William "Mike" Mattingly has been named Trucker Buddy of the Month for July 2012 following his nomination by teacher Carla Eutsler of Friendship Village School in Friendship, Maine. The two have been paired since the beginning of the year and work together with Eutsler's fourth, fifth and sixth grade social studies and science classes.
Eustler says as soon as the students were told that Mattingly was their Trucker Buddy, they began sending him letters and cards. Just a few weeks after he first received their correspondence, Mattingly came to see the classes at their school.
He was even able to co-teach with Eutsler for two days. Some of the sixth grade students located on map of the U.S. the many places Mattingly and his Chihuahua, Rufus, have travelled. In one month, he traveled from Texas to California to Georgia to Maine to Louisiana to NYC and back to California. On his visit to the school, all the students there (about 100) were able to "tour" Mattingly's truck. "The students enjoyed his visit and missed him when he left," says Eutsler. He has sent the students pictures of his home state of Texas and taught them some interesting facts about Texas.
Also, because of his travels across the country, the students are learning about time zones and safe driving. He has even sent them a picture of a sign from Friendship, Ark. "My family has made a new friend, too," says Eutsler. Her family got to be a part of Mattingly's visit. Her 13 year-old sons were able to tour his truck and learn about trucking. "Mike got to try lobster for the first time when he came to Maine," remarked Eutsler. The two families exchanged items such as Mercer shirts, a notebook and coffee mugs to remind them of their visit. "We appreciate the positive interactions the Trucker Buddy program encourages," says Eutsler.
"This is a wonderful program and it enhances student learning."
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, Detroit and Progressive Insurance. Each class of the winning TBOM receives a gift pack of snacks from Frito-Lay. The Trucker Buddy program is funded entirely by sponsorships and donations. If you wish to make a donation "Click Here".
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