Teacher Sigridur Dua Goldsworthy, far left, and December Trucker Buddy Driver of the Month Bruce Brandon, far right, with the Grade 6 class at Njardvik Elementary School in Iceland.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Bruce Brandon has been named the ACS MultiMedia Trucker Buddy Driver of the Month for December, for going above and beyond in his efforts as a Trucker Buddy, travelling all the way to Iceland to visit his class.
Despite the geographic difference, Brandon was still able to make a class visit in conjunction with an annual trip he makes to Ireland.
“I go back every St. Patrick’s Day to where my grandparents lived,” he said. “So when I got the class in Iceland it was a no-brainer to go there too.”
Through sending the weekly postcards and monthly letters to the sixth graders at Njardvikurskoli (Njardvik Elementary School), Brandon has taught his Trucker Buddy class about trucking in North America and more.
“Mr. Brandon has told us all about life on the road…we have learned about geography and culture and have postcards and letters from places we have never been to,” wrote teacher Sigridur Dua Goldsworthy in her nomination. “Mr. Brandon also taught the kids a lot about the world and emphasized that we are one planet and need to stand united. We took part in cheering up kids in the south of the US after Hurricane Katrina by sending postcards and good luck wishes, because Mr. Brandon got us involved in the task.”
Brandon started his Trucker Buddy volunteerism with a Grade 2 class in New York, which was featured in an article in The Washington Times in 2002. When his teacher retired after they worked together for a few years, Brandon requested an older class, and the only one available at the time was the class in Njardvik, Iceland, a small fishing town near the capital of Reykjavik.
In some ways, his experience corresponding with a class in a different country is no different from Trucker Buddies who have classes in their own countries.
“There is very little difference between these kids and any American teenager,” Brandon noted. However, it does take correspondence longer to get back and forth, and it is a little more expensive. Instead of 24 cents to send a postcard each week, it costs 75 cents; Brandon also sends a letter once a month with newspaper and industry publication articles and that costs around $10.
Brandon, from Chattanooga, Tenn., has been with the Acklie family of trucking companies for almost 10 years. He started with C.R. England and currently is a driver for Crete Carrier.
Brandon is among some 3,500 other professional drivers who share their time with elementary classes throughout the world. 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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