Cooper University Health Care Employees and The Cooper Foundation Donate Backpacks, School Supplies to Camden Students

More Than 2,200 Backpacks and School Supplies Donated Through The Cooper Foundation’s Operation Backpack

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Cooper Foundation, along with city officials and school leaders, today distributed backpacks and school supplies to every student at KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy (KCNA) Lanning Square Primary and Middle School campus and KCNA Whittier Middle School in Bergen Square. KCNA serves students in Pre-K through 8th grade. Click here to view photos.

Cooper employees and The Cooper Foundation donated more than 2,200 new backpacks filled with school supplies during its Operation Backpack Drive. In addition to backpacks and supplies distributed today at KCNA, The Cooper Foundation will also donate backpacks and supplies to the following Camden City School District schools and community organizations: Cooper Lanning Civic Association, Camden Promise Neighborhood Family Success Center and the Whitman Square Park Back to School Bash, Cooper’s Poynt Family School, Harry C. Sharp Elementary School, Lanning Square West Residents Association, Riletta Twyne Cream Early Childhood Center, St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society, Veterans Memorial Family School, All Things Are Possible Foundation in Willingboro and Center for Family Services serving Camden, Burlington and Gloucester counties.

“Cooper has a long history of serving and supporting our neighbors,” said George E. Norcross III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Cooper University Health Care. “I am proud of the way Cooper employees embrace this effort to provide opportunities for young scholars in our community.”

Operation Backpack is a two-month donation drive in which Cooper employees and departments come together to collect and donate backpacks and school supplies for students in Camden. From pencils and crayons to notebooks, folders and calculators, Cooper employees showed up in force to ensure that every child at KCNA schools received a new backpack with all the necessary supplies for a successful start to the school year.

“The mission of Operation Backpack is simple: Cooper employees want to make sure that students have the tools they need to succeed,” said Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation. “A new backpack and school supplies are an exciting way to be prepared for a new year of learning.”

“We are grateful for the support we receive from The Cooper Foundation and Cooper employees,” said Drew Martin, Executive Director of KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy. “Operation Backpack is more than just new pencils and paper, it demonstrates to our students how much the community wants them to succeed.”

“The start of the school year is an exciting time for students, families and teachers,” said Katrina McCombs, Superintendent of the Camden City School District. “I am grateful to The Cooper Foundation for showing Camden’s children they are valued and ensuring they are prepared to achieve their academic goals.”

About The Cooper Foundation

The Cooper Foundation serves as the philanthropic, community outreach and community development arm of Cooper University Health Care, one of the largest health systems in southern New Jersey with over 100 outpatient offices and its flagship, Cooper University Hospital located in Camden, NJ. 

About KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy

New Jersey’s first renaissance school, the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy in Camden, NJ, was established under the state’s Urban Hope Act, which created a pilot program to provide students in three struggling school districts – Camden, Newark and Trenton – access to new, quality public schools in their communities. The Academy was created in partnership with KIPP, one of the most renowned, national networks of free, open-enrollment, college preparatory public charter schools; The Cooper Foundation, the charitable arm of Cooper University Health Care, and the Norcross Foundation. The new, 110,000-square-foot campus opened in 2015 and provides guaranteed enrollment for students in grades Pre-K through 8th living in the Lanning Square and Cooper Plaza neighborhoods. The Camden network opened its second middle school in August 2016 and will grow to include two additional new schools: an elementary school and a high school, eventually serving more than 2,800 students.


Wendy Marano
Cooper University Health Care

Katie Hardesty
The Cooper Foundation

Jessica Shearer
KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy

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