Joseph Rich Awarded Trucker Buddy of the Month for August 2011
Joseph Rich, a driver for Wayne Dalton Transportation, has been named Trucker Buddy of the Month for August 2011 after being nominated by Donna O’Connell, a fifth grade teacher at Wadding River Elementary School in Wading River, N.Y.
O’Connell explains why she nominated Rich saying, “he has been extremely thoughtful, generous and kind to each and every one of my students. At least once a month, he individually writes to each child in my class. My students enjoy receiving the ‘class envelope’ filled with letters. Everyone waits patiently for his/her letter to be passed out.”
“Mr. Joe”, as the class calls him, sends weekly traveling reports, where the students track him on a United States map. “We calculate the distance and time he travels,” says O’Connell. “My class has learned so much in geography and math with the help of Mr. Joe and the Trucker Buddy Program.”
Rich took some time out of his busy schedule this year to make a class visit. The students were so excited to finally meet him and enjoyed his speech about truck safety to each fifth-grade class. Also, Rich allowed the students to climb aboard his truck and take a look inside the truck's cabin. They were surprised to see a bed, refrigerator and even a television. O’Connell and her class were extremely grateful for the thoughtfulness Rich demonstrates to the class. “He traveled all the way from Canton, Ohio, just to meet my class and they were very impressed. Something they never expected to happen,” says O’Connell. “I have been involved in the Trucker Buddy Program for three years now working with Mr. Joe and I look forward to a fourth. Because of his kind and thoughtful ways, I recommend that Mr. Joseph Rich be chosen as your next Trucker Buddy of the Month.”
Some students wrote to express their appreciation for their “Mr. Joe.”
“I would like to recommend Mr. Joe for the Trucker Buddy of the Month because he sends us gifts and answers all our questions. He always writes us back too. I think he would make a perfect winner.” “I would like to recommend Mr. Joe as the Trucker Buddy of the Month. He is very kind in his letters that he sends us and he is very cool.”“Mr. Joe is very nice and he writes to everyone in the class and gives us gifts for no reason at all. I think Mr. Joe is the best Trucker Buddy and should be the Trucker Buddy of the Month.” “I would like to recommend Mr. Joe because he always writes back to everybody individually through our teacher. In my opinion he is very generous and gives us gifts from his company.”
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 Diesel Engines. 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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