectiously upbeat songs and narration. The music is written and performed by Bridget Mason Doran, a music educator and founder/owner of Tiny Tunes. Team Cooper was further expanded with Jennifer Scarpa, who brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience from public school programs that address social/emotional learning. Jennifer and Monique met while collaborating on other education projects and soon realized they shared a vision for helping children develop the skills and resilience to handle various life experiences.

To ensure the series reflected Cooper and Me’s core mission, Monique and Jennifer set up an educational advisory panel to oversee the development of the books’ supplemental learning components for children and adults. The panel consists of Karen Lunny, who also serves as editor, Ann Mele, and Carolyn Olivier, all educators with a passion for early childhood learning.

The Team Cooper creative team is rounded out by Nicolette Pappas, a contributing writer to the Cooper and Me series, and Christie Holmes, our art director, also known as the Iconista. Christie has retained the charm and spirit of Alexa’s original drawings as she has extended their use to the website and other graphic applications.

Philanthropic Connections

Happy Hearts Fund

While on their journey of writing and publishing, Alexa and Monique Peters felt it was important to apply their passion for helping children to a charity that truly made a difference in kids’ lives. Their search for an organization to which they could donate a portion of the proceeds from the original Cooper and Me book led to an alliance with  the Happy Hearts Fund, founded and run by Petra Nemcova, the supermodel who was directly affected by the tsunami in Thailand. Happy Hearts improves children’s lives through education and sustainable programs in natural disaster areas. As of July 2011, the Happy Hearts Fund was active in nine countries, has built/rebuilt 50 schools and kindergartens, and has benefitted more than 31,000 children and 335, 000 community members. Last year, Alexa and Monique accompanied Petra on a trip to Peru to see the Happy Hearts Fund in action, which they found truly inspiring.
 

In a related effort to help raise awareness for the Happy Hearts Fund, Bridget Mason Doran, Cooper and Me’s musical director, wrote a song called “One Heart” and recorded it with a group of talented young children. They were brought together because of their passion for music to help spread this important message of hope and giving back. The “One Heart” song is available on iTunes, and a portion of the proceeds from its sale is also being donated to Happy Hearts. Check out the Happy Hearts Fund and ways to donate at happyheartsfund.org.

About The Lustgarten Foundation and Pancreatic Cancer

The decision to donate to the Lustgarten Foundation is on a very personal level for Alexa and me. Our family has a history of suffering from pancreatic cancer and we have lost a family member to this devastating disease. In partnering with the Lustgarten Foundation our goal is to share the amazing work the Foundation does with others and raise money in hopes of finding a cure.

The Lustgarten Foundation, based in Bethpage, New York, is America's largest private foundation dedicated solely to funding pancreatic cancer research. Founded in 1998, the Foundation provides critical support in the search for better diagnostics and treatment of pancreatic cancer, and to date has provided more than $38 million to more than 125 research projects at medical and research centers worldwide. To learn more, visit www.lustgarten.org.
 

The Lustgarten Foundation and Cablevision Systems Corporation, a leading media and entertainment company, together launched curePC, a public awareness campaign that uses Cablevision's high-profile assets to draw attention to the fight against pancreatic cancer. As part of this campaign, Cablevision made a multi-year commitment to underwrite all of The Lustgarten Foundation's administrative costs to ensure that 100 percent of every dollar donated to the Foundation will go directly to pancreatic cancer research. To learn more, visit www.curepc.org.