Canadian trucker buddies up with second-graders in Maine

KENNEBUNK, Me. (Sept. 22, 2004) — Canadian Trucker Buddy Anthony Slauenwhite may be a professional driver, but to his second-grade class at Park Street School in Kennebunk, Maine, he is also a role model, a teacher and a friend.

“Tony makes every child feel as though they shine,” writes teacher Bethany Milburn. “I applied to participate in the Trucker Buddy program, assuming that it would enhance some of [my students] letter writing skills as well as geography, history, and of course, reading.”

She is pleased that Slauenwhite — a company driver for GTS Transportation in Dartmouth, N.S., — has helped her students learn through his correspondence with the class, all while teaching the students about safety around trucks.

This past April, Slauenwhite and his wife, Lucy and son, Lucas, travelled from their home in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, to Maine, where they spent the day with Milburn’s class. At the end of the day, the Slauenwhites met with parents and local media, before they were treated to a spaghetti dinner and lodging at a local family’s home.

Slauenwhite is one of nearly 4,000 professional drivers who share their time with elementary classes throughout the world. The only criteria to be a Trucker Buddy is to be a truck driver, willing to send a postcard each week to a class in grades two through eight.

Slauenwhite will receive a personalized jacket, along with a check for $300 to spend on his class and $200 in Trucker Buddy merchandise. The students will receive a CrossCountry USA game, which will help them learn more about how trucks move freight across the continent.

Drivers and teachers can find out more about the program by visiting or calling (800) MY BUDDY.

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