Trucker Buddy changed our lives.
Trucker Buddy International is a pen pal program between truck drivers and students. Believe it or not, amazing things can happen once you get involved.
To say Trucker Buddy has changed our lives is a gross understatement. Many years ago, when I first heard about the program, I was skeptical as time is always an issue in our lives. Who has time to be a pen pal to 30+ students or take the truck to visit a school? How can we, as truck drivers, benefit a student or encourage them to learn more? There were many excuses and we realized none were valid once we said yes and became Trucker Buddies.
Our first two classes were in Saint Louis, and when one teacher backed out, a second one took her place. We had the local school for two years, and we were able to take the truck by the school twice. What an experience that was! We were treated with awe and respect from all of the students and they overwhelmed us with questions and all wanted to walk beside us. It was very exciting to meet them as well as the teacher. In time though, this teacher became overwhelmed by all of her day to day duties, she had to teach the class, and we no longer fit into her curriculum. What we learned from this experience is that we could share real-world geography and knowledge about each state we visited. Out postcards and emails were something the students could relate with, and often the teacher would let them choose what postcard they wanted to write a book report about.
Next, we were asked if we could take on a teacher in France who taught English to three grades; sixth, seventh, and eighth. She needed a truck driver that would use email more than letters. This fit in perfectly with us, and we said a resounding, “YES.” Our teacher, Stephanie, has the most excellent ideas and communicates well with us on how she uses what I send to France.
The postage is much more to send postcards, but it is worth it! We also send over a couple of packages a year that are full of USA memorabilia and some small token for each student.
Over the years, we have become close friends with Stephanie, and the next step was to plan a trip to France. Going to France was never on our bucket list as we don’t speak French. But what an opportunity to spend time with a local and meet all of our students and even some that had moved on to high school! Trucker Buddy was life-changing for us as well as our teacher and her family.
We stayed at her house and went to school with her. Each day we took a trip with one of the grades and saw different areas of France. We will never forget this trip. Next, Stephanie and her family planned a trip to the United States, and they were able to spend several days at our house visiting areas around Saint Louis.
Each teacher is different, and between the truck driver and the teacher, you will keep in touch in a way that makes sense for both of you. There are only a few rules and guidelines that must be followed.
- Apply to be a Trucker Buddy
- Go through a background check
- Be assigned a class or suggest a class, and Trucker Buddy will set it up
- All communication must go through the teacher
Trucker Buddy International changed our lives and the life of our teacher and her family. We hope that the communication that we have had with her students has also broadened her students’ vision of the world and help them to learn about the United States, our Freightliner, and our lives as truck drivers.
If you are ready to change your life, apply to be a Trucker Buddy at TruckerBuddy.org. http://truckerbuddy.org/2019-BAK/index.php