OCALA, Fla. — Christina Demonbreun’s Grade 2 students got an early Christmas present when their Trucker Buddy showed up in his rig for a visit.
“The kids couldn’t wait. He was such an awesome Trucker Buddy to them,” Demonbreun said of her 2006-07 school year experience with her Trucker Buddy Andrew Pomicter, who was paired with her class at Sunrise Elementary School in Ocala, Fla.
“He wrote lengthy letters, sent postcards and also sent photographs,” said Demonbreun. “He also wrote information on the face of the photos to explain what was going on, such as where the straps are, tight straps, loose straps, etc. I have to say that this experience was so beneficial for my students.”
Pomicter, an owner-operator who runs two trucks with his company Dragon and Feline Trucking in Weirsdale, Fla., joined the program in 2006.
At the beginning of the year, the students colored in their own U.S. maps and each made a Trucker Buddy folder to keep it in. Every week when Pomicter’s postcard arrived – or pictures or letters – the students would put a sticker on the state from which his correspondence came.
The class also had a Trucker Buddy bulletin board with a full-size map on it, where the teacher put the photos, letters and postcards so the children could read everything over and over.
Pomicter made his visit educational as well. He cut up two pieces of molding for each of the 20 students, and provided a chart for each one so that he could teach them how to read a molding diagram.
During the tour of his truck, Pomicter was able to explain in person the information he provided through his correspondence: the engine, where the cargo was, how the trailer gets loaded and how to strap down a load, including the significance of tight and loose straps.
The students were even delighted to learn about snakes by meeting Striker, Pomicter’s traveling companion.
“I can’t say enough good things about Drew. He is a terrific representative for your business,” the teacher added. “In a nutshell, my kids learned to write letters effectively and correctly, all about the United States and where the states are and about being a trucker – from driving a truck to the parts of the truck. They learned all this through the Trucker Buddy program, in such a meaningful, real-life way. This is a much more effective way for young children to learn, than by lectures and books.”
Pomicter is among some 3,500 other professional drivers who share their time with elementary classes throughout the world. The only criteria to be a Trucker Buddy is to be a professional truck driver with a CDL who is willing to send a postcard each week to a class in grades two through eight.
Drivers and teachers can find out more about the program by visiting www.truckerbuddy.org or calling 1-800-MY-BUDDY.
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