Robert Costa has been named February Trucker Buddy Driver of the Month by Leslie Wolf, his Trucker Buddy partner for over a decade. Mrs. Wolf is a third grade teacher at Robert L. Forbuss Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nev. “Trucker Robert,” as Wolf and her class refer to him, shouldn’t just be Driver of the Month; they think he should be Driver of the Year! One of the students in the class wrote that he deserves this award because “he is a hard worker at his job.” Costa finds the time to show these students that you can still do a good job and have a little fun along the way.
Costa sends postcards and letters to the students that correlate with their curriculum. For example, if the class is learning about Native Americans, then he will find postcards with different tribes from across the country. When the class was learning about different animals, he sent postcards with the state animals and birds on them.
The students send him letters and he takes the time to respond to each and every student individually. One of the students says, “I would like to nominate him for Driver of the Month because he puts so much time to write back all our letters.” He will even ask the students questions in response to their letters, demonstrating that he really does read their letters. “The children love receiving his letters and can hardly wait for his next email to arrive,” exclaims Wolf.
Costa has also won several driving awards and continues to demonstrate safe driving habits for the students.
“Trucker Robert has proven time and time again to be an outstanding role model and caring individual. In his spare time he has rescued and delivered abandoned dogs to new homes. He has also adopted two kittens he found dumped into a trash container. Thelma and Louise have been his constant companions for the last seven years. The class loves getting emails with pictures of them on their adventures,” Wolf adds.
Not only does he send the students letters and postcards but he also sends them T-shirts, toy trucks, pen sets and stuffed animals giving the students a personal connection with their Trucker Buddy. One student wrote that he should be Driver of the Month because “he gave my class cool things.” “He has even donated funds to out Donors Choose grant projects, all out of the goodness of his heart, and pocketbook,” says Wolf.
Trucker Buddy International, an independent, non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, often called the number one trucking image campaign in North America, has helped educate schoolchildren and introduce educators to the trucking industry. This gives them the world through the eyes of a professional truck driver. The Trucker Buddy program helps to educate and mentor schoolchildren via a pen pal relationship between professional truck drivers and children in grades K-8 as supervised by their teachers.
After an extensive screening process, the professional truck drivers are matched with a class and as directed by the teacher, drivers share news about their travels with their class. Students write letters and send pictures to their drivers. Students' skills in reading, writing, geography, mathematics, social studies, and history are enhanced and learning is made fun.
Since 1992, Trucker Buddy International has helped educate over a million schoolchildren and introduced them to caring, compassionate men and women, professional truck drivers. The on-going success of the program is due to driver volunteers, participating teachers and the contributions of sponsors. There is no cost to the drivers or teachers to participate in the program. The Trucker Buddy of the Month is sponsored by Daimler Truck Products and includes, Freightliner Trucks, Western Star Trucks and Detroit. Each class of the winning TBOM receives a gift pack of snack from Frito-Lay. The Trucker Buddy program is funded entirely by sponsorships and donations.
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