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Trucker Buddy Recognizes Outstanding Driver John Haley

January, 2019

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Birmingham, AL… John Haley, a driver for Oakley Transportation, has been nominated and named an Outstanding Trucker Buddy by his teacher, Linda Johnson of Sunset School in Oak View, Calif., John Haley, “Trucker Buddy John,” has been a Trucker Buddy for many years, and is considered a shining example of what the program is all about.

Here is what Johnson had to say about Trucker Buddy John in her nomination:

“I have been part of the Trucker Buddy program for almost 18 years and had three Trucker Buddies before moving to California four years ago. John Haley has been paired with my fifth-grade class since 2014. I had always raved about my previous buddies, and with each new match, I always thought that I had ‘the best one.’ After the first few months of being matched with John Haley, I realized that my idea of ‘the best one’ was falling way short of what ‘the best one’ actually is! John Haley, without a doubt, is the best Trucker Buddy a class could ever wish for!”

According to Johnson, Trucker Buddy John starts each year by getting to know the class, and exchanging many letters. In each letter, Trucker Buddy John teaches the students about himself, his family, his career, the places he travels, and the history of different places in our country. “With each word, John really knows how to connect with the students to get them interested in the things he has to say,” Johnson wrote. “He uses his sense of humor, as well as his compassion, to reach out to the kids. 

A few months into each school year, Trucker Buddy John starts writing individual postcards to the students. Johnson says that Trucker Buddy John responds to students’ individual stories and makes comments about the parts of their lives they have shared with him. “And the writing he does on a postcard is not the typical writing; he prints very small, so that he can write more and respond to more of what the individual students wrote to him,” Johnson wrote. “Each card is personalized in a way that makes every child feel special with each mail delivery. There are some days when we receive up to 12 postcards at a time!”

Johnson says that each card includes the name of the city Trucker Buddy John is in as well as the state capital, so the class is able to practice their states and capitals, which is a standard in fifth grade. “Not a week goes by that we do not receive mail from John at least two or three times. The students look forward to the mail delivery, and with each announcement that we have cards from John, the class erupts into cheers!” Johnson said.

Trucker Buddy International is proud to name John Haley an Outstanding Trucker Buddy, and grateful for his many years of service in the community. John will be honored at the 2019 Great American Truck Show.

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 program is funded entirely by sponsorships and donations.