Trucker Buddy is for all truckers and is tailored to what you, as a driver and the teacher want to make of the program. We have had classes in the United States and now only have classes in France. There is a list of classes available on the web site or if you know a teacher you can get them involved in the program and work with their classes.
Since we are not home often we needed a class that can use email most of the time instead of hand written letters. Many drivers are able to take their truck to the school each year and talk to the students about safety. The driver will show the kids blind spots while the student sits in the drivers seat and also talk about how to be safe when around trucks. When we had a class in Saint Louis we did this and talk about feeling like a rock star... Those kids greeted us at the front door of the school, asked a million questions, and wanted their pictures taken with us. Sure made us realize quickly how we were influencing their thoughts about truck drivers.
For many years we have had classes in France and now through our teachers we have about 200 students. One of our teachers Stephanie has incorporated all of the school into the program. At the end of the month using Streets and Trips I send her a screen shot of where all we have traveled. Written out I send her the mileages between cities and fuel used for the whole month. She shares this with the math teacher who creates problems for the students.
Our imagination in the limits of what we can send to the students. One set of pictures they really enjoyed was taken at a truck stop. I showed the buildings, the racks of tires, the fuel islands, inside the store, and the lines of parked trucks. Our lives fascinate and frighten them. Once I sent pictures of being on the two lane roads in California where there is not a building or another vehicle in site for many miles. Something else they have a hard time comprehending is that Texas is bigger than France.
We have also shared videos; we make videos of our home, the truck, and things we see and the students make videos of their school. We have been on tours of the school with the students telling us how to get to a classroom and what they do in that room. Many of the teachers have been on video as well as workers in the cafeteria and office. We feel as if we have been there and met everyone.
Over the years Stephanie, the teacher has become a friend who gives me wonderful feedback on the student’s reaction to what I send over. The post cards I send weekly are used for book reports and the students argue over who gets to do them. Her feedback on how much we influence the kids on wanting to learn English and more about the United States keeps me wanting to figure out even better ways to share what we do.
At Christmas we sent over a box with different items for the classroom. This year I sent over wet and dry measuring cups and measuring spoons all from Disneyland. Stephanie shared that she had never seen a liquid measuring cup that was angled so you can see when you reach a certain measurement by looking inside the cup. It took a minute for the students to realize that what I had sent was is in cups and teaspoons. In the box were several menus’ from TA/Petro Truck Stops so they can practice ordering at a restaurant from a real menu. There was also varies other small things that Stephanie can use in her classroom.
In return we received at Christmas a wonderful package of letters from the students with drawings and a lot of questions! As you can see from the picture we have a lot of questions to answer as well as a lot of great artwork to look at. What amazes me is how brilliant these kids are with their ability to speak two languages and how inquisitive they are about what we do and see.
Being a Trucker Buddy has enriched our lives I believe as much as it has enriched the lives of the students we work with. If you are not a Trucker Buddy I hope you will look at the website and see if there is a class that is near you or on a route you follow. If you know of a school that is not part of the Trucker Buddy program please share the website with them to see if they can get involved.
Trucker Buddy International