David Kuklewicz Awarded Trucker Buddy of the Month for October 2011
David Kuklewicz has been named October 2011 Trucker Buddy of the Month after being nominated by Deborah Jagow Wynes, a special education teacher at Barker Junior/Senior High School in Barker, N.Y. Although he has only been with this school as their Trucker Buddy a short time, Wynes says Kuklewicz’s genuine, caring attitude, exciting ideas, sense of humor and thoughtfulness has been an outstanding addition to the classroom curriculum. As a special education teacher in a rural Middle School Life Skills class, Wynes is always seeking new and interesting ways to teach her students appropriate social skills, provide them with information about the world they live in and how things work.
“David has done an exceptional job by corresponding with my students and me often and regularly via post cards, emails, classroom visits and texting,” Wynes says. “With David's help, I have been able to teach my students important concepts about math, geography, writing, social skills and the transportation of goods and manufacturing.”
According to Wynes, Kuklewicz’s contributions to her class include:
· Three classroom visits (his terminal is more than 300 miles from the school) which always include a math or geography lesson;
· Several age-appropriate post cards with questions and prompts to encourage students to learn how to use reference materials to locate information;
· A package of all the materials needed, including pure maple syrup from his home town, for students to make a pancake breakfast with a descriptive list of where products were manufactured;
· Collaboration with several of his customers and terminal manager to send additional information to students about railroads and manufacturing;
· Fostering caring, positive relationships with all of the students and demonstrating a personal interest in their academic growth and development.
These are only a few examples of how Kuklewicz has provided interesting and authentic learning opportunities for Wynes’s students. The students have also written letters briefly describing their favorite memory this past year. In addition, the principal and special education administrator at Barker Junior/Senior High School have also participated in Kuklewicz’s classroom visits and observed some of the lessons Wynes has created with Kuklewicz’s help and have been highly impressed with his year-long contributions and his ability to interact and connect with these special students. “We are so appreciative David has agreed to continue as our Trucker Buddy next year and for the Trucker Buddy program,” says Wynes. “David makes learning enjoyable and meaningful and has been an exemplary role model to his class by demonstrating the importance of learning, and showing them how math and general knowledge applies to real life situations. Simply said, David and the Trucker Buddy Program is the whole package.”
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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