Ellisville, Mo. — After three years of lobbying for Clayton James to be named Trucker Buddy of the Month, teacher Dian Curtis finally got her wish in September when James received the honour.
Every year it gets better and better, Curtis said of Clayton, who had been corresponding with Curtis fifth grade students at Ellisville Elementary School in Ellisville, Mo. since 2003. He is so awesome. All of the students have really enjoyed this activity.
James, a retired lieutenant colonel from the Army, was a company driver for Seward Motor Freight, Seward, Neb., while he was paired with Curtiss class. Now retired from trucking, he lives in Kansas City, Mo.
James has sent Curtis class three to four postcards every week hes been on the road. This information enhances our curriculum: historical sites with interesting facts about the country for social studies, math for computing word problems such as distances from city to city or truck weight, reading to improve our factual comprehension, language arts for incorporating writing and language skills, Curtis related. Mr. James offers encouragement to the class in every letter and postcard by reminding them to keep reading throughout their lives.
Often, the nomination letters from the students tell the story the best: The most important thing is he inspires us to read, said student Jerrick, who noted that James provided books for the school library. All of the students have been touched by James generous nature, evidenced by the fact all 18 of the students letters noted his gift of books to the school library and their $15 gift certificates to Barnes and Noble.
James lessons about trucking and safety have also had a big impact on the students: When he came to our school he gave us a truck safety highway driving lesson to share with our parents, said student Katelyn.
Having Mr. James as a Trucker Buddy is part of what made fifth grade so fun, said student, Amy.
James is among some 3,500 other professional drivers who share their time with elementary classes throughout the world. For more information www.truckerbuddy.org or call 800-MY-BUDDY.
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