Truckers Help Teachers in the Classroom
Many times people, especially children, do not realize the significance of the trucking industry in their everyday lives. Recently information regarding truckers and trucking was brought into the Del Prado Elementary School in South Florida. It began with an invitation from Frank Silio, a driver/trainer, for truckers Jill and David Studney to introduce trucking to the elementary classes. Delighted by the experience, the couple went into full swing to develop a program to present their experiences to the students.
On July 1, 1993, Trucker Buddy became incorporated. Beginning with around 1,000 driver-teacher matches there are now over 2,500 with approximately 60,000 students participating. Drivers as well as the organization's directors must undergo screening and a background check prior to being allowed to participate in the program.
Anyone who is involved with teaching elementary school classes understands how, when children become enthusiastic about something, they really want to learn. In their program for the 2011-2012 school year, Jill and David wrote letters and send postcards from 42 of the 50 states they visited. In their classroom, the students kept track of the couple's travels by placing flags on a map. This encouraged the children to learn to write letters, name the capital of each state, plus major highways, products, climates, and bordering states. They also learned facts that make each state different.
Some of the testimonials received reflect the influence that this program has on educating children regarding the trucking industry:
Elyse: "This letter is to thank you for an absolutely wonderful experience. Trucker Don is the best pen pal we could have asked for. Children learned map skills, directions, can identify some of the states, and letter writing skills."
Becca: "My students were able to really familiarize themselves with the states because of all the postcards we received. They became proficient with letter writing and it brought meaning to their lessons. Thank you for sending such an exceptional Trucker Buddy."
Truckers, teachers, or schools who are interested in being involved in this program by participation or donations, can obtain more information by contacting http://www.truckerbuddy.org/newsletters.htm.