Last summer when we stopped to fuel, I noticed a sticker on the side of the truck next to us. When the driver came around to our side of the fuel island to top off his tank on that side, I asked him about it. The reason it got my attention was because it was for a program called "Trucker Buddy" and the logo included the stick figure of a child.
I had not heard of this program before, but after talking to the driver, I was thrilled. Trucker Buddy International is a non-profit organization which works to mentor and educate children in grades 2-8 through a pen pal relationship with professional truck drivers. The drivers are paired up with classrooms across the country. The driver, once a week or so, sends postcards, pictures, or letters to their class. The students write letters to their Trucker Buddy about once a month. The students skills in geography, math, and writing are enhanced as well as learning about truck drivers.
Last year I thought about participating, but at the start of the fall, I was considering getting out of the truck, and didn't want to commit to a group of students when I might not be driving. But this summer I went ahead and sent in my application. I've been assigned to a 2nd grade class in Minnesota. The teacher and I have already been in contact with each other, and I'm looking forward to visiting with them all this year, being involved with kids again (even though its long distance), and also helping to build better relationships between the truckers and non-truckers. I think it will be fun. I already bought my first postcard to send to them. And I maybe next spring towards the end of the school year, we can work out a load to their area and I can go to the school to say hello in person and let them see the truck.
If you're interested in Trucker Buddy International you can follow this link for more information. I think there are many people who have never heard of this program, so if you think you know a teacher or driver that might be interested, let them know about it!